10 American Customs Not To Do When Traveling Abroad

10 American customs not do to when traveling abroadIt is a fact that when most Americans travel abroad, the last thing they ever want to do is to offend the people, cultures or religions they encounter in their host countries. However, most of them fail terribly and end up doing an array of things deemed inappropriate in the destinations they are visiting.

If you are an American going for online passport renewal to travel abroad, you should know the “please” and “thank” are not the only things you need to master in order to be in good terms with the people in your host countries. Most of the times, a lot is not demanded, and if you take just a little time to read about the cultures of the communities you will be interacting with, then you will reduce your chances of doing all the bad things. Here is a look at some of the most inappropriate things Americans do when they travel abroad-:

Using the left hand Using the left hand

In Africa and many countries in South East Asia, using the left hand is highly encouraged and is even considered a taboo if used for eating in certain regions. To these people, the left hand is always associated with a myriad of bad things, including bad omens, and therefore, it is generally a dirty hand. As such, you should never use the left hand for greeting people, eating, presenting a gift or touching someone.

Sitting in the back seat of a taxi Sitting in the back seat of a taxi

In the US, the procedure if that you hail a cab, and once it has stopped completely, you get in and take your place at the back seat, especially if you are a lone traveler. If you do this in New Zealand and Australia, the cab drivers may not be very pleased with you. When you are alone, they will expect you to sit in front of them. By taking the back seat, you make them appear as if they are your chauffeur, and this is not something they appreciate. But for safety reasons, female travelers are still encouraged to take the back seat, nonetheless.


American has an engraved culture of tipping and it is funny to note that most people will expect to be tipped. While this is the culture in most countries the world, it is something you must never do in Japan. In fact, if you tip in Japan, it could be viewed as an insult and not a show of appreciation. This is because the Japanese prefer to be paid only when they work. Tip to them is free money and they don’t deserve it because they were just doing their jobs when they served you. You should not even leave small change in the restaurants. They will always come running after you to give you your money. Just make it a habit of reading about the tipping cultures in the countries you intend to visit after you do online passport renewal.

Giving the peace signs 

Giving signs with your hand is something you should be very careful about in the respective countries you will be traveling to. In New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and the UK, the peace sign is considered an obscene gesture and it could be compared to showing the middle finger in the west. This is not the gesture you want to be showing if at all what you need is peace.

Sitting while showing the sole of your shoes

Most men in the United States usually sit while showing the sole of their shoes without thinking twice. Once they sit down, they will place one leg across the opposing knee then slouch back on the seat. Though it is a comfortable posture, it is something you should not do when visiting the Middle East. They will find it extremely offensive since the sole is considered dirty due and it is something you should never display to anyone.

Crossing your fingers Crossing your fingers

In the United States, if you cross your fingers, then it is a sign of your being anxious and hoping that a situation turns out the way you had wanted or if you are hoping for some good luck to come your way. In a country like Vietnam, you may want to think twice before you cross your finger for good luck. You will just see people start to stare at you. It is a vulgar sign in Vietnam as it represents a certain female body part.

Touching someone’s head Touching someone’s head

In the United States, touching someone’s head is almost instinctive, and most parts of Europe. It is a sign of appreciation, approval or admiration. It is also a way of showing love and affection to kids. But in countries where the majority practice Buddhism like China, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, you must never touch anyone’s head. This is because according to Buddhism, the head is one of the most secret parts of the body, and it is believed to be the dwelling place of the human’s spirit. Therefore, you should always keep your hands off people’s heads in such countries. Additionally, you are highly encouraged to not walk around touching people you don’t know. With countries such as Kenya which has very strong sexual harassment laws, you never know when you may get in trouble just for touching people.

The thumbs up sign The thumbs up sign

There are certain countries where the thumbs up sign has negative connotations, and as such, you should avoid using it at any given time. Some of these countries include-: Greece, Italy, Afghanistan, Israel, Iran, Thailand, South America and West Africa.

The Okay sign

In the United States, it is okay to show the okay sign to give approval. But in countries such as Germany and Brazil, the sign means a hole and it is sometimes associated with a certain female body part. The sign may also have negative connotations in Turkey, Venezuela, and France.

Putting Your Hands In Your Pockets

This is another practice that comes second to nature in the United States, but in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and some other countries in the Middle East, pocketing can make you get killed. This is purely for security reasons. When you put your hands in your pockets, they really don’t know if you are reaching for a gun or a grenade to blow them up. Your hands should always be where they can see.

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Adaptive and Comfortable- The Tuft and Needle Pillows

Adaptive and Comfortable- The Tuft and Needle PillowsSleep is one of the most treasured things that we humans get to enjoy in the daily struggles of life. Our lives are too busy and getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important for us and for our bodies. It helps us to get through our days and perform tasks properly without feeling lazy, drowsy or sleepy. Sleeping well has numerous positive effects on our health, bodies, and minds altogether. You must have often received a good night text saying, “good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Bed bugs are an indication of a poor mattress or pillow. Yes, where and how you sleep affects your sleeping cycle and determines the amount of sleep you will get. A bed with good quality mattress and pillows is the catalyst to a good sleep. However, we often make mistakes while buying the correct mattress or pillow and end up suffering through the night without any sleep. We blame ourselves for not being able to sleep, but a bad quality mattress or pillow can be the real culprit.

Disadvantages of a bad quality mattress or pillow are many, some of them are listed below: –

  • Pain: back pain and lower back pain caused by a bad bed
  1. A low-quality mattress can force you to sleep in an uncomfortable position throughout the night. This causes you to change positions continuously in order to achieve the perfect one and ultimately disturbing your sound sleep. This also leads to a number of injuries like back pain and lower back pain.
  2. Similarly with a low-quality pillow, adjusting your headrest position throughout the night can disturb your sleep and give you neck and head pains.
  • Soreness:

A firm mattress or pillow is usually preferred by some whereas some like to sleep on softer materials. Firmer is considered to be better but might lead to joint soreness as it gives pressure on various body parts like tailbones, shoulders, and arms. Firmer products which are supportive should be used.

  • Illnesses: Sleeping uncomfortably with a bad pillow or on a bad mattress can lead to many illnesses

Sleeping uncomfortably with a bad pillow or on a bad mattress can lead to many illnesses. Lung and throat infection can be caused by dust mites. Sometimes bed bugs can also infest your bed and cause a chaos. Heart conditions, obesity, weakened immunity system and premature aging are problems caused by sleep deprivation. If you are trying to figure out why you are suffering from insomnia then checking your mattresses and pillows once would be a good idea.

So, what is Tuft and Needle?                            

Now that you have understood the importance of good quality mattresses and pillows, Tuff and Needle is a relatively new company solely based on producing high-quality sleeping products like mattresses and pillows at lower prices for us.  The company was founded by two software engineers Daehee Park and John-Thomas Marino in 2012. This company has gained a lot of positive reviews about their products in the mattress industry.

The Tuft and Needle pillows should be number one on your must buy list, why?

  • Material: Tuft and Needle Pillows

The Tuft and Needle pillows are not made from materials like fiber or shredded and molded foam. Pillows made of fiber usually sink in when the head is rested on it thereby creating small pockets which are uncomfortable whereas pillows made from foam may be stiff and have a reduced breathability factor which again affects the resting head. The fabric used in Tuft and Needle pillows is made from a 90-year-old family textile mill. The pillows contain special foam called T&N Adaptive Foam which provides stiffness and support to the resting heads that ordinary pillows fail to offer.

  • Breathability: –
  1. The breathability factor impacts the moisture and heat content in pillows. If it is low, then the pillow is unable to breathe in the air, thereby making its surface hot. This is one of the reasons why we keep on tossing and turning the pillow to find the “better” side. The outer skin of these pillows is made up of Tencel fibers and the inner core is made up of breathable T&N Adaptable Foam which keeps the pillow well ventilated.
  2. The Tuft and Needle pillows are also made with special graphite and cooling gel. This, along with the T&N Adaptive Foam together helps to keep both the sides of the pillow cooler all-throughout the night thereby ensuring you a good night’s sleep.
  • Shape: –The Tuft and Needle pillows are available in two sizes, standard size, and king size

The Tuft and Needle pillows are available in two sizes, standard size, and king size. Both these sizes have the same shape. These pillows have been given a firm shape and they do not lose their shape when the resting head comes in contact. They never go flat. Instead, they react to the pressure, provide support and still remain firm. These pillows are designed to provide extra support to everyone’s neck and head without them having to adjust which most firm pillows often fail to offer. This reduces the chances of any joint soreness or back pain.

  • Easy cleaning: –

We are often lazy to wash or dry clean our pillows however cleaning of these pillows has been made easy by the founders. The pillows are safe inside a soft outer cover with a zip. The pillow’s outer cover is made of good quality materials. It can be easily removed and washed without any hassle; however, the core of the pillows should not be washed.

  • Additional benefits: –
  1. These good quality pillows are available at lower cost than pillows which cost a ton, but do not give any real benefits.
  2. They support and relieve pressure from necks and do not cause any health issues.
  3. All the pillows are tested under health and environmental standards before being used by the general public.

These pillows are available with a 100 night trial before actually purchasing them. If you have been suffering from uncomfortable sleepless situations every night then it is high time to start using the Tuft and Needle pillows which has numerous advantages to relieve you from your bed struggles.

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Spring Clean Your Bachelor Pad

Men tend to be less concerned with the cleanliness of their apartments, and may not even notice some small details that women do. However, spring is the time of the year when it is customary to do a thorough cleaning of the whole house.
If you have no interest in cleaning, or you simply don’t have time, you can always hire a professional maid from websites like https://maidthis.com/santa-monica/, but if you feel like this spring is the time to get your hands dirty and you feel motivated to clean the place yourself, here’s what you can do.

Living Room Shortlist

We tend to spend the most time in our living rooms, particularly if we live alone. That’s why it is the best place to start. A surprisingly small number of things can cause a huge mess. Start by putting away clothes back into the closet. After that, simply put away all the cables and magazines lying around and you will see a drastic change.
Vacuuming your carpet may be tedious, but it will really show a difference, and the air quality inside your home will improve, too. If you don’t have any carpets, a simple sweep with a wet mop will have the same effect. Finally, put away all the dirty dishes if you have any of those lying around.

Men to the Kitchen

If you live alone, chances are (though this definitely isn’t a rule) you don’t cook too much. Which can be a good thing when it comes to cleaning your kitchen, as the oven and the stove are some of the most demanding things to clean, so you won’t have too much degreasing to do. If, however, you are a passionate cook, than put on your rubber gloves and start pouring those degreasing chemicals. You will probably have to wait for some time for them to start doing their work, so you can use that time to clean your fridge.
Take out all the expired food, remains, and similar stuff. If you don’t have them already, you could get food containers for easier and more convenient food storage. They will help you organize your food supplies better, prevent them from spilling all over the place, and they look nice and organized.
Of course, settle the dishes and the dishwasher. Sweep the floors and wipe all the surfaces. And don’t forget the vacuuming at the end.

This Shouldn’t Be Too Difficult As You Clean Your Bathroom Regularly, Right?

Or not so regularly. Who are we to judge? Be it as it may, it’s always good to organize all the things first. Put your cosmetic products in one case, put back the things that belong to the shelves, and of course, throw out all the expired products. If you haven’t settled it already, get a laundry basket. Even if you don’t have a washing machine and use the laundry service, it’s still easier and tidier to have the basket. Spring Clean Your Bachelor Pad_preview
After that, you can throw yourself on swiping, wiping and rubbing. Before you start, make sure you have some gloves on, since a lot of the products we use for cleaning are fairly abrasive and can damage your skin. You can even consider getting a face mask, but that’s optional. Don’t forget to wash or replace your curtain shower along with the towels. Also, don’t skip cleaning the mirror, it might leave a good impression on your potential guests.
Spring cleaning comes only once a year, and everyone should take the time to thoroughly clean their home. However, if you don’t have time, hiring professional maids will accomplish the same thing without getting your hands dirty; your choice.

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Life in Colorado

The American economy is chugging along pretty well right now, and nowhere is that more true than in Colorado. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked The Centennial State’s economy as the best in the country based on factors like growth and business environment. Colorado is attracting talented professionals from other, more expensive parts of the country, like New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a great time to move West and find a slice of paradise in the Rocky Mountains. The people are friendly and there’s plenty of options for both indoor and outdoor recreation. It’s no wonder that Colorado also ranks as one of the top 10 best states for millennials because of its affordability and quality of life. 

The Denver area 

Denver serves as both the capital of the state and the biggest city in Colorado. It has a population of about 700,000, which also places it in the top twenty biggest cities in all of the country. You’ve probably heard it called The Mile High City due to its staggering elevation, although the word “high” has taken on a new term ever since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana a few years back. It’s not just a place for stoners, though. Coloradans are health-conscious in several respects. They like to stay physically fit, and they don’t like smoking, as the state has a low percentage of people who identify as smokers. That can mean the people who do smoke feel even more isolated if they don’t have much company when they step outside a bar and light up. Some people in search of an alternative have turned to vape juice, which feels like smoking but is generally regarded as less dangerous because there are fewer chemicals involved. Vape juice is available with or without nicotine, and the flavors include basics like mixed berry and far-out tastes like glazed donut. Chances are, you’ll walk outside and see someone vaping, whether they’re waiting alone at the bus stop or chatting casually in a group of friends. 

Other cities 

Drive south of Denver for about an hour and you’ll find yourself in Colorado Springs, the second-biggest city in the state, at about 465,000 residents. The defense and tech industries are major players in the local economy, and the city is also home to organizations like the U.S. Olympic Committee and Focus on the Family. The incredibly selective U.S. Air Force Academy is also based in Colorado Springs, meaning you may run into a few cadets around town. 

Those who would prefer to stick a bit closer to Denver without being in the middle of everything can head northwest to Boulder, a town of around 100,000 residents about 25 miles from the capital city. The University of Colorado is headquartered there, but it’s not simply a college town. It’s full of culture and job opportunities, and you’re just as likely to find high-quality condos in Boulder as you are to find fraternity and sorority houses near campus. If you’re interested in an environmentally-friendly town, look no further than Boulder and its highly-supported carbon energy tax. It’s also got plenty of bike-friendly paths and roadways for those who would rather leave their car in the garage. Like many places in Colorado, Boulder is lively, beautiful, and growing fast.

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