I was reading a copy of The Specialty Coffee Chronicle when we were waiting to get a part for our big coffee brewer and I came across this quote by Craig Holt:
We are lucky that we get to visit so many wonderful places. We should make the most of that opportunity by learning what we can about the history, the culture, and the natural environments where we will be working."
-- Craig Holt, "Don't Wave Your Stink Fist" in The Specialty Coffee Chronicle
It applies to anyone traveling anywhere--just replace that last word "working" with "traveling."
This first article on respecting culture in other places appears to be the first installment of three. Craig's writing is informal and irreverently truthful. It kind of reminds me of Shawn Spencer in the TV series Psych. The title, "Don't Wave Your Stink Fist," may seem strange unless you've traveled in or know of places where the left hand is used when using the bathroom and for absolutely nothing else. Don't wave hello with it.
Here's another great quote:
"When you are traveling the world as a coffee professional, you can make the most of the opportunity by learning a bit about the culture, respecting their way of doing things, and remaining flexible. Go into the experience open to the differences between your hometown and the place you are visiting."
If you're interested in the second installment about staying in good health when you travel, it's called "Guatemala Head Bleed: Some More Tips on Being a Coffee Traveler."
Remember I said his writing is irreverently truthful.