Why dressing like a local doesn’t make sense

You know there are lots of people who believe to be the best thing since sliced bread, smarter than Albert Einstein, better dressed than James Bond or I don’t know what else they think of themselves. Just throw all of this overboard, the most important thing is to feel comfortable with who you are, I know it sounds too easy, and it is true. 

I didn't dress like this local in Cambodia but we had a friendly chat

There is big advice everywhere where others tell you what best to wear, when and how to wear it and it doesn’t make any sense to me at all. There are people who truly believe it might be the very best to wear a cork hat when in Australia but that is their opinion. There might be others who tell you it might be awesome to wear a money belt, yes, let them do it. And there are the ones who tell you to best wear trainers on city trips, but no, no, no, ... How can someone else know what is best for me or you?

How to dress when travelling

Trust me, packing clothes for vacation really depends on
your very own personal style. This is not rocket science, right? No matter where I travel to, I wear what I would wear at home. I mean not in terms of wearing summer dresses at the height of winter in Austria, and I am also not talking about wearing a bikini when visiting a cemetery or a temple or church or places like that. It is obvious that one dresses respectful and weather appropriate. I am speaking in more general terms. I have no special comfy soles (I love that name) to take with me on a city trip, nor do I have special handbags or anything like that. I don’t want to turn into a different person, I take my personality with me and that includes my clothes, shoes, and my accessories too.

It is not what you look what matters, it is what you see (Henry David Thoreau)

It wouldn’t help if I would tell you that many Europeans would rather die than to wear a Bermuda short in the city because if you feel like it, if that is part of your personality, just wear them. I find it highly irritating to see guys in short trousers and sports trainers at dinner, but really as long as they are happy. And again, for during the day, there are of course the Bermudas you can wear with shoes and look sexy, but that is a different topic altogether (you better ask the Sartorialist). Dress authentic. The more comfortable you are going to feel the more you are going to enjoy yourself on your vacation, and the more you are going to make the most from your time abroad.

If I would tell you how to best dress and that would make you feel dressed up like a doll, how can you feel comfortable? How can you be yourself? It is not what you look what matters, it is what you see (Henry David Thoreau). And please don’t let anyone let you talk into the fact that you look like a tourist. We are all tourists, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Zip Off Shorts and Sandals

Most commonly experts tell you to leave zip-off shorts and white socks with sandals at home, but if that is your style, why not just go for it? Be authentic, be friendly and don't try to fit in at all costs because you are a person and not a doll. There is no need to please everyone. If you wear what you usually wear and won’t be let into a church or past the bouncer at a nightclub, maybe a visit wouldn’t have been for you in the first place.

No one wants to take advantage of you

Another thing I find shocking is when people say you have to dress like a local to not get ripped off on vacation. This is so sad since it shows that too many of the people who say they love travelling feel everyone out there in the world is trying to betray them in one form or other. The world and its people are not as dangerous as they often tell us in a Hollywood film and not everyone out there is trying to push you into ill luck. We should be more trusting and be more understanding of all the ones next to us, and not be suspicious of everybody who looks different from us.

What do you think? What is best to wear abroad? Bright Aloha shirts or tailored pants? A lovely handbag or a rucksack? So very much looking forward to hearing from you.

From Berlin with love