Traveling is a great way to experience new places and meet people with a different view of things. That being said, there are some common sense steps you should take to make sure your trip goes okay.
Traveling is one of those areas where euphoria can be so high you do things you would never imagine doing at home. In this case, I am talking about taking risks that can lead to disaster. I am not, in any way, suggesting you do not explore destinations and cultures, but keep in mind there is good and bad everywhere just as there is in your home town. To avoid problems, there are some basic guidelines you should follow:
1. Before jumping on that plane to exoticlandia, make sure you let someone know where you are going to be and for how long. This person should typically be a family member. Most people tell you to leave an itinerary, but I think this is a mistake. Unless you are on a tour, you will never stick to it. Instead, leave a list of countries. While on your trip, pop into an internet café every week to send a message of where you are and your plans for the week.
2. Your passport is like your hall pass in elementary school. Better to have died a small child then lose it. Replacing them can be a nightmare. You can expect to spend a week or more hanging around your embassy watching your valuable travel time be wasted. Make sure to make a copy of your passport before leaving and store it somewhere away from your passport.
3. Do you randomly imbibe exotic narcotics offered to you by strangers when you are at home? Probably not. So, why would you do it when you travel? Practically every country has its "party" destination. Enjoy yourself if you decide to visit it, but do not be a fool. Loaded tourists are easy targets for thieves and corrupt officials. Even if you avoid these individuals, you could get in trouble with the law. The parties in certain parts of Thailand are legendary. That being said, drug possession carries long jail sentences and sometimes the death penalty. Thai prisons are just about the last place you want to spend any time.
Traveling is a great way to leave the daily grind of life behind. Just make sure you do not also leave your common sense!