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Marc Segar 1974-1997


A Survival Guide for People with Asperger Syndrome

Travelling Abroad

  • If you travel abroad somewhere, for whatever reason, you might find you have to adapt yourself to a rather different way of life. This might be quite pleasant, or it might be quite difficult and inconvenient for you (culture shock).
  • Whenever you are in a different country, take extra care crossing the road because in some countries there is a lot of reckless driving, drunken driving, speeding, cutting corners, shouting at other drivers and showing off.
  • If you are travelling of your own accord, be careful about your choice of destinations, find out about the reasons for which most people go there and DO NOT rush your decision.
  • If you decide to go on an expedition, remember that you might have to be travelling and living with the same group of people almost 24 hours a day and that the rules given under the chapter living away from home might apply twice as strongly. Also, you might be living in a way which is particularly uncomfortable and inconvenient.
  • If you end up not getting along with the group as well as you would like, you might decide to venture away from the group on your own and talk to the local people who might welcome you with open arms and treat you as an honoured guest in their home where the pace of life might be much slower and calmer than what you are used to.
  • If you end up as a guest staying at someone else's house along with all your luggage and possessions, be sure to write down their address and/or telephone number as soon as possible, preferably in secret, so that if you get lost (e.g. in town), you won't get permanently separated from them. With people who are over-friendly, it is especially easy as an AS sufferer to become over trusting, even if you don't think this will be a problem at first.
  • On the other hand, in some countries the people tend to be colder and less interested in you than they are in the west and it can be quite awkward to talk to them. There may also be a lot of tension and possibly heavy prejudices and racism about in these places so if you are of a different religious faith, it will be best to keep it to yourself.
  • In third world countries, things don't tend to run as smoothly as they do in the west and you will be living a more risky existence. Even if the people are excessively friendly, they can sometimes turn quite nasty if provoked or offended in some way. The value of human life might be a lot cheaper than it is in the west.
  • In the third world the people might be as much as a hundred times poorer than people in the west but this does not mean that you will be helping out by giving away your money. In poor corrupt countries, money always has a habit of finding its way to the richest and most unscrupulous people who exploit people poorer than themselves. Charities like Oxfam and Comic relief are highly trained and experienced in getting the money and the resources to the right people in the right places.
  • In many third world countries, the police, court system and law might be extremely harsh and corrupt so keep out of trouble and try to keep a low profile. The police might be able to get a lot of bribe money by setting you up as a scapegoat and then taking you hostage in one of their disease ridden, often overcrowded and highly uncomfortable police cells.
  • If you are travelling abroad independently for the first time, it is most certainly best to stay in the Western world and travel to countries like France, Holland, Canada, Spain, Scotland or Switzerland, parts of which can be very beautiful and pleasant.


  • In many countries (all over the third world and also over much of Mediterranean Europe), you will be constantly expected to barter and bargain in the marketplace. The generally agreed prices can vary anywhere from one eighth to one half of what you would normally expect to pay for them in the shops or in the west. Barter with a smile and in good spirit but remember that it is always your own responsibility to be assertive and to not let yourself get ripped off. It is also entirely the sale merchant's responsibility not to sell at a loss. If you have made a good bargain for yourself they may try to play heavily on your guilt as you walk away by saying something like "you're taking the shoes of my children's feet!".
  • Remember that getting ripped off can make you feel angry with yourself.
  • These people don't sell at a loss, some of them may have decades of selling experience behind them.
  • If someone tries to make a bargain with you which is unfair or seems untrustworthy, simply say "no thank you" and calmly walk away.
  • It is easy to get ripped off if you are unfamiliar with the currency.
  • If you are making an informal deal with someone back at home, you want to be neither too generous nor too stingy. To find the balance can be hard.
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