During our journey, we've come up with a few 'Rules for International Travel.' Without further ado:
1. When lost, walk to the top of the hill.
2. Once there, get coffee.
3. Re-evaluate the plan while drinking the coffee, and if you still don't know where to go ask the barista.
3. When learning/practicing a foreign language, have no shame. Bring afraid of getting laughed at is no way to learn how to speak a foreign language. Besides, people are generally nicer when you try to speak their language, even if your pronunciation is awful and you get laughed at by the waitress. Not that that happened to me or anything. Oh, and don't sneer "I don't speak French!" when you're in Paris and someone asks you a question, like the woman next to me did to the poor guy trying to ask her to move her car.
4. Bring an umbrella. It's small and doesn't take up much room in your bag.
That's it. Obviously, these rules only apply when you're travelling in big cities, because the coffee rule won't help if you're in the Amazon wilderness. But aside from that, we think they're pretty solid. :)