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By: Robert Nickel
As a tourist in 1912, you would have experienced a level of comfort only reserved for today's mega-elite. Traveling was the preoccupation of the very wealthy only, and they could afford to bring a whole entourage of paid help with them, while their manors were kept secured, by servants, at home. Beautiful old castles and palaces were the hotels for this class of traveler, and these were pressed into service specifically to cater to their needs. Hotel staff, in the early days of the twentieth century, would bend over backward to accommodate the needs of a guest, no matter how special their request was. While wealthy elites and celebrities, can still visit these lovely five-star palace hotels, the average person barely knows of their existence.

Before societal attitudes changed, the wealthy were permitted to act as they pleased, wherever they pleased, simply because they had money (which was held equally to power). Even in foreign locales, where Western social rules were not necessarily known (let alone adhered to), most wealthy tourists expected to be treated the same and have their own behaviour accepted without question. Cultural differences were usually met with disdain, simply because they were different. Any dark-skinned person, no matter how esteemed their position in society, was usually considered lower class by the visiting wealthy. Before the mid 20th century, western travelers basically ignored the local customs of the countries that they traveled to.

Traveling and experiencing new places is simply the groundwork for being a tourist in 2012. Visiting a foreign nation means you are a representative of your own country, culture and people. You need to check any prejudice you may hold at the border, and respect and observe foreign customs when you take on the role of tourist. As a guest in a country, it behooves you to respect local customs, learn to use the nation's currency, and to speak the national language.. Unlike one hundred years ago, being a tourist in 2012 isn't about how much you own and what your personal wealth allows you to do.

Mexico has an incredibly rich history that goes back farther than most cultures on earth. Mexican soil has been determined to be the home of the first written word, mathematics, and the calendar. Some native people in Mexico still speak the oldest language still uttered. Countless scientists, artists, authors, politicians and filmmakers have come from Mexico and have gone on to make a huge impact on their industry. Mexican cuisine is the basis for many popular North American foods today. Be a good tourist in Mexico. Embrace any cultural differences, use the local currency and do your best to speak Spanish.

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