1. Leave at home your imagination how everything has to be. Don't expect anything. Concepts - throw them out of your mind for a while. Don't judge. Use your senses to experience the world: smell, see, hear, feel, taste. Write down what you experience.
(A few days back I met a friend. He had traveled to India and he has been disappointed. He expected that all the fantastic art treasures of India were renovated. And he found so many of the beautiful buildings in a bad state. "I had too many expectations", he told me. The comparing what he was thinking with reality formed his opinion. Another approach could have made the trip to a real great adventure and not to a disappointment.)
When at home you can complain and judge, if you think it's necessary. During the trip be in awe. Make the best out of the given situation. Be entertained.
2. Talk to people. If possible meet locals. During the last US trip we met friends we've seen 12 years back. This is fun. It can be part of your preparation to find places where you meet like-minded people to talk to: a yoga shala perhaps? Hahaha......I also talk to people at the reception in the hotel. When I stand in line to buy a cup of tea, I talk to the people in line. Quickly people realize that I've an accent and a conversation starts more often than not. Ask for directions in the street. When you're in a bar, talk. I even talk to people in the elevator. That way I improve my English. Sometimes we get tips what to see. And you learn a lot more about the country.
PS: Learn one foreign language. We view the world differently in another language. Words in another country mean often different things.
3. Smile. Smile. Smile. A smile opens doors. It's good for your own soul, too. One cannot know all the rules of another country. It's easy to misbehave in a foreign country. People forgive you easily, if you smile. Being friendly makes the communication in most cases easier.
For me there are two journeys, the journey within and the journey into the world. Get to know the world, get to know yourself. Both journeys are interwoven with each other.
My trips to so many places on this globe made me rich.
Travel and see yourself.
Picture: It's taken at the amusement park at Mission Bay. I cannot other but smile. It deeply satisfies me that I've been there.