"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness."
marymary100 - 16-10-2008 at 21:39
Where have you been outside of your own country and what have you learned that changed your outlook on life?
janet - 16-10-2008 at 21:54
I've been in Mexico a couple of times but only fleetingly.
I lived in Italy, and learned... so much!
That there is no English word that adequately conveys "simpatico" and that is a very great loss...
That there is something remarkable about a lanugage literal enough to call a typewriter a "machine you hit" and a car a "machine (you drive)" but
mainly just a "machine"
That no one minds if the bus is late, if it's made late by the driver taking a grandmother off his bus and putting her on the right one - and
everyone will tell him his mother should be proud of him.
That tourists from all over the world are much the same - but you tend to be most critical of those whom you can understand when they say ridiculous
I've lived here now, longer than I lived in the US.
I've learned ... again, so much!
The reason English cooking has such a bad reputation is that if you want GOOD cooking in England, you go to someone's home, not a restaurant. The
best is kept in the family.
That "English" is a lot of languages... the variations just within a few hundred miles here, are immense. And that some dialects are being lost,
which is sad.
That history is not a set, simple thing.
scholar - 16-10-2008 at 22:11
"machine you hit"
Why, anyone would have thought that would be a computer!
I have not spent any significant time physically outside the United States. That is one reason my friends here at KF are important to me, as an
enrichment to my life.
victor - 16-10-2008 at 22:32
I go along with that if I want a decent meal I stay at home. I always say to Mrs V that was delicious and I mean it
Latvian Polish Punjabi you name it we have it.
Swish Checkley - 17-10-2008 at 08:57
It's an excellent quote
France, Spain (mainland, Tenerife and Lanzarote), Portugal, Germany, Holland, Italy, Iceland, the Faroes, Austria, Switzerland, Turkey, Romania,
Morocco, Israel, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Peru and Chile.
The biggest thing I have learned so far is how much I take for granted hot and cold running water and electricity.
marymary100 - 17-10-2008 at 10:06
What I learned was that even educated people can show a staggering ignorance of other countries and groups of people unless they have had the
broadening experience of travel. Some of the questions that Americans asked me were laughable such as
"Do you travel to England when you want a night out?"
"Do you have electricity?"
"My aunt lives in Glasgow, do you know her?"
I learned that nothing is quite as important as the mighty buck and that Washington has whole groups of people who might be out of work every four
years and yet they work their socks off for the President of the day.
I learned that some women/men in the States are predatory and noone's husband/wife is off-limits. The sanctity of marriage is a line that many seem
willing to cross.
For all that, I learned that Americans take you quickly into their circles and while you are part of that circle your life is very important to them.
There is a real idea of neighborliness and shared activities and life is about having fun.
In Iraq I learned that people live in fear where there is no democracy because being disgruntled when things aren't right could end up with you and
your family being punished or killed if that was discovered by those who were running things.
I learned that despite this the Iraqis were a loving, emotional people with long memories for every wrong done to them and their kin. I found that
having to give your leftover food to the poorer families next door-ish was a learning experience.
I found that having a rich powerful father-in-law who dispensed wisdom and largesse in his garden at certain times of the year was extremely odd to a
western mind especially when they kissed his ring like some Mafia script.
I found that despite this power that the electricity still went off unexpectedly, that the sewage still got sucked out of the tank every so often and
that if you wanted meat you needed to be willing to butcher it yourself after the ritual slaying in the garden.
I found that Western and Eastern nations want happy family lives and that God/Allah's rules played a big part in what drove people.
I found that different religions have more in common than the untravelled man might realise.
SRD - 17-10-2008 at 10:07
Mark Twain obviously never went to the various holiday resorts that the Brits have made their own.
marymary100 - 17-10-2008 at 10:11
that "travel" means something different to "package holiday".
SRD - 17-10-2008 at 10:29
Try asking the vast majority of people who go abroad what they think.
marymary100 - 17-10-2008 at 10:53
I think the vast majority wouldn't even know the quote.
janet - 17-10-2008 at 11:30
Wry grin - I tried to keep my bits of learning positive... but I've also learned that the majority of English people really are fundamentally
convinced that they are smarter, better educated, and simply better than any other nation on earth, and that no other country in my experience has
raised being patronising to an art form in the way the English have done. (And I do mean English, not British).
SRD - 17-10-2008 at 11:34
You obviously don't listen to Alex Salmond's speeches.
SRD - 17-10-2008 at 11:35
Probably not, they don't read this forum to
learn of your wise words.
Redwolf5150 - 17-10-2008 at 12:24
By the time I was 30, I had been to:
Learned the most from Korea and Germany, where I spent the most time interacting with the people (month long stints each time). But if I wanted to
further narrow it down, it would have to be Germany, because I was a civilian on that trip.
I learned that how Europeans see the world is very different from how we Americans see it. Usually their world view is much more encompassing than
ours, I might add.
I also learned a lot about a different approach to portrait photography while in Korea the second time by chatting up a Korean studio photographer on
a couple of occasions.
I'd love to spend some time in GB, Italy, France, Russia and, if it were safe, the Middle East. (I'd love to follow the travels of Sir Richard
Burton, if I could.) I'd also like to retrace my steps and see how those countries have changed at to also visit Berlin (I couldn't when I went to
what was then West Germany).
And I still have to make my pilgrimage to the tip of the Baja Peninsula to Cabo San Lucas.
The biggest thing I learned from all my travels is that no matter what nationality a person is, they are still human beings. That is the most
important thing I learned, and at a very early age, I might point out (by 20, in my fourth country)
Quaver - 17-10-2008 at 12:50
I've been to about 20 countries.
LSemmens - 17-10-2008 at 14:20
Have only been to PNG in my youth, but have travelled the breadth of OZ. As we are a fairly cosmopolitan society, we do tend to be more accepting of
outsiders. I'd say that, the most important lesson learned was, there is always another perpective. What we take as "normal" may not be a priority
in another culture.
Theravad - 17-10-2008 at 14:30
Come, come my dear, it is simply because we are
Quaver - 17-10-2008 at 23:06
PNG Had to look it up, Papua New Guinea
What was there like? Hot? Paradise??
Dreamweaver - 18-10-2008 at 00:01
That would be the "smarter/better educated than average within your circles"?" "And I do mean English? Most English in "my" circles try to get
on with their life, helping their friends/family irrespective or their "Ilk". I don't patronise anyone who dosn't patronise me or my own.