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Old 06-27-2007, 02:37 AM
 
Location: Debary, Florida
2,267 posts, read 2,648,462 times
Reputation: 685

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When I arrived at the birth place of Winston Churchill, there was an American Family getting out of a minivan behaving in a way that I was truly embarassed...they were yelling and screaming, I was affraid the Father was going to come to blows with one of his teenage boys...

Here we were at such an important place historically and they were acting in a way that might get them kicked out of football game...

I love seeing other places and learning about different ways of life and I believe people who travel should learn to be respectful...don't act like idiots when in another country, drop the entitled American BS...
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:27 AM
 
Location: South Bay Native
13,626 posts, read 22,602,160 times
Reputation: 24580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa_from_Debary View Post
When I arrived at the birth place of Winston Churchill, there was an American Family getting out of a minivan behaving in a way that I was truly embarassed...they were yelling and screaming, I was affraid the Father was going to come to blows with one of his teenage boys...

Here we were at such an important place historically and they were acting in a way that might get them kicked out of football game...

I love seeing other places and learning about different ways of life and I believe people who travel should learn to be respectful...don't act like idiots when in another country, drop the entitled American BS...
Agreed - any time I ran across someone during my travels abroad, when someone behaved embarrassingly, rudely, disrespectfully, you name it - without fail, it was a fellow American. When the firm that I worked for held their annual meeting in Europe, they had to send home and/or fire several employees due to their outrageous antics throughout this quaint, sleepy little historic town. The mother company was located not far from where they had us staying and they had to conduct a briefing for us all the second day we were there to explain to these grown-ass adults what ramifications their wild behavior had on the firm and their reputation throughout the country.

When I was living in Europe (I lived there for about 8 years) whenever dining out, if ever we saw a table of raucus cretins whooping it up obnoxiously and eating their food with their fingers and chewing with their mouths open like cavemen, they were always from the US. I realize that there are cultural differences, and eating your food with your hands is ok at Mickey D's in Smalltown, USA, it is not approporiate behaviour at most restaurants throughout Europe. Dining out is considered an "experience" there, and what a turn off to go to a nice restaurant and see this type of thing. I always wondered how my fellow Americans couldn't take their cue from those around them, and not try to fit in? You know, when in Rome, do as the Romans do?

My biggest lessons in travels to the countries I have lived in/visited are humility and to live spartanly. We can do without so much of the crap advertisers in the US seem to have convinced us we cannot live without. I have also been able to prioritize far better than my friends who have not traveled, and have noticed that those who travel frequently seem more culturally sensitive/tolerant.

BTW, Lisa, there are great places in Europe that are rarely frequented by your typical US tourists, let me know if you need some recommendations.

P.S. I hope no one took anything I wrote here personally - I am not trying to imply that all US tourists are uncouth, but that my personal experience tells me that whenever someone does behave poorly abroad it is usually an American. And if you see someone in socks and Birkenstocks during your travels, they are most likely German tourists - it is what it is!
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Old 06-27-2007, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,426,469 times
Reputation: 19990
Quote:
Originally Posted by DontH8Me View Post
My biggest lessons in travels to the countries I have lived in/visited are humility and to live spartanly. We can do without so much of the crap advertisers in the US seem to have convinced us we cannot live without.

Hear, Hear, I'm glad I am not alone in thinking that way too !

Last edited by AustinTraveler; 06-27-2007 at 02:18 PM..
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:42 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,386 posts, read 41,505,104 times
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Oh my gosh, DontH8. Sounds like you've seen your share of ugly Yanks.
I've seen my share as well, but I've also seen falling-down-drunk Brits, rude, overbearing Germans, and, well, you get the idea.
I agree that many Americans bring with them on their travels an attitude of entitlement and superiority, and it's really too bad that so many of us have such a provincial world view.
Would love to know your secret European hide-outs.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:55 PM
 
4,115 posts, read 10,374,308 times
Reputation: 1919
No, I haven't. I will admit that although I majored in it in college, I only really used it in my inner-city teaching and counseling work! I didnt' do much with actually study of other people's past beyond college! All my grad work was with teaching and counseling.

They sound really interesting. I will look for them.

What did you do with your degrees?

Dawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
Wow , it sounds as though you have indeed tasted the waters from the fountain of life !
I did anthropology as a "minor" ( I majored in Archeaology) , did you ever read Nigel Barley's books ( "the innocent Anthropologist", "A plague of Caterpillars" , "Not a Hazardous sport", ? If not I recommend them they are a hilarious account of a rather bemused and rather lost Englishman in unknown territory.
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,426,469 times
Reputation: 19990
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnW View Post
No, I haven't. I will admit that although I majored in it in college, I only really used it in my inner-city teaching and counseling work! I didnt' do much with actually study of other people's past beyond college! All my grad work was with teaching and counseling.

They sound really interesting. I will look for them.

What did you do with your degrees?

Dawn
I got an MSC , became a field Archaeologist, did some digs and research , then fell ill and am now studying for an MSC in Translation as Archaeology is now not really an option any more to ill health ( I could do Academic work but I really was interested in getting my hands dirty ).
I am hoping I might be able to get some specialized translation work ( Archaeology and Anthropology) which would be great.
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Old 06-27-2007, 04:10 PM
 
4,115 posts, read 10,374,308 times
Reputation: 1919
Wonderful! I would love to have done some field work in Anthropology/Sociology. One of my issues was what to do once I decided to settle down and have a family. One cannot travel all the time easily with that.

Sorry you fell ill.

We do hope to live overseas. We are looking at about 2-3 years before we can do that. DH's work has a lot of offices all over the world and we will be putting in for an overseas assignment (most likely Asia.)

Dawn



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooseketeer View Post
I got an MSC , became a field Archaeologist, did some digs and research , then fell ill and am now studying for an MSC in Translation as Archaeology is now not really an option any more to ill health ( I could do Academic work but I really was interested in getting my hands dirty ).
I am hoping I might be able to get some specialized translation work ( Archaeology and Anthropology) which would be great.
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Old 07-01-2007, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Europe/USA
75 posts, read 385,071 times
Reputation: 97
Default Great Post!

My first trip overseas was in 1996. I went to England and Ireland before really diving in to another country that spoke a foreign language. From the moment forward I was hooked on Europe for life.

I have since been 6 times to Europe and visited numerous countries. I prefer the European way of life actually. My favorite country is Croatia. What a remarkable place. T

Traveling has changed me as a person and rearranged my belief system. I am much more open to other cultures but at the same time realize that we do have it pretty good here in the US.

I often dream about living in Europe and have decided to spend my older years there. However, that might come sooner than later as I recently married a Frenchman and well... you never know when he may want to go back home.

I tell my best friends (who haven't been out of this country) to invest in themselves and get a taste of another culture.. it really does change your perspective on life. So many people don't leave the US and really never know what is out there. For some, maybe its no big deal but to me, its been one of the best things I have ever done in my life.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:49 AM
 
Location: The South
114 posts, read 474,409 times
Reputation: 40
I have learned the following.

-Don't get in a car with a stranger in Mexico (even though he bought you shots)
-Don't buy drinks if you don't have the money
-Don't go to a Pharmacia and get hustled by a by stander to going to a "real doctors office"
-Don’t assume all of the Mexicans can’t speak English
-Don’t go to Boys Town unprepared…I’m joking I never did that

Take these tips with you when traveling and you’ll come back to the mother land alive
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:09 PM
 
207 posts, read 695,946 times
Reputation: 107
"I have also been able to prioritize far better than my friends who have not traveled, and have noticed that those who travel frequently seem more culturally sensitive/tolerant."

Totally agreed!!!!
I remember while traveling in China I learn an old Chinese proverb (roughly translate): reading a thousand books is not the same as walking a thousand miles.
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