Europe, Reflections 3177, Travel

Week 15 Reflection

So this week, I decided to break my rules.

I skipped the standard of doing one post a week per category and instead did a mini series on do’s and don’ts while abroad.

It started with a general Do’s and Don’ts while International which just have – give or take – 10 rules to follow in each section on what to do and what not to do. So this is largely regarding behavior abroad and interaction with the locals. Word count: 811

Americans have a greater reputation than any other country and tend to come off as overbearing, demanding, and entitled. While this does not encompass every traveler, not even most travelers, this is an issue I really feel passionately about because I have several friends internationally who have given me their perspectives on what they thought Americans were like before coming to America and after. The crux of the matter is that one American abroad can ruin a person’s view of a whole country worth of people with some careless disrespect. The rest of the world should not be surprised when they come to America that most of us are kind, friendly, all-around decent people.

…sorry. I ranted…

Anyway, I gave some rules, like don’t expect to know a culture because of TV or movies, speak in lower tones in public because a lot of other cultures are much more reserved in public, and other things along those lines. Apparently, Americans can get very upset when they don’t get ice in their drinks, but to other countries, this is totally normal. Personally, I’m thrilled. I don’t like ice. Makes my teeth cold…

ANYWAY! The next post was about Do’s and Don’ts in London, England which included the subtitles for the Tube (London’s underground train system and the etiquette around it), Talking (what to talk about, what not to, and a couple common translations of different vocabulary i.e. chips vs. french fries), Behavior (sitting, eating formalities, actions to avoid that are offensive i.e. the reverse peace sign means the exact opposite), Exploring (tips for actual activities like avoiding tourist traps, spending reasonably, etc), Tipping (holding the title for most confusing etiquette ever abroad, so I gave the basic expectations), and finally the local Dress Code (What to wear in terms of appropriate style and what gives you away as a tourist). Word count: 621

The final post was Do’s and Don’ts in Paris, France which was very similar to the one on England but it did not include the Tube or Talking categories. Surprisingly enough, it was still longer in word count. Because, apparently, Paris has a very small job turnover rate, they have different views on service and tipping. People tend to work in a single job for most of their lives and thus quality standards are higher and customers are no longer “always right.” Space is also extremely valuable in the city so there is etiquette around courtesy of space. (Tourists do not get the same benefits as locals, unfortunately.) Word count: 671

The reason I switched things up came when I realized that the single post in the Travel Tips category was getting ridiculously long, and I had only completed two countries so far. I decided to make three posts of it so it was more legible and desirable for readers. Thus my week consisted of entirely travel tips.

Perhaps next week I should do all Travel Fiction, because I’ve not done very much on that front at this point. Use the week to catch up…

I’m really excited to see what others have to say on my blog, too, because I’ve worked my ass off on this project, and it would be nice to hear some real feedback so I can improve.

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