Travel Truths - Culture shock of Traveling Europe
Before we tell you that life on the road is glamorous and “oh wow look how pretty everything is…” First you must begin to understand what a culture shock it is when you throw yourself into a foreign place like Europe.
Imagine for a moment: you don’t speak the local language, your stomach is growling, your shoulders are crushing from your camera pack and your backpack pack… and all you want is something ‘normal’ to eat. It is in these times that we are reminded that knowing only one language is limiting and we must do our very best to try and understand what the locals are eating, drinking and mannerism are so very crucial. We do our best to try to understand how it might feel to live in each place locally, we walk their streets, taste their foods, travel on their trains, shop at their grocery stores - all in an attempt to glimpse into a different life.
These places we travel to send me into a whirlwind of a trip at times – all around you people speak a language that you don’t understand, not that it feels intimidating but your not sure if their speaking to you, at you or about you. We’ve had to learn to stomach this part about our trip – instead we’re thankful of places that know a little bit of English but we push ourselves to use the right language for saying things like ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you or Merci’ or ‘Excuse me’ or ‘Voo voi’. Be polite wherever you go, stay humble and learn simple mannerism about the places your planning to visit – it will save you. Remember this tip ^ ^ ^
Back to the idea of culture shock – to witness people eating the local hamburger and fries with a fork and knife is just bizarre to me… but only as bizarre as the Americans sitting at the other end of the restaurant eating food with their hands like animals(us). To have to pay for a bathroom that isn’t kept clean or sanitary is rather bizarre to me as well – what did I just spend a euro on – a semi clean rest room. I am just not sure which culture is more interesting to me yet the American lifestyle or European life – both are entertaining and I’m doing a lot of people watching on while we travel from place to place. I will say the people in Colorado are a cut above the rest when it comes to friendliness – I won’t discount all of Europe yet because we’ve only just began this trip but in my honest opinion people seem busy, centered on what they’re doing and don’t really have common courtesy. Quick example: Emily is a small individual but when she has her pack on she’s like a camel walking upright and to watch people try and squeeze by her on a train isle, where there's clearly no room – just upsets me a bit that we’re so impatient in this world we can’t let someone by…politely. On the other end of the stick while rushing thru a train station I bumped into someone running to catch our proper train cabin – I didn’t have time to apologize so I’m sure that Europeans feel the same about Americans at times. Maybe the world just needs to take a deep breath, look around this beautiful place for a moment or two each day and just be thankful to be alive. I’ll admit its crazy to think this way but...