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Why your country appeals to others

I was recently inspired by a conversation I had in the comment section of a post. It was about the nations we come from and how we can lose appreciation for it, simply because we live there.

It is easy to get bored and if we haven’t traveled, easy to take for granted what we have that other countries don’t.

My example of this was when I moved to the USA. Back in 2010 I had only flown long haul twice, two short visits to NYC with college just before the big move. All my holidays were within Europe prior to this and after living outside of the UK for a whole year I began to realise why people visit the UK. It was hard to think that people would flock to such a rainy nation in vast numbers, but now I understand.

For one, I took our history for granted. The USA is a relativity modern country and is amazing for other reasons. The diverse landscapes and huge modern cities. Amazing foods, movies, music and sports. We often travel to get something we can’t back home. I wanted to live in great weather, watch an american football game and hear different accents when I walk to my local grocery store. That is actually true by the way, when I knew I was moving one of the things I looked forward to the most was going to Walmart and seeing how it was different from Asda. Buying peanut butter and jam and putting it in a sandwich together. Madness, but I’m up for it.

What I realised in this year was how old our buildings are back home and how amazing the architecture is. The high school I went to was 400 years old for crying out loud! But growing up this was a boring fact for me. Even this was relatively modern compared to the castles I have visited and I used to walk by castles everyday. Durham Castle and Newcastle Castle mainly, and many major towns and cities in the UK have one. I know when I am back I will gaze up at them and marvel the design and history instead of seeing it as just another building in the street.

I took the picture below when I was wandering the city centre back in Newcastle. Probably before or just after work as I worked around the corner to the right in a hotel. The picture is of St Nicholas’ Cathedral in the foreground and Newcastle Castle in the background. You can still climb to the top of the castle (with amazing views) and I once had dinner in there during an event.

Castles and cathedrals – Living!

The little windy streets we have looked a lot more appealing when I went home again 13 months later. The style of traffic lights and pedestrian crossings, with ‘Look Right’ painted on the road for those not familiar with our left hand driving. When we see that our nations designs aren’t universal, they become more unique and we can appreciate them a little more.

And it isn’t just visual of course. The foods, the accents and languages, sports, cultures… everywhere I have been I have appreciated something that I couldn’t get back home. And what makes us unique helps us to understand why people pay for a flight here.

So with this in mind I ask you, what is it you think you have back home that makes people visit? And what do you want to see when you travel to a different country?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

 


 

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Sam

 

54 replies »

  1. I totally relate to your thoughts. Having spent the first 22 years of my life in UK and Europe before moving to Canada. Visiting UK after 2 years in Toronto was eye opening as was Canada when I arrived. We need to move around our planet more…to unvelcro our souls…

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I was born in England, and visited Europe several times a year. Moved to the states when I was 40. Have lived in Florida 31 years now. It’s 1.06 a.m., laid in bed for 2 hours while hubby snored. On a recliner now. Miss family, Leeds, Canterbury, Rochester, Dover, and many other cathedrals, and castles.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I was born and raised in Sydney Australia. Sydney itself is rather unique to any other city in the the Country, in fact from every City to every town to every one of the 6 States and 2 Territories, each one is different from the next, having its very own unique stimuli for all the senses and even the Australian accent varies from State to State and City to Rural. Although we have a magnificent variety of multicultural influences that have built our young nation from its British Colonial beginnings to its current state of being, Australia, no matter where you live in on this massive Island gert by sea, it is constantly evolving and yet some things will never and I thank God that, ever change. The character of the Aussie. 1st generation or first fleet descendant, their is an underlying understanding of just how bless we are.
    Sure we take our Geographical stability, our vast untapped resources and prosperity, our very liberal democracy and secular lifestyle for granted, when one stops for just a few moments and tries to imagine themselves living anywhere else in the World, I believe and I have heard it said often, that their is no better place to be on Earth. From the Snowy Mountains to vast deserts, from the rich green pastures and hinterlands to the pristine neverending sun soaked sands and clean blue waters of the coast line, there is no need to travel to any other country to experience all that the World has to offer. It really is all here in the Great Southern Land.
    Sure, I have travelled and lived in England (my Mother’s family are immigrants from Liverpool, 10 Pound POMS, who came her in 1959) ,Europe, Asian and the USA. Be it for a holiday or for work purposes, I have enjoyed the unique cultures and the incredible Ancient History of Humanity, in all of these Countries. I was never bored where ever I went but I was never as comfortable; grateful and felt as secure, as I do when I am Home in Australia.
    Asking me exactly what is my favourite part of Australia and it’s Culture, is like asking a Christian what their favourite Book of the Bible is or perhaps a Beatles fanatic, what their favourite Beatles song is. Like then both I can single out anything but will say that I love it all and combined it makes for wonderful thing it is .
    Great post my friend, really healthy to stop and consider these things from time to time and to that way we never take for granted anything or anyone and we can then also look at ways to perhaps improve something and leave a better Nation the next Generation to come.
    Grace and Peace be with you all.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No need to apologize! I hope you are well.

      You certainly sound like a very proud Australian 🙂 And I can see why, since I have lived here I have found this country to be amazing in many ways. From the natural beauty on display to the lifestyle to the infrastructure. It is doing a hell of a lot right. I can see why many Brits move here, and I know for a fact I will be very sad to leave.

      The only let down is the animals willing to kill you, but if people are happy to move to a country or remain living in a country that wants to kill you so often, it really must be a great country!

      Like

  4. I was born in Romania, moved to Italy when I was 5, lived in Italy for 20 years, moved back to Romania for a few years, and now I’ve been living in the UK for more than 4 years. First of all: where’s “home”? Not sure. Why do people visit Italy? That’s an easy one. Why do people visit Romania? Nature, mostly, plus a curiosity about Bran Castle (Dracula’s castle). Why do people visit the UK? Because they have an idea about how the UK looks like based on Harry Potter and other films and tv shows. They expect the whole country to look like the villages in Midsomer Murders and the Brits to be friendly ladies and gentlemen in elegant coats. They don’t play the “Hey you are you gonna bingo?” ad to the foreigners planning to travel to the UK haha but maybe they should (If you haven’t seen it as you are living abroad I think you can find it on Youtube I think?)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha I haven’t heard of that advert, however I really hope it doesn’t go viral around the rest of the world xD

      We are lucky in the UK I guess to have some nice stereotypical perceptions (posh accents, beautiful villages, nicely dressed folk) however when you get there it isn’t always that. But we do have some stunning architecture and scenery and I am glad many people want to visit.

      You sound like you have had a very interesting life! And you no doubt have experiences that many people don’t have, such as living in three different countries and how each differs. I appreciate your input and a little insight to your life, and I hope you are enjoying the UK 🙂

      Like

  5. I think what make people want to come to my country, Indonesia, is the tropical air where the sun shines everyday. Lying on equator line and consist of many islands make this country having a lot of green forest, beaches with so many various shade of blues, bright sun, vivid colors, good foods (ex. Rendang, which is now nominated as one of the most delicious food in the world), exotic tropical fruits, and many of nature wonders.

    Funny thing, as I always living among all of those things above, the opposite of them are things that I want to find on my travel destination. Say, winter nuances and white scenery, autumn and colorful leaves, cool and grayish weather, gloomy colors and pastel panorama, old castles and architecture from middle-aged Europe, and many others that I never seen/experience before. So, yeah, I think that most often we appeal to things that we’ve never seen/experience, and thinking that what we already have just the usual unexcited thing.

    But, you know, after I experience the dreadful cold on winter days on my first winter experience in Japan, that moment I realized how much I love the sunwarmth touches my skin all day, appreciating how much spices on my native food so it become very tasty, how the time here in equator line have equal amount, 12 hours each, nothing is too long, and nothing is too short, etc.

    So, in the end, I think travelling is all about knowing new things/places and appreciating it, just in the same amount with being thankful for the life we already had at home. That way, we become very rich and warm in the heart.

    Salam from Indonesia! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very nicely put! You painted a beautiful picture of your country and it truly sounds like paradise. And it also sounds so strange to me (being British) that gloomy weather and grey colours sound appealing! But it also makes a lot of sense.

      I totally agree, as much as we enjoy seeing different places and having new experiences, it also makes us appreciate what we have. Hopefully one day I will visit Indonesia!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My little country, Norway. You just have to experience it. All from the magic of trolls and gnomes, rivers, lakes and mountains to the midnightsun, culture, history, fairytale snd the food. We also have an interesting art history. Snd ofcourse, the people who live here.

    I wish I could travel more, I have a dream to visit USA. I have been in Canada, I post later a little bit of my experience… ( I have family over there).
    Have a nice day🦋

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I live in Pennsylvania, USA. I think people come to the US for the vast diversity in people, foods, places, etc. My particular area of Pennsylvania, south central, people seem to like to visit to see the Amish culture. Hershey Park is also a big draw as a theme park. I find the area to be beautiful with a mix of farmland, small towns and suburbs and small cities. That said it is a very single minded area and I know many transports from other areas (including my husband) do not find the people to be open minded or welcoming.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Interesting to know, it sounds lovely from what you described and the Amish culture sounds fascinating. It is a shame to hear that some people are closed minded, however this is also apparent for so many places and I found Americans to be lovely and friendly people!

      Thank you for the honest insight 🙂

      Like

  8. Thanks, Sam. We moved from India to Canada 23 years ago so I completely understand and appreciate the sentiments expressed in your blog. I write a weekly blog and invite you to view my own comments on immigrating to and settling in a new country to start life anew.
    Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I live in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio in the USA. It is an amazing place to visit due to our growing nightlife, restaurants, sports teams, historical buildings, cleveland metroparks, theaters, orchestra, museums, rock & roll hall of fame, cleveland metroparks zoo, little italy, amish country, plus soooooo many other places (I could keep going and going). There are so many different suburbs of Cleveland and they are all different. It is such a unique place to live and visit. I love my hometown and would be willing to show anyone around! I’ve been outside the USA several times, but always to different beach resorts. I would love to visit Italy, Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Santorini, Australia…plus so any more. I don’t have children so one day I plan on going to these places. I love seeing new places, learning about different cultures, seeing all the beautiful architecture and just experiencing new things. Sam, where is your favorite place that you have been?

    Liked by 3 people

    • You will certainly have to show me around Cleveland if I get there! Funnily enough Cleveland is a place less than an hour away from me in the UK and the same here in Brisbane. It is a popular choice of name 🙂

      You sound like you would be a great tour guide! And hopefully you get to visit the places you mentioned.

      Choosing my favourite place? That is really hard. I love Australia and the USA because I have lived in these countries and really soaked up the life and culture, loved European destinations for the history and loved Brazil and Malaysia for the food. Brazil also has amazing street art. So I don’t really have a favourite, more a favourite thing about each country I have been to 🙂

      Like

  10. I think the US is appealing to a lot of people because it is big enough to offer so many different things, from different kinds of natural environments to different cities, each with their own unique charm (NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Albuquerque, New Orleans, to name a few), as well as different subcultures: south, southwest, east coast, midwest. Also, since so much of the world speaks English as a second language or co-language, the language barrier is not an issue.

    When I go to England, I especially love the history. When I go to France, I especially love the food and the fun of trying to speak the language. For everywhere else, it’s just seeing something different than my day to day life… the culture, the people, the dress, the buildings, the natural environment, and on and on. It’s hard to put into words, but travel is what keeps me going, even though I can only do it a few times a year at most. (Oddly, I’m also very much a homebody who needs a home base. We rarely go on weekend trips. I love my weekends at home to recharge. Not sure I could sell up and travel the world as many bloggers seem to do. I don’t think a life without a home base would suit me well. I also love having a pet. I would be sad if travel kept me from having an animal companion.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not being able to have a pet is certainly a downside to travel! And I agree with what you have said about the States, you are very lucky to live in a nation with so many diverse landscapes and cities, you have so much variety without having to leave the border!

      That being said, I certainly need to visit more as I have missed a lot of the country. Even a year living there was no where near enough time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • On behalf of all Americans (I’m their spokesperson), I welcome you back to the states any time you want to return. I’m currently looking into the business of travel pet sitting… I think this is a thing. Seems like a good way to combine travel and pets.

        And by the way, YOU are lucky to be from a country with so much fascinating history. I’m a big Tudor and Plantagenet fan!

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is an honour to meet the spokesperson xD If you can combine travel with pets, you will win at life 🙂

        And I do feel lucky to be from the UK, I am glad you are a fan!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Working in hotels means I naturally just soak up a lot of local knowledge! That being said, I haven’t visited many areas that people enjoy my hometown for. I will change this when I am back 🙂

      Like

    • Fall is certainly a beautiful time of the year. In fact I will be heading back to the UK in fall and look forward to the seasons. What the US lacks in historical architecture it makes up for in so many ways. I really need to go back and visit a lot more of the US!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t live at home anymore. Just a few months away has definitely given me a much better idea of what people appreciate about India. You really don’t see lights, sound, colour, splendour and enthusiasm of that sort everywhere, I can imagine now that it must be a delightful change for a lot of people! To me, it was a lot of the same old noise and too much saturation cramped into the same frame, but I suppose that’s something I take for granted not just because I’ve lived there for eighteen years, but also because I know I’m always a single flight away. I can see it leaving being the end of a celebration of sorts for a lot of tourists!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can certainly imagine this. There have been a few mentions of India in this post and with each I have more of a desire to go, I can taste the food and imagine how vibrant it is.
      Also, I like the mindset that we are just a flight away from anywhere we want to be. It is great for homesickness or knowing a new adventure is just around the corner!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Traveling for me is honestly about the people. Don’t get me wrong skydiving of New Zealand was outstanding or the food in Mexico was phenomenal or camping in southern Utah was a dream. But for me, the people were the best part of all my trips. There is so much beauty found in the minds and hearts of those that we get to meet along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They all sound amazing! But I am terrified of skydiving, as amazing as that would be to do.

      But I have to agree, the people are always what I remember the most from any trip. And sometimes they become friends for life and not just memories!

      Thank you for the lovely words here.

      Like

  13. This is an excellent question. When I travel to a new place I like to experience as many different things as possible. Architecture, food, nature, art, culture and I love checking out grocery stores. One of my favored memories from Tokyo, Japan was going to a local grocery store.
    As to what makes where I live unique and worth seeing, I think it is the natural beauty Montana. I literally live 15 minutes away from great hiking trails and stunning scenery.
    Sam, thanks for another interesting and thought provoking post. -Jill

    Liked by 1 person

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