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.
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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