Sunday, January 24, 2010

adventures in traveling...

I recently traveled to Germany for a short business trip. And, lucky me, I was able to squeeze in a couple of days for site seeing. I spent one day in Munich and another in Salzburg, Austria. Some things I observed during my travels...

Germans take more trains. They politely wait for every person to finish their meal before even considering leaving the table. A beer costs as much or less than a coke. They prefer gas and bubbles in their water. They have way more vacation time than we do, and sick days don’t count. They love traveling abroad. They almost always speak a little bit of English. They all drive stick shift cars... small ones. They carpool. They don’t have margarita salt. They are legally allowed to drink before they learn to drive. They are reserved. They don’t talk to you on planes. They frequently enjoy 3 hour dinners.

Americans don’t take trains. We are always in a hurry. A beer costs twice as much as a coke. We prefer still, filtered water. We have to use our vacation time for sick days. We rarely travel out of state, much less abroad. We hope and expect that everyone will speak English. We drive ridiculously large vehicles. We sit in traffic for hours with only one person in each car. We love margarita salt (at least I do). We can drive before we can drink. We are loud, but friendly. We will talk to you on an airplane. We often eat dinner in 30 minutes or less.

While traveling, it was interesting to observe the differences in culture and lifestyle. And while neither lifestyle is right or wrong, I feel like the more I travel, the more I gain an appreciation for the rest of the world.

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