For those who have traveled to a foreign country . . .
what preconceived notions did you find not to be true once you were there?
I think this applies to most countries, most people tend to be closed up and protective when they travel and feels that the locals are not friendly. but i realized that when we (the tourists) open up and try to immerse in the culture & practices, the people open up too.
And, always wearing a smile can never harm. We are curious of their lifestyle and country and the locals tend to be as curious of us too. So i guess, unfriendliness is something that i think is one of the biggest misconceptions of a foreign country. (:
It's better not to have any preconceived notions, or if anything, to always expect the worst and prepare for it mentally so you can perpetually be pleasantly surprised. I think wearing a smile is a good way to be immediately pegged as a foreign tourist in most places if your appearance doesn't do it first.
I'm speaking from my own experience here, so bear with me. Prior to going to Germany I expected Germans to be stiff, rigid and unyielding people, possibly because their language sounds so guttural and even a little harsh. Well, was I in for a pleasant surprise! Germans are people who know how to party and have fun. They are also hard workers and self-disciplined people who are friendly and will readily give you a hand if you need help. I made lots of friends there and have wonderful memories of Germany. However the opposite is true of Hawaii. The Hawaiian population is made up for the most part of people from Filipino and Japanese descent. Native Hawaiians are generally very friendly and even funny, but the Filippino and Japanese are in my opinion very hard to work with and to understand, especially if you know very little about their culture. They are rigid, inflexible and extremely demanding. For that reason I would not choose to go back to Hawaii. I could also blast some myths about Mexico, Italy, Spain and France but that would make for too long an answer.
When in Rome do what the Romans do, this has worked every time for me. Any preconceived notions you have will quickly fade away.
I thought it would be very busy & take ages to get out of the airport in Newark New York , however it was very easy & not stressful at all.
As far as my travels to Europe I didn't have any real ideas & loved every minute of the trip.
Now we are planning a trip to Europe this year & will travel with a smile & open mind etc !
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