Why go halfway round without ever dicovering my own country?

I know so many people who have saved up to take what they described as “a trip around the world”. Except it wasn’t really. None of them went to Russia. Or any part of Africa. I suppose the fact that Australia was involved means they technically did travel across the world, but you don’t see many countries while sitting in an aeroplane! Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of such far-flung places. Yes, it’s an adventure. And the photos I’ve seen of Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and the like are all beautiful. But why would I want to fly all the way to Sri Lanka when I’ve never even popped across the channel to Ireland? Or go out of my way to visit the Taj Mahal when I’ve never seen the Colloseum in Rome? Is a perfect sandy beach in Greece somehow inferior to one in New Zealand purely because the flight to get there is only 3 or 4 hours rather than 24? I think not! Not that I have any problem with people wanting to see the world. All other cultures are interesting, and can definitely see how a trip to India would be amazing! But personally I would prefer to get to know what’s on my own doorstep than focus all my energy on getting to places that are as far away and exotic as possible. The first item on my list of places I want to visit is the Ukraine, because my Grandad was from there, closely followed by Sweden and Norway. And I also want to go to Austria again (read that last one carefully… it’s the one without the kangaroos 😉 ). The one exception is Canada, which I’ve wanted to visit for a while.  Right now, though, I’m concentrating on seeing as much of Germany as I can. It is my chosen home, after all, and my little corner of Baden-Württemberg is far from all there is to it. Deutschland, here I come!

9 thoughts on “Why go halfway round without ever dicovering my own country?

  1. I grew up in Canada–a big country. You would really need a month to see it properly. Otherwise, you could hit Ontario and Quebec. Ottawa and Montreal are two of my favorite cities–full of art galleries, lovely architecture, and spectacular waterfronts.

  2. Coming from Northern Ireland, I saw most of my own country by the time I was 5! 😉 I dunno, the UK/Ireland never held much appeal for me. It depends what excites you – for me, it’s differences. I like going places where everything’s in a different language, the food is unidentifiable, the customs are impossible to comprehend, and it’s just all totally foreign, y’know? For a while, Europe was enough to satisfy my desire for adventure, but eventually one European city started to blur into another. I imagine that the same thing will happen to me in Asia if I stay here long enough – and perhaps by that time, countries closer to ‘home’ will start to seem foreign and exotic again!

    I suppose there are two main approaches to travel. You can go for depth (like you’re saying) or breadth (like your “round the world” friends). Both have their pros and cons. I like to think I’m attempting both by moving far away, fully experiencing and exploring the country I’m living in, and also visiting as many surrounding countries as possible while I’m here! 🙂

    1. Well I suppose if you’re from a country like Northern Ireland it doesn’t take much to see it all 😉

      Seriously though, I can see how European countries would all blend into one after a while. We’ve all heard the stores of Americans who take a whirlwind trip of Europe and come back talking about the Eiffel Tower in Greece and Big Ben in Spain. Greatly exaggerated, of course, but there’s a grain of truth in it somewhere. You’re exactly the opposite of what I mean though – you’ve been to Europe, had your fill then moved on to something else. What annoys me is how a lot of people seem to think places are worth visitng just because they’re far away, while Europe is somehow pointless because it’s right there. Personally I’ve never felt the need to go to Australia – they’re just like us only with funny accents, right? (And there’s probably a queue of Australians lining up to berate me for that. Eeep!). But people seem to think there MUST be something special about it purely because it’s on the other side of the world. I don’t get it!

  3. Oh I HAVE to visit Sri Lanka even if I never get to see anything else of the world (although that would really upset me)! The one reason I want to visit Sri Lanka is because I want to help out at the elephant orphanage. It’s been a dream since I was a kid and one day I will get there 😀

  4. “Personally I’ve never felt the need to go to Australia – they’re just like us only with funny accents, right?”

    No, they are not. This is v e r y wrong indeed. Just try telling someone in England that you are from Germany and then tell the same story to somebody from Australia: The British will call you a Nazi whereas the Australians will be oh so open-minded and curious because you are from Overseas.
    By putting people into drawers like that, ironically, I behaved exactly like the German I just mentioned. There you go – “there’s a grain of truth in it somewhere”.

    1. I know they’re not *actually* just like us, but with funny actions. The comment was meant to be tongue in cheek. There is no “us” anyway – try telling a Londoner that they’re just the same as someone from Scotland, or calling a Welshman “English”. I just mean they’re not somehow exotic just because they happen to have been born in Australia. They’re people as well, not some kind of cool new species to be marvelled at! I have absolutely nothing against Australians (or New Zealanders for that matter). You’re probabyl right about the Brits though (although I don’t personally know anyone who would call Germans Nazis). We suck. Some days I truly am ashamed to be British (like during the riots earlier this year).

      1. Ahaha, I loved them for the riots!

        But if you wanna get to know anti-German English people, just discover Telford, Shropshire.
        Talking about funny accents: The accent of an Australian is only funny as long as you have not heard somebody from NZ. Probably the funniest version of English I have ever heard. The most adorable one too, though.

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