Even though I’ve been here in Germany for nearly four years now I still feel like a tourist occasionally. Just with the difference that I haven’t managed to explore my immediate surroundings more thoroughly to do some serious sightseeing right here but instead take day trips to other historic towns or castles. But day trips are nothing compared to the real travel experience. Travelling and being a tourist is exciting and fun! Why?
- You get to see new places! Places and sights not even the locals know about or have ever visited! (I’m the best example! Let me loose in any place and I’m in sightseeing heaven! On the other hand, I have never been to some of the most prominent sights in my home town! Yep, crazy! Once again!)
- You get to experience new cultures! Except if you decide to spend your vacation in an all-inclusive club where you feel like home with your fellow country-men and you wonder why you even bothered to travel thousands of miles just to have a slight change of scenery!
- You get to eat strange food! Oh boy! And how strange that food can be! You wouldn’t believe what some countries consider as delicacies! Asian and Middle Eastern countries seem to have the weirdest combinations! Snakes, monkeys, dogs, sheep eyes, bull’s balls, intestines, rotten fish … and yes, some of those can even be found in the more Western hemisphere. You better not look too closely and never ever ask what you’ve ordered …
- You get to sleep in nice hotels! At least you thought so when you booked your trip months ago. What you certainly didn’t expect are lumpy mattresses, musty pillows, mouldy bathrooms, dirty swimming pools, construction noise in the middle of the night and cockroaches / ants / ___________ (insert any other crawling thing you can think of) crossing your room at least twice a day, regularly like clockwork. By the way, let me just add, that’s certainly what you get if you are gullible (I wouldn’t dare say stupid) enough to vacation in countries where a 3-star hotel is worse than a youth hostel.
- You get to behave like you’d never behave at home. Singing and dancing on the bar totally drunk, maybe adding a little striptease? Hey, who cares, you are on vacation! No one knows you! (You might just become the latest Facebook or YouTube star!) Complaining about everyone and everything? You paid for it, so you have the right to annoy the hotel personnel! Piling as much buffet food as possible onto your plate, only to realize you don’t even like half of what you’ve piled on? Okay, maybe you’d do that at home too!
- You get to wear those cute – but too tight – tank tops, colourful shirts and shorts you only dig out of your closet for your vacation. (Since you wouldn’t be caught dead seen in them in your home town!) But at least they are worn once a year! Together with those white tennis socks and even whiter sneakers!
- You get to buy souvenirs! (My favourite part!) What would be a vacation if you didn’t bring home some typical gifts – usually NOT produced in the country you are currently in – for those who weren’t lucky enough to travel abroad? Your friends will be thrilled and love you so much for another useless piece to dust off and display just for you on your visits!
- You get to make lots of pictures of everything and everyone from every possible angle no one really wants to see at home! But don’t be sad! They are just jealous! (And will repay your lengthy presentations with their own vacation pictures! So, there you have it!)
Have I ruined travelling for you now? I hope not! I, for once, am still a traveller at heart and I promise, I really do, to finally get some sightseeing done here as well!