I’m still on my quest to learn how holidays and traditions I’ve come to take for are celebrated around the world! Next up on the list… Valentine’s Day! It’s not quite as popular as other holidays, especially since some people treat Valentine’s Day as if its any other day. Some people see it as nothing more than a commercial holiday created by big corporations in the card, chocolate, and jewelry industries. However, others see it as a time to take a step back from their busy lives and appreciate their significant other. Let’s see how other countries celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Category: Travel Life, Lessons, and Fun Facts
This category contains posts about the lessons I’ve learned while traveling as well as posts about things that have inspired me to travel.
Recently, I’ve been on a quest to learn about how other countries celebrate holidays that I have come to take for granted. I’m so accustomed to the traditions and celebrations that I grew up with that it was a bit of an eye opener to learn that other countries might do things a little differently. With Christmas quickly approaching, I decided to reach out to some of my fellow travel bloggers and ask how they celebrated Christmas in their home country.
Growing up, I would always watch the ball drop on TV on New Year’s Eve. I would see the crazy crowd of people in Times Square all wearing their New Year’s glasses and partying the night away. Despite what others might think, I thought it would be so cool to be in Times Square and experience the ball drop in person. I was so excited when I finally got the chance to go! However, going to New York City to see the ball drop definitely takes some preparation. Here are my thoughts on spending New Year’s in New York.
As an American, I grew up hearing stories and watching movies about the Indians and English settlers celebrating the harvest together in a time of struggle, which became the first Thanksgiving. For that reason, I just assumed that Thanksgiving was another holiday relatively unique to the United States. I can’t think of too many other countries that had issues with colonists and Indians. However, it turns out that celebrating the season’s harvest is a rather common thing to do! So what is Thanksgiving around the world like?
When it comes to gift giving holidays such as birthdays, and Christmas, people tend to complain that I’m hard to shop for. My primary hobbies (travel, photography, etc.) are EXPENSIVE. My family gift exchanges usually have a $25 USD dollar limit, so the $500 USD wide angle camera lense I’ve had my eye on isn’t exactly an option. If you find yourself struggling to come up with some useful gifts for travelers, check out my recommendations!
Sometimes we get so caught up in the traditions of a holiday that it’s easy to forget where it all began or why we are even celebrating. After spending four months in Japan, I was reminded that not all countries and religions celebrate all holidays. I was shocked to find that Japan only started celebrating Halloween in the past few years (mostly as a result of American pop culture being brought to Japan). So, how does the rest of the world celebrate Halloween?
You’ll have to excuse the cheesy title. My boyfriend made fun of me a while ago for never having heard the phrase “have your cake and eat it too,” so I felt compelled to use it. At the same time, I felt like it really fit the topic of this post. I wanted to take a moment to remind you that it is possible to travel and have a normal life.
I am convinced that a majority of hatred and stereotypes that exist in the world today at least partially originated from a bad first impression. Being aware of what kind of impressions people might be making of us is always something to be mindful of, but it is even more important for travelers. You could affect a person’s opinion of an entire race, ethnicity, religion, place, and more. You are a representative of who you are and everything you stand for.
I don’t know about you, but I hate working out. On more than one occasion I’ve decided that I was going to get in shape, but it never lasted long. For whatever reason, I don’t get that “satisfied” or “fulfilled” feeling that a lot of people seem to get when they finish at the gym. I just walk away feeling exhausted and question why I went to the gym in the first place. Thankfully, you don’t need to go to the gym to get physically fit. You just have to start traveling!
One of the things that has truly allowed me to succeed in life is my ability to listen to other people’s advice (and their mistakes) and then plan my own actions accordingly. For most people, that is a great trait, and most days I am grateful that I am able to do so. However, I also found that my need to plan everything in order to get the most desirable outcome can possibly have the opposite effect. I could actually end up limiting myself. Travel made me realize that.
If you are not Japanese, you will never be Japanese. This may seem like such an obvious statement. Duh, of course if I’m not born Japanese, I won’t magically become Japanese. To most people, that’s not a big deal. However, it is a fact you have to learn to accept if you intend to live in Japan, because it will come up again and again even after you’ve lived there for 20 years. You can walk like a duck, quack like a duck, but you still won’t be a duck. Sorry.
The day I left my dorm, I said goodbye to many of my friends, and spent a good part of the train ride in tears. However, I was on my way to Chiba with one of my friends, so I had that to hold onto. I spent the day with his family as he showed me around his hometown, and he and his family took me to the airport when it was finally time to board my plane.