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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Social The "International Exchange"--Now Discussing: Your Foreign Travel Memories

Discussion in 'FanForce Community' started by Pensivia, Feb 3, 2018.

  1. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Hello, everyone, and

    Welcome / Velkommen /καλωσήρθατε / خوش آمدید / Välkommen / Kaabo / Bienvenida / Wilkommen / Benvenuto /स्वागत हे / Karibu / أهلاً وسهلاً / Bem-vindos /환영 / Dobrodošli /欢迎 / Nabata
    / Добродошли / Bienvenue / Добро пожаловать / Hoşgeldiniz /¡Bienvenido! / ようこそ ! ! !

    [​IMG]

    Welcome to the “reboot” of my previous FFC thread... (link: "International Interview")

    Like the old thread, this thread was created as a way to focus on sharing and learning about the many different international cultures and cultural perspectives reflected by the JCF userbase.

    However, instead of the previous one-"interviewee"-at-a-time format, this thread will feature a more flexible/open discussion format:

    • On a regular basis* I will post a new topic, question, or set of questions related to “international sharing” (e.g., reflections on international experiences/cultures/languages, etc.).

      (*let’s say anywhere from a couple of weeks to about a month)

    The questions will be open to anyone to address, and commenting on/responding to others' responses (even if the current topic/question set itself doesn't apply to you) is encouraged. Discussion will progress naturally from initial responses to the question, so just jumping in with wherever the conversation is at the moment is always fine, of course!

    • When the discussion for a particular topic/question set seems to have run its course, I’ll post a new topic (and I will try to keep the thread title updated with each new topic as we go)

    • I also encourage anyone who has a topic/question set/question they’d like to see asked in the future to PM me with your suggestion. I will keep a running list and will use the suggestions in the order I receive them.

    Hopefully, as the thread develops, we can address a broad range of topics, from the sublime to the just plain silly. I would love the thread to be a place where we can build a fun, welcoming, and thoughtful community!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  2. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    So let's get started with our first topic...

    *Your Foreign Travel Memories*

    Starting Questions:
    (feel free to address as many of these as you like over the course of this topic run, though for the sake of promoting interaction among users instead of overwhelming monologues, perhaps we should try to generally limit ourselves to addressing one main question at at time and then waiting for others to respond before addressing additional questions later...)

    • What was your very first foreign travel experience like? What memories stand out to you from that experience?
    • What are some funny foreign travel experiences you've had?
    • What has been your most challenging/difficult experience with foreign travel?
    • What has been your most meaningful/enriching foreign travel experience?
    Let the discussions begin!:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  3. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Allow me to break the ice with a few quick thoughts:p...

    My first international travel experience was a two-week trip to Italy. I was in my late twenties, and was excited beyond belief as travel outside the U.S. had been a major goal and dream of mine since childhood (but unfortunately various circumstances, including lack of money, prevented me from making that dream a reality earlier in my life...)

    I was traveling with my then-boyfriend (now husband) and our first stop was Rome. I had really enjoyed learning about European history, art, and cultural studies during my student days and beyond, so the opportunity to see some of the sites and works that I had read about over the years was incredibly gratifying to me.

    It's funny the things that stand out over twenty years after that first trip--from simple things to being blown away by how much better a simple plate of spaghetti there seemed to taste than any I'd had before, to the overwhelming awe of being in the midst of such an ancient world-class city, with so many immediately visible "layers" of different historical periods all together in one place!

    An amusing anecdote I remember was from one of our meals: My husband (again, we were not married then) and I had agreed before the trip to split expenses, so he would pay for one meal and then I would pay for the next one. During this particular meal, I was paying, and our young Italian waiter (who didn't look more than 17) noted this fact and said (in his adorably heavily-accented English!), "When I go out with my girlfriend, I always pay, because...because, I am...how do you say it?...a 'La-tin lov-er'!":p
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
  4. DANNASUK

    DANNASUK Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2012
    My first travel experience to a foreign land was West Germany, but I was very little so don't remember much. Went to Hamburg (I think), but I do remember seeing the Pied Piper coming out of a clock tower - so I'm not sure if it was hamburg. Was about 4 (ish). Germany is such a beautiful country and the people are wonderful. Really polite and so embracing.

    Never really had anything funny happen when on holiday. We rarely travelled abroad as a child because my family was quite poor(ish) back then and majority of my time was moving between England and Northern Ireland. Most of those experiences were more scary than amusing. Majority of my travelling was just in the British Isles; my auntie paid for her, my Mum and I to visit West Germany.

    One of my first boyfriends took me to France for a weekend. I actually cried the first night because it was the first time I could afford to on holiday. It might sound absurd to some, but holidays were an extreme luxury in my childhood.

    But, of course, during that time, travelling between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland was very difficult. The border towns were more or less lawless and run by the IRA. So it was extremely dangerous. My Dad, a former solider, never travelled with us when crossing the border because someone probably would've killed him.
     
  5. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    I've had great experiences in Germany as well! I'm probably extra-partial since my grandpa was German and I still have relatives there that I visit from time to time. My husband and I also still have German friends we met during our school days that we keep up with.

    I can relate. I grew up fairly low-income myself and most of my "holidays" as a kid were just the annual school trip a couple hours down the road.

    That does sound very scary! When were these travels (what general time period)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  6. Skiara

    Skiara ~• Manager WNU •~ ~• RSA FFC •~ star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Congrats on the new thread! It looks great! As I said before: Have the most possible fun! :D
    The start looks great and I’m sure it’ll stay that way! :D

    My first experience was in Finland with lots of mosquitoes. I was very young, but from that time on I thought that Finland has more mosquitoes than inhabitants. Lol
     
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  7. DANNASUK

    DANNASUK Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2012
    Late 80s, early 90s.
     
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  8. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    ^Obviously, I'm sure that visit was in the summertime, but that still surprises me to hear that Finland has mosquitoes at any time of the year:p
     
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  9. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    I hear you have never been in Finland. It can be rather warm and humid in summer over there
     
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  10. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  11. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett Force Ghost star 8

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    • What was your very first foreign travel experience like? What memories stand out to you from that experience?
    • The first foreign travel experience I ever went on was with my family to France. I was about 12 or 13 years old at the time and my parents had been saving up for this trip for some time. There are several memories that stick with me even to this day. One of those memories is going to the Eiffel tower for the first time and how long the line was to get tickets. We finally got to the ticket booth and when we did the person handing out tickets thought I was 16 (This was the age that they started charging for adult tickets instead of kid ones) My family argued with her for some time since I was only 13. We eventually got that issue resolved and we got to see one beautiful view. The other memory I have is all of us slowly getting sick over the vacation. I still loved the trip though.
      • What are some funny foreign travel experiences you've had?
      • This is a shorter story. We went on this one-day bike trip in Italy that was about 20 km. I did not bike a lot back then so I did not know you could change your gears on bikes. During that whole trip I had my gear set to the hardest on possible and I never even knew. :p
      • What has been your most challenging/difficult experience with foreign travel?
      • When I was 18 about I was very afraid of flying. I was headed off to see my uncle who was living abroad and for the whole flight, there was always a bit of turbulence. As you can guess this scared the **** out of me, but at the same time, it helped me get over my fear of flying.
      • What has been your most meaningful/enriching foreign travel experience?
      • The most meaningful trip I have ever been on was the one I took just last year back to Italy. For this trip, I really wanted to see all the ancient ruins and such. So, that's what I and my family spent our time doing. I learned so much on that trip and it really made me interested in ancient history. It was also one of the best time's I had ever spent with my family and I hope to never forget it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  12. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Welcome to my little thread, @Jedi Knight Fett , and thanks for your post!

    Yes, the Eiffel Tower is one of those iconic travel sites that doesn't disappoint! (IMO) I remember studying French in high school and dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of going to Paris. Finally made it there years later.

    When I was a kid in Florida, annual school trips to Disney World's Epcot fueled my dreams of international travel. And even though the narration probably seems super-corny to an actual French person:p, I still love the way the ET is shot and combined with part of the great "Organ Symphony" by French composer Saint-Saens in the movie they showed in the France Epcot pavilion back then (the ET is in part of the big conclusion to the film which goes from about 18:50 to 20:40 in the vid below):



    And when I finally made it to Paris, one of the experiences I remember most strongly is sitting on a park bench on a warm summer evening, watching the hourly "sparkling" effect added to the ET:

    [​IMG]

    So magical!


    Where did you go in Italy last year? Any particular site or sites there that was/were your favorite?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  13. Gamiel

    Gamiel Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Here. The relevant part is at ca. 4:40
     
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  14. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    lol, "Finnish Moth"[face_laugh]
     
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  15. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Hello, new thread!

    So, travelling abroad. Okay, first, to put things in perspective, I'm from Greece, a country slightly smaller than the state of Louisiana, so going abroad isn't as big a deal for us as when you have to travel across a continent or an ocean to go to another country like it would be for people in the US or Canada, or halfway around the world for people from Australia or New Zealand. That being said, there are a lot of people in Greece who have never left the country, or who have only ever been to Cyprus, and while technically Cyprus is another country it does feel to us like just another island in the Mediterranean (although they do speak a funny dialect of Greek).

    I don't actually remember my very first trip abroad, because I was all of one year old when it took place. My father was an Egyptiote (a Greek from from Egypt) so a lot of my travels when I was a kid were to Alexandria to visit family members who still lived there. As a result, until now Alexandria doesn't quite feel like abroad, it's just the place where my aunt lived.

    The first trip abroad that I do remember was to Khartoum, where we had other relatives (who had basically travelled further south that the rest of the family :p ) I was very little for that trip too, but I do remember a lone tree standing in the water at the confluence of the White and the Blue Nile, and I remember my parents explaining to me that the tree was actually growing on an island that I couldn't see because it was submerged by the flood of the river.

    I also remember going to visit an archaeological site somewhere near Khartoum that featured step pyramids of black stone in the middle of the desert, and after that we went for a picnic by the river. There's a picture of toddler-me somewhere with one foot in the desert and another in the greenery; it's really an unforgettable landscape. I really wish I could go back someday, but sadly travelling to Sudan is far more complicated nowadays.

    The last thing I remember is that it was hot. Very hot. Very, very hot. If I ever go back I hope they have aircon now, because back in the 1970s they didn't and it was, well, hot.

    I'll be back later with answers to the other questions. A lot of that will be about Paris, so we can all swap tips about the best view on the city!
     
  16. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    ^Yes, and that difference in perspective has always interested me. Especially in more recent times in Europe (in the days of the modern EU), I can understand how it's much less of a "big deal" to go from country to country.

    It's actually something I wonder about for the future too, in areas where there are increasing signs of cultural blending/"homogenization" (for lack of a better word). As much as I like the idea of people all over the world becoming more connected/interconnected, I also wouldn't want the little things that make each country/culture unique to disappear or become overly muted.

    For instance, I kind of hate it when I've been traveling in Europe and hear a lot of American music on the radio. I remember riding in the car someplace with my German cousin a couple of summers ago, and it seemed that during our hour's drive, maybe 30% of the songs were American! Maybe it was just that particular station (and maybe she chose it because I was there?), but I kept thinking "I'm in Germany...I want to hear German pop music!":p Or being in a local grocery store and seeing so many English words and phrases in the signs and products, etc...

    Trips to places like Alexandria and Khartoum sound sooo "exotic" to me[face_love]:p

    ^wow, that does sound really :cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
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  17. Skiara

    Skiara ~• Manager WNU •~ ~• RSA FFC •~ star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Yep, that's right. High summer time and it was at a big lake, miles away from any town. So best living space for them and enough fresh food for them while we were there. [face_plain] ;)
     
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  18. Evening Star

    Evening Star Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 18, 2015
    Well, I could write a book about my visits to Paris. :p

    Great thread, Pen! I'll be back here as soon as I find more time to write long posts. Until then, I'll be in lurking mode.
     
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  19. Pensivia

    Pensivia Host of "The International Exchange" star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Hey Eves, great to see you again here!:)

    All posts are welcomed here, short or long!:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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