Travel
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People Are Sharing Things That Surprised Them About Traveling To A New Country

May 17, 2021 11.6k votes 1.6k voters 99.4k views18 items

List RulesVote up your favorite traveling responses.

Traveling to a different country can be one of the most exciting things for those who seek a new experience. No matter how much research one may do, it's tough to fully comprehend what another country could be like until the traveler lands in the airport. Reddit user u/Spilakkk asked: "What is the thing that surprised you the most when you traveled to a country you had never been to before?" and the answers had us looking up flights.

  • 1

    Japan

    Photo: graffiti living / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    From Reddit user u/Frozen_Feet:

    The sense of safety in Japan. I had expected some level of safety, but was blown away by how you could literally leave a purse on a park bench and no one would take it. You could walk late at night and feel safe.

    At Tokyo Disney, we had a stroller for our then nearly 2 year old. Happily left it outside each ride with a bag full of our stuff with complete confidence that it would be exactly as we left it.

    Also how willingly everyone engaged with our nearly 2 year old. The best two memories I have are of an elderly man on the train playing peekaboo with her, and another elderly man pinching her cheeks and telling us she looked exactly like a kewpie doll.

    Reddit user u/ravearamashi replied:

    My mom left her handbag at a bus stop when she had to rush with my dad to be somewhere else. Forgotten all about it till few hours later. Came back, it was still there, untouched. In broad daylight....

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  • 2

    Denmark

    Photo: i-saint / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    From Reddit user u/Aelle1209:

    I moved to Denmark a couple of years ago and the biggest culture shock for me was julefrokost.

    Julefrokost translates to "Christmas lunch" which sounds like a nice, wholesome lunch to celebrate the holidays. The first time I went to one, my husband warned me not to eat anything beforehand because there is a lot of food. I didn't think much of it, I mean we have Thanksgiving in the U.S. so I just assumed it was a big lunch. No.

    No. We have nothing like this in the U.S. Julefrokost is on an entirely different level.

    You see, it's a lunch only in name. What it really is, is sitting down at about noon, and not getting up from your seat again until midnight or later. The food never stops coming. The schnapps never stop coming. It's course after course after course and the Danes can drink you under the table any day, so combine that with strong liquor over a 12 hour stretch.

    My first julefrokost, I sat across from my husband's uncle, who kept my shot glass full the entire day. I have never been so sick as I was the day after my first julefrokost.

    From Reddit user u/YoussarianWasRight:

    Dane here. I am glad you like julefrokost. It is definitely something that we take to the next level here in Denmark. It gets kind of crazy.

    Word to the wise, when julefrokost starts and the fish dishes enter, get a lot of rye bread. It will make you feel very full in the beginning and can seem counter intuitive because of all the food later but it acts as a sponge for all the liquor aka snaps that will come your way.

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  • 3

    Amsterdam

    Photo: qyphon / flickr / CC-BY-ND 2.0

    From Reddit user u/leckycherms:

    Amsterdam. Knew they biked, but didn’t expected multi-level bike parking lots every mile. I loved it there.

    Reddit user u/BurnPotatoes replied:

    And don't you dare walking on our bike paths. We will ring our bell at you. Loudly.

    Reddit user u/dale_glass replied:

    My first experience over there was almost getting run over by a bicycle because while we do have bike lanes where I live, they're almost unused.

    My second experience was getting cussed out by some old lady because I was riding too slowly. I'm a young, buff guy who regularly goes to the gym, but apparently my normal pace is annoyingly slow for old ladies in Amsterdam.

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  • 4

    Germany

    Photo: Fenners1984 / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    From Reddit user u/Jinjonator91:

    Probably in Germany when I bought a beer in a convenience store and they offered to open it for me so I could enjoy it on my walk.

    Reddit user u/jwatch04 replied:

    Haha, the good old German "Wegbier," that’s how we call it. It just means having a bear for the walk from A to B.

    Reddit user u/jwatch04 replied:

    When I went to Berlin this threw me off. My tattoo artist took me across the street and bought me a beer and then we walked around. It was such a neat experience. My fiancé was busy in a meeting that day so the following day I said, "hey look what we can do." And I bought us two beers and then I said now we can go walk around. She was so skeptical at first but then we walked around Berlin, drinking beer and taking in the sights. It was such a neat experience.

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