I have discussed some ways to respect other cultures in many of my posts. It is definitely on the forefront of my mind when I discuss culture and traveling. I am usually willing toe bend my comfort in order to respect another culture, but by no means am I perfect at it. Through my travels I have learned a couple of things, and I wanted to share them so that maybe you could have easier travel internationally and be better equipped to respect other cultures.Read more
When I created this blog, my heart was to promote parents learning with their children about other cultures. Of course, one of the best ways to do that is to travel, but there are many ways to expose yourself and your children to other countries and cultures. (For some ideas check out this post.)Read more
I showed up to a birthday party at a friend’s home. The invitation said the party would start at 3:00pm, and we figured the party would last about two hours. We get there at 3:00 with a cute present wrapped and my child excited and ready to play. We walk in and are greeted by the mom, and she tells us where to put the present and where to go to play. I ask if there is anything I can help with. The home is decorated, and snacks are put out. Read more
It was only my second year of college, but I never saw myself here! I had always wanted to go to Africa, but when I thought Africa, I thought The Lion King, not so much the Sahara Desert. I was on the edge of the desert; I mean we had even rode camels on sand dunes! The people were so inviting and had us into their homes. They even gave us their best hot teas.
Surreal cannot begin to describe it. I had only seen villages on television, and now I was sitting in a home made of dried mud in the heart of one! Read more
My husband and I were just doing some shopping and walking around the city. Since it was the middle of the hot season and being in the bustling city, we tried to go into each building. Looking at all of the clothes and trinkets were the bonus to getting out of the heat. My husband was holding our just under 2-year-old son, and I was holding our 10-month-old daughter. Read more
Americans love looking forward into the future. Things get better from here, and there is always room for improvement. In the future, we can build and grow, and those are very good things.
As we continue looking at aspects of American culture, it will actually get harder to understand just how we are different because these concepts are so ingrained into our worldview. Not only may they be hard to understand, but to think that other cultures do not think the way we do may even make us think they are wrong. I hope to challenge that gut reaction and take a look at the beauty in the differences. Read more
They had told us to come at lunch time. It was lunch time. Where was everyone?! Where was the food?!
We were at the canteen for the farm where my husband was interning, and we were starting to worry we were in the wrong place! I watched the children while my husband looked around for someone to ask if we were in the correct place. After about twenty minutes of waiting, the American who ran the farm came in and greeted us. We told him we were confused and wanted to make sure we were doing what we were supposed to. Read more
Slowly peering into the room, I dreaded what I had to do. Everything in my being was saying, “This is wrong!” I thought there is no way my body works like this. I had heard other travelers speak of this difference in this culture, but it did not hit me until that moment that I would have to partake in this particular aspect of this culture. Read more
As a thirteen-year-old, going to England seemed like an exciting adventure. No parents watching my every move, and this new culture was interesting. It was just similar enough that the aspects that differed about our cultures just seemed odd, but not bad. Read more
He sat there, looking at me. A man. His hand was outstretched toward me…longing. His clothes were tattered, frayed beyond the worst piece of used clothing I own. He was dirty and, though the area smelled of body odor from being in the big city, I imagined he smelled from lack of personal hygiene as well. I could tell he was blind in at least one eye, but his face was a bit mangled so it could have been worse than I knew.
I did not know his story. I did not know the struggles he went through. I did not know if he had any support at all. I did not know how hungry he was, and I honestly did not know how to respond. Read more