Nearly every country has a stereotype attached to it, and these are largely based in fact. Some of the stereotypes out there are fun, some less so – but a huge part of traveling is challenging the beliefs you hold to be true. Getting out of your comfort zone, and learning about the place that you’re in, is absolutely essential if you are to get the most out of your experience. Here are some reasons why you should travel to countries that have cultural stereotypes attached to them!
Discover how countries kick back and relax
There are some countries, such as Germany, that are perceived to be all work and no play. This just simply isn’t true! While these places have a very strong work ethic and are known for their order and organization, there is no shortage of ways to unwind. Berlin is one of the coolest, most up-and-coming cities in the world, with a burgeoning music scene and no shortage of unusual things to do. The iconic Oktoberfest is also an essential part of German culture, where you will see how they really loosen up
Stereotypes draw you in
Tourists may get a bad reputation in a lot of places, but at the end of the day, stereotypes are usually what draw tourists to a place. Everyone wants to go to London to see the red buses, Buckingham Palace, and drink tea; everyone wants to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower and eat baguettes; everyone wants to go to Naples and eat pizza. Stereotypes can be really positive things and it is great to experience them – but it is important to move beyond these, and experience what else the country has to offer.
Don’t base your decisions on hygiene
There are a lot of antiquated ideas that certain countries, especially in Asia, are riddled with disease, they are dirty, smoggy, and polluted. The fact is that this is very rarely true these days. These countries are rapidly developing, and have very diverse cultures, food, and religions, which means that they should be hot on your list of places to visit.
It’s not always dreary and rainy
There is an idea that certain countries, like the United Kingdom, are perpetually rainy, cold, and dreary, which is a very sweeping generalization. While there are more spells of wetter weather in countries such as Britain, it is not accurate that the weather is like this all year long – the summer months see regular heatwaves and warm spells that make for very enjoyable weather!
Don’t mistake passion for anger
There are countries with a reputation for being fiery and angry, arguing in the street and being unpleasant. However, if you change your lens, and view these cultures simply as being passionate – such as Italy, who are passionate about a lot of things – you will actually see that this trait can be a very beautiful one.
People aren’t all the same, anywhere
While culture plays a huge part in the way people act with each other, it is not the defining feature of a population. Simply saying that all the French are rude and all Americans are loud is silly when you think about it. Our personalities differ widely no matter where we are from, and not all people will act the same depending on their nationality!
Look beyond the stereotype
Some of the stereotypes we hold are actually embedded in a rich cultural heritage. For example, not all Greeks are loud and obnoxious, and have you ever looked into why they smash plates on the floor, why they drink ouzo, and what their traditional dance is? These countries that have such a history are a goldmine of interesting facts if you dig beneath the surface!
Enjoying a drink doesn’t mean they’re alcoholics
Places like Britain and Australia have reputations for enjoying a drink, probably a little too much. While it is true that alcohol is embedded in some cultures, by visiting these places, you will come to see that these places offer so much more than just drinking, but enjoying a beverage or two may only serve to enhance your experience.
Experience the realities of history beyond cultural stereotypes
When you think of Russia and the rest of the old Soviet states, you may think of grey, urban communist buildings that seem to depress the skyline. Russia is much more than this. As the largest country in the world, it has diverse landscapes and bountiful history, with a variety of different structures that are remarkable in their own right.
Taking the time to visit countries that have cultural stereotypes is great for your development, and helps you to grow as a person. Don’t let stereotypes put you off – embrace what these countries have to offer and learn as much as you can about them!
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