Friday, May 11, 2012

so, what have i learned?

These are the important lessons I have learned these last few weeks, which I hope will help continue to help me be a good traveler. These are purely opinion, so you are free to express yours as well!

International American Air Force Bases are the equivalent of international layovers: it does NOT count that you have been to that country if you never leave the base/airport. 
    Seriously, though. We were in major culture shock over the Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. That place is straight up little America. So can I count that I've been to Germany? We did in fact leave the base to catch the train in a nearby town. And my passport did get stamped, and I did eat some schnitzel, after all. But, we're still debating. What say ye?

Cheap air lines are cheap for a reason.
     To you future European travelers who are traveling WizzAir or any other cheap airline, be warned. With that super ganga price, be prepared for very very slow customer service, and ridiculous carry on policies that might cost you more money. Basically, you get what you pay for.

Don't judge a country by its airport, or its civilians in the airport.
    So, naturally I was very excited to be leaving London to go to Romania, my home for 18 months. Our red eye flight from London was full of Romanians, most of them legit, but of course there were a few very obnoxious ones that give a bad name to the rest of them. One Romanian guy wasn't allowed on the flight because he shoved a soccer ball into the worker's chest when she told him he couldn't bring it on board (again, WizzAir has ridiculous policies). Anyway, in these moments, all of my less great memories came flooding in and I was like, "oh man, can I really handle going back to Romania and dealing with all of this???" But of course, once we got out of the airport and around the country, it was absolutely wonderful.
    Also, it's a very good thing that we actually left the airport and explored the city of Kiev in Ukraine for our twenty hour layover, because the security/customs/customer service in the Kiev airport was terrible, absolutely terrible. At that point we wanted nothing more than to get to the U.S. of A. But Kiev is actually a really beautiful city, and the people there were very lovely and nice.

Traveling the world and experiencing other cultures is a wonderful thing for many reasons, one of them being that it makes you appreciate that you're American.
    I know I'm being completely biased and I hope I don't offend any international readers, but it's only natural to be patriotic to your home country, which I definitely am.

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