Real Travel Experiences

I recently read a great post by Alison from Adventures in Wonderland. She writes about things as they are, not embellishing travel moments at all. Still, her overall style is always upbeat and polite, even when she talks about adversities or destinations she didn’t care for that much due to reasons she then goes on to explain.

My blogging philosophy had been based on steering clear of offending anyone, not wanting to stir up trouble or start any heated debates, and just keeping this blog a happy place. So that makes me hesitant to write about any negative travel experiences.

I also know that the places I didn’t like are surely someone else’s favorite – or even their hometown. Experiences, interpretations and feelings about a destination are very personal, subjective, and arbitrary, after all.

From walking around in Stockholm, Sweden one day

But… Alison inspired me to look at it another way. To just be open about it and tell it like it is, without leaving anything out.

And I feel like that’s something the social media craze has swept under the rug for all of us.

I don’t want to give the impression that my life or my travels are always perfect, since they’re not. We all have our ups and downs and the more you travel, the more likely it is you’ll encounter difficulties on one of your trips, too.

So, despite my original plan, here’s a short list of some of my worst travel experiences, or at least the ones that I can remember just now. Though I’m not sure I can write about them quite as eloquently as Alison!

All in all, I’ve been quite lucky in my travels, considering that I’ve been traveling all my life (since an infant!) and I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve been to many of my most-visited countries. I must’ve done hundreds and hundreds of “trips” in my life, if you define a trip as the moment you leave your home to explore somewhere different – whether it’s for a day, a month or a year. Statistically, something bad was bound to happen at some point, I guess.

Well, here goes…

My not-so-great travel moments

1) Landing in Paris on Nov 13th, 2015 just as the terrorist attacks began, for a weekend of nightmares. Such is the world we live in.

2) Random men following me and calling after me on the streets in the middle of the day or even in a supermarket.

Where: Paris, Istanbul.
(Bonus points: Rude stares from women, without commentary: in Dubai and Al Ain.)

I love Paris, but it’s not perfect. When I lived there, I used to get approached by strangers every single day, asking me “Mademoiselle, mademoiselle! Quelle est votre nationalité?” (what is your nationality). I always took it as just a conversation starter rather than an actual question, but it still annoyed me.

Naturally blond and way too pale, I obviously don’t look French. But I wasn’t completely fresh behind the ears, either. I’d studied French for 12 years and lived there on-off for about 3 years during a timespan of 6 years. I knew what I was doing, I wasn’t lost and I wasn’t a tourist. When you’ve spent a long time blending into a culture, it’s not fun to still be treated like a damsel in distress, just based on the way you look.

Many of my naturally blond Finnish friends living in Paris had eventually caved in and dyed their hair darker, hoping to pass a bit more unnoticed.

Other FAQ’s included:

“What are you doing here all by yourself? Don’t you miss your family back home? Wouldn’t you rather be there?” and “Why would you want to come to Paris, of all places? Paris is horrible!”

Un petit café à Paris, France

As for Istanbul, during my week-long visit, I covered up despite the heat and didn’t show any skin… and I felt oppressed. A couple of years after my trip, Turkey’s President famously stated in the media that he didn’t like it when women laughed in public. That pretty much sums up my interpretation of the atmosphere there.

As someone from a Nordic country where women are complete equals to men (we even pay half the bill on a first date!) I just couldn’t get into the vibe of Istanbul, no matter how much I wanted to like it – I originally wanted to go there for the architecture. You can read about my experience here (just the good stuff).

3) Dropping into a ghost town. Where: Trelew.

During a 7-week trip to Argentina and Uruguay, hubby and I spent two nights in Trelew. Trelew was a small town in Patagonia with Welsh roots. It was on the way to our next destination and it had a dinosaur museum, so we decided to give it a go. We advance-booked our hotel on an iPad app which had worked fine for us before.

But on arrival, the whole town felt eery. There were no people anywhere (in retrospect: maybe they were all just at work) and our hotel looked dodgy. The hotel had darkened windows and everything looked very dated and depressing. We decided to stay there anyway to avoid the hassle of finding another hotel – and I actually ended up getting the best sleep there!

The dinosaur museum was small but it did have lots of interesting details, like a real piece of dinosaur bone which you were allowed to touch! It was huge. I’m still wondering if it really was real bone, but then again, why not? There are continuous excavations going on in Argentina, they are still finding dinosaur bones there to this day.

Would I go back to Trelew? No, thanks.

4) Dublin in the rain: This one, I have to admit, was probably my own fault.

I did a 24-hour solo trip to Dublin once because I got the flights almost for free. It was raining and I was soaked and cold. I walked around town and there was nothing to see or do, it felt like a boring place. There were pubs at every corner but as a solo female traveler, I wasn’t really looking to get drunk.

I did go into a pub for a meal though, and later I bought some books on discount at a shopping center somewhere. I ended up going back to my hostel very early and the room was absolutely freezing so I just went to bed. Basically, I’d traveled all the way to Dublin just to sleep!!!

But I’m pretty sure that if I’d been traveling with someone else, my Dublin experience would’ve been better. I guess I just wasn’t in the mood to explore a new town that day. I’m sure Dublin would be worth another try.

Funny-looking hairy cake in Istanbul, Turkey

5) When you’re left last in the passport line on arrival at the airport, and all the booths start closing up while you’re still waiting, and you’re redirected to another line, and you’re last again, and a planeful of people are let in front of you, and it’s getting late, you have a headache, and you’re still in line… then when it’s finally your turn, you get treated in an unfriendly manner by the employee manning the last open booth.

Where: JFK, Buenos Aires, Willemstad (Curaçao), and probably somewhere else I can’t remember…

JFK was ridiculous, we must’ve stood in line for about 2,5 hours though we were transferring onto another flight! Many airports prioritize transferring passengers so that they won’t miss their flight, plus they’ll have time to shop and spend money, leading to more profits for the airport, obviously. JFK did have a staff member who took care of those who were most urgently in danger of missing their flight, but we weren’t amongst them.

Once we finally got to the counter, the woman was incredibly rude, for no reason at all! To top it off, all information at our corner of JFK was in Spanish, nothing in English at all. Now I don’t mind practicing my other language skills, but it just felt a bit surreal, in an English-speaking country. I kept thinking, “Did we really just land in New York? Where are we?” It made me feel like an outsider, like the airport’s services weren’t meant for me.

6) As an aviation lover, I’ll rarely criticize an airline. But for the sake of coming clean (the whole point of this post), I will allow for one bad airline experience here.

Details: An American Airlines flight from LAX to Honolulu (2010)

The air conditioning had broken, resulting freezing temperatures in the cabin. Everyone was dressed for Hawaii, in either shorts or a skirt, and flimsy summer shoes or flip-flops. It was so cold you could almost see your breath. I still had warm clothes with me in my carry-on bag since we’d just debarked from a long-haul flight from Europe to LAX. But even after adding on my extra clothes, it still was absolutely freezing.

The flight was 5 1/2 hours long and so I asked a flight attendant for a blanket, which normally every airline stocks and offers for free. They said it wasn’t free. I can’t remember the amount but it cost something between 10 and 20 USD. I ended up buying a blanket because I couldn’t imagine being so cold for so many more hours.

As an ex-employee of four different airlines, I thought that was really poor service. I don’t blame the flight attendants, since that was probably company policy. But seriously, when your air conditioning is broken, you should offer blankets for free! (And you should stock up on them pre-flight, since they obviously were aware of the problem before we departed.)

Italy is always tempting, solo travel or not

7) Solo travel

I love solo travel because you can just be yourself, you don’t have to take anyone else into consideration (yay for being selfish for a bit!), and you might end up meeting lots of new people. Traveling alone gives you the chance to reinvent yourself, to become anonymous.

But… sometimes aimless wandering around by yourself can make you feel a bit sad and you start to question what you’re doing. So when traveling solo, I always like to have a plan ready, an itinerary, a reason for being there. And sometimes you just want to sleep, you can’t be bothered to try to absorb everything possible, and then you get a bad conscience for not taking full advantage of it!

To balance out all this negativity, here’s a list of some unexpected, happy incidents:

1) Freebies

Munich’s airport offered an unlimited amount of free coffee, tea, and hot chocolate the last time I visited. How cool is that, in this day and age when nothing is free anymore! If you can, choose Munich as your transfer airport. (This was five years ago, though, things might’ve changed.)

2) Friendliness

A hotel’s reception staff in Gothenburg once let me use their computer when I needed to send my employer an urgent email. I didn’t have a laptop, iPad or smartphone back then (this was ages ago).

I sat behind the reception desk, still in my crew uniform, busy writing an email, when another crew from my airline arrived to check in. They all had to make jokes and ask me if I’d started working at the hotel. How kind and accommodating of the hotel staff, they saved my day!

3) Finding new friends

I once was looking for a hotel in Florence, during a 3-month-long solo journey around Italy.

It was August and all the hotels were fully booked, since it was prime holiday time. This, too, was before hotel apps, smartphones, etc. People still made bookings over the phone or in person.

I walked around town with my huge backpack and finally, as the sun was setting, I found a hostel which had one available bed. The last bed in Florence! I took it, and then the receptionist told me my roommate was another Finnish woman. I was a bit apprehensive, since I was traveling in order to forget home and to get new experiences, not to meet more Finns. (Which is a very Finnish trait, by the way!)

But when my roommate came back from her day out, we instantly bonded and became friends. She had the same aviation office job as me but with a different airline. We were both happy to be with someone who wouldn’t get jealous when we told them about our travel adventures, but who would instead chime in with their own stories. We sat there in the room telling quick versions of our life stories and long versions of our Italian summer, and we went out for drinks that night.

We spent most of the rest of the summer together. Later, we even worked together and she came to visit me in Paris many times. She, too, moved on from an office job at an airline to working as cabin crew.

Soft breeze in Maui, Hawaii

4) Some small luxuries

I’ve only flown with Emirates once, but based on that one time, I’d recommend you give them a try if you’re ever flying a route they operate.

I flew from Dubai to the Maldives in economy class and let me tell you, even economy was more luxurious than many business class flights I’ve been on! As an airplane aficionado, I appreciated the cute stars they had lighted up in the corridor ceiling and how the seats were slightly wider than usual. They kept serving more and more food all the time, ice cream and sparkling wine…

The friendly flight attendants chatted with me and my travel companions, and later on brought us boxes of the Godiva chocolates they were serving in first class. The selection of inflight entertainment was much better than other airlines had at the time. It was such a pleasure!

5) Breakfast!

I love hotel breakfasts. Sofitel Krabi (Thailand) had the best brekkie ever, including – but not restricted to – a bountiful selection of any and every tropical fruit you could possibly imagine, and they made you a fresh fruit juice of anything you wanted while you waited.

There were many other memorable hotel breakfasts. A business hotel just outside London made you fresh waffles quickly enough to go back for seconds. A hotel in Montevideo had the most amazing fresh pastries, we left completely stuffed each time.

Hotel chains in Scandinavia, like Radisson, generally have delicious home-made yoghurt smoothies at breakfast. A hotel in a small town in Finland, Kuopio, served a traditional, local delicacy called “kalakukko”. It’s fish baked into a sort of pie, and it was one of the two only times I’ve ever tried that treat. Certainly a nice surprise to start your day with a new experience.

This is where I’ll end my two lists. Next time, a short photo post!

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78 responses to “Real Travel Experiences

  1. Ahh, girl, I could listen to you for hours! You’re still very gentle, even when talking about bad stuff. The reactions to you in Paris tell me that you must indeed seem very ready to be rescued. 😀 I find it sad that other Finnish girls dyed their hair, even though I also understand that daily comments about it could drive you crazy. I remember a friend returning from Jamaica reporting how men had been hissing around her “Miss World! Miss World!” And another (tall) friend came home from Turkey reporting they called her “Basketball”. I hate to stand out. I hate to be approached for any such reason, either to be complimented or harassed (and where is the limit?) or offered goods for sale. I’d do badly in many countries, I know, at least at first.

    I’m glad you decided to do this post. Stuff happens and it’s best we tell it, all of it. Wishing you many nice surprises in the travels to come!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Manja for your thoughts! 😄 I can totally imagine your friends’ experiences! I don’t even mind being approached if it’s in a respectful manner. Often when traveling, that’s not the case though… how superficial we all are, making judgements based on appearances (I must be doing that too, nobody’s perfect). Here’s to happy, hassle-free travels to both of us, near or far! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a delightful post to read over breakfast! Occasionally things haven’t gone to plan on our travels – cancelled flights after checking in due to adverse weather, luggage failing to arrive on the carousel, wheels dropping off suitcases etc. etc. but nothing too major to deter us from making future plans. Once, whilst in Death Valley NP we had a reservation for a family room (pre electronic booking days). When we checked in, they hadn’t got us down – because Americans write their dates the other way round to us and thought we were arriving later in the year! It all worked out well though as they upgraded us to a suite! I’ve flown Emirates a few times too and enjoyed their service. Have a good weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment! 💖 I’m happy to hear your travels have mostly gone well! I’ve once arrived at a hotel in Paris and they didn’t have my booking, I got a room but they didn’t upgrade me! I’ve actually never been upgraded, as far as I can remember! I don’t mind if a flight is delayed due to weather, since it’s for your own safety. And anyway, I enjoy hanging around airports, or at least the ones with lots of shops and cafes to explore! 😉 Have a great weekend!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post! 🙂 Very interesting. Ah the ghost town experience in Argentina sounds so eerie! Maybe you have some pictures from there to share?
    I didn’t think that your bad travel experiences were in any way offensive at all – in many cases the disappointments come from a lot of factors that don’t have much to do with the place, like our own expectations, the weather, the people we’re traveling with etc. I have such disappointing stories myself, although I wouldn’t say anybody to not visit those places where I didn’t have great experiences. Your 3 month solo adventure in Italy sounds so much fun and what a co-incidence that led you make a good friend! Some of the good travel experiences you shared encourage me to share some of my good (and surprising) travel experiences myself. 🙂 Have a nice weekend! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read it, it was such a long post! 😮 I didn’t actually take any photos in Trelew, except one at the airport and another one of some Welsh text on a monument to show to my mum’s British husband who’s interested in languages!
      I’m happy if I didn’t sound too accusing in my post! Bad experiences can happen at home, too, for example bad customer service – not just abroad 🙂 I’d love to read more of your travel experiences, keep posting!!! Have a great weekend!!!! 😀

      Like

  4. I love your post 🙂 I enjoy reading such down-to-earth posts more than sometimes unrealistically dolce-vita type of posts 🙂 actually exactly such writing would inspire me to travel even more 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A very interesting read. I share some of your dislikes, and after my last two flights on American Air, wouldn’t fly with them again. A place I will not visit again, is South America. after we were mugged twice on one trip.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. this was a lovely read- go to know more about what makes you tick – the travel details so precious because it comes from someone who has been there – your amazing personality – you always see the flip side and just say the facts and doesn’t come across judgmental. Thank you taking the time to share and I am in awe that you can remember so much of your travels – I liked the armchair journey – it was fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for making my day with your comment!! I’m very glad to hear I didn’t sound judgemental, I was trying very hard to avoid that! There are lots of travel details that are blurred in my mind and sometimes I wonder why I didn’t take more photos back in those days when I was always on the go (pictures would help me remember). But I guess there must be a reason why some memories stand out, and others fade away… Have a great Sunday!!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It is always hard to talk about the negative sides of a trip because, obviously, it is nothing you want to dwell on and you actually want to remember only the good things. But, it’s also true that if we want to share our experiences in the most unbiased way possible, we need to tell the downsides too.
    It is a hard excercise, criticizing without going too far. I believe talking about the way things felt to oneself is the way to go. because it’s the way we felt that was not right – because of an external fact. Now, that may come from a variety of factors, cultural, mood, weather, timing, etc…

    I have tried in a few (rare) posts to do so..
    In Colombia: https://lespetitspasdejuls.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/a-day-at-the-beach-dont-believe-everything-youre-told/
    In Ecuador: https://lespetitspasdejuls.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/galapagos-heaven-comes-at-too-high-a-price/
    In Paris: https://lespetitspasdejuls.wordpress.com/2016/01/12/photo-series-of-the-weekend-our-society-in-its-dirty-glory/
    and soon in Cuba…

    But, like you, I’d rather focus on the good times! Those little moments that made it all disappear again and put you back right on track to enjoy things!
    I like that you finished this post on the positive note. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Julie, for your input! That’s exactly how I see it too, a bad experience is personal and I wouldn’t want to tell someone not to go to a destination just because I didn’t like it. People react so differently to the same things, I know someone else wouldn’t experience things the way I did. But now I’m glad I did this post, even if it’s just to show that all travel days aren’t necessarily good days, and that’s okay too. That’s life! I’m looking forward to checking out how you tackled this in your posts! And focusing on the positive is always a good way to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My tendency is very strongly to focus on the positives of my travel experiences, but I find that as my WordPress community grows, I feel more comfortable being honest and open about my feelings. I rarely make a sharp turn into the negative, but I’ve recently expressed doubts and questions about what I’ve seen and experienced, and interestingly, people seem to respond well to that! My recent Cuba trip left me a bit puzzled, and my ruminations on what I saw there helped me to process it and engendered some good discussions! Loved reading your post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! Loved to hear your take on blogging about these things! I’ve noticed the same, people seem to take it well, and they also seem to be more engaged when I have something to say, even if it’s negative. You never know if you don’t try, I guess!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post Snow! I like hearing both the good and not-so-good about people’s travel experiences. The worst airport experiences I had in Munich, where I got padded down like I was a terrorist and they took apart every single item in my camera pack. I felt very uncomfortable getting this treatment and I have a German passport. The other was at Seattle’s airport. I’ve lived here for 35+ years and they treated me very disrespectfully. As to airlines, the only US airline I like at this point is Delta. Korean Air had fantastic service. I wish that American customs and immigration employees were nicer. But with the new “rules” I’m sure that won’t change anytime soon. Too bad! And it actually makes me afraid to leave the country right now because who knows what could be implemented while one is on a trip. 😢
    Have a good week Snow! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great to hear from you, Sabine! Hope you’ve recovered from your flu? I don’t mind security checks or pat-downs because they’re just trying to keep us safe. I’d rather be checked well than not checked at all. The EU has quite strict regulations, it sounds like you might’ve been one of the passengers they choose for a closer random check. I have to say that Nordic and Scandinavian customer service in aviation is great, compared to many other countries. The Dutch company KLM is another one that I’ve enjoyed flying with, we’ve done several long-hauls with them and the flight attendants are always very friendly. (Plus, I love their outfits! Hahah) I agree with you that customs and immigration officers all over the world tend to be quite unfriendly – which isn’t nice after a long flight and long waiting in lines everywhere… I’ve never flown with Delta but I’ll keep them in mind as a good one! 🙂 Hope you have a good week, too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I had your Munich experience in the USA. I had all my belongings removed from my carry on and searched. Then they got up close and personal with a pat down while all the other travellers watched on. Its a very uncomfortable experience

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This was such a great read! The Ghost Town sounds so creepy! But i guess good and bad, all travel experiences still hold a spec place in my heart. They give us great stories to tell! x

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I so enjoyed this post! I too feel funny about telling it as it is. It really is about the delivery isn’t it? And yours is by no means harsh. Ah travel! I can’t believe you had to pay for those blankets .. some people just don’t get it do they?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I often have the same kind of dilemma whenever I want to write about something that was… less that good. I want my blog to be a positive place, and I also don’t want to drag other people’s life choices or livelihoods when I might have just been having a bad day :/ but then again, I think it’s really important to share everything about a place: for example, what you were saying about Turkey doesn’t surprise me, but it’s not something I read about often, and if I was planning to go there I’d want to know about that cultural difference. For example, I’m heading to south east Asia soon and everything I read rhapsodises about how lovely it is, but when I was in India I really struggled with their attitude towards me as a solo female traveller – how will I know if I’ll have the same problems if no one talks about the bad stuff?

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly! It’s hard to tell the truth without hurting someone’s feelings, but when I plan a trip, I’d really like to know about the good and the bad. Especially as a female solo traveller, to stay safe. I feel like social media embellishes everything and yes, I’m often guilty of that too! 😊 I’m so happy you could relate!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Some of those incidents I can totally relate to. I had your Paris experiences when I was traveling solo in Austria. And JFK is pretty much what we experienced too (the 2 hour long line though our officer was more curt than rude).

    And I was surprised by your impression of Istanbul. We loved it there when we visited and people seemed to be dressed even more freely than we are used to here in the UAE 🙂 I guess it is all relative 🙂

    I’m glad you liked Emirates. While they do have great service in all my years flying with them I’ve never ever been handed Godiva! Now I’m so jealous! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Next time, chat with the flight attendants, maybe they’ll find an extra treat for you 😉😎 I bet if I were traveling in Istanbul with my husband, I would’ve been treated differently – but that’s exactly what I don’t like! I was with a female friend and even the waiters in dinner restaurants wouldn’t leave us alone. Well, we all have our limits and they may be different 😊 And that’s okay. I didn’t see many women or blonds out and about anywhere in Istanbul, the ones I saw were dressed in burkhas so I would’ve felt even more self-conscious about wearing normal summer clothes when everyone else is covered up. Thanks so much for commenting! And have a lovely day! 🌞🌸

      Like

  14. interesting and thoughtful post. great job. that flight does sound like hell. why was it so cold? Did they open a window? 😛 Trelew… an interesting choice. actually i kinda liked your description of it. should have gone!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahah, it certainly felt like they opened a window!!! 😀 The dinosaur museum in Trelew was quite good, though there are many others, I’m sure, that are bigger, etc. I actually liked all the museums we visited in Argentina. They were somehow more interesting than elsewhere… a bit interactive, a bit environmental… with a connection to real life and lots of interesting small stuff.

      Like

  15. Hi! How are you? I follow your blog because it is very interesting and inspiring. I really love it. How’s your day going? I hope we could be friends. I can’t wait to read your upcoming blog post. Have a good day ahead!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. HI, I love this post because not every travel experience is perfect, just as you said! I am currently in a hotel on Bourbon street in New Orleans. We thought the location would be perfect since we are on foot, but we happen to be next to a bar that is open 10am to 3am EVERY DAY! This is our own fault of course, thinking that Bourbon street was only crazy at Mardi Gras, turns out it is crazy every day, all 24 hours! We are having fun but not sleeping a whole lot. I think it is important to paint an accurate picture, not overly positive or negative, and let others decided it that is the right place for them. Thank you for sharing and for stopping by my blog and checking it out, happy travels!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi! Thank you very much for your comment and thoughts! I’m happy I ended up doing this post because I, too, think that it’s important to be realistic sometimes, especially online where people see only what you want to show them of you and your life. Things can happen when you travel, as well as at home, and travel is rarely all sunshine without any worries. Enjoy New Orleans (I’d love to go there someday) and hope you get some sleep! Happy – and safe – travels!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I defintely relate to this! Especially when the locals ask so many questions. If I was a tourist it wouldn’t be quite as annoying, but after hearing it 5 times a day, everyday for months, I start to come off as rude even when I don’t mean to. I just want to make cards to hand out saying, “I’m from the USA. Yes, I’m traveling alone. No, I’m not scared of being by myself. Yes, your country is beautiful.” Anyways, great post, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know what you mean! I don’t like being rude either, but sometimes it just comes to that, unintentionally. At first, it might even seem fun to get a little attention but after a while… not so much. Thanks so much for your comment! 😊

      Like

  18. I really enjoyed reading this post! Haha – I may have to write one myself too. I have some horrific travel experiences to share that will make you laugh. My experiences with American Airlines have been so bad that I’m not at all surprised you would’ve had to pay for a blanket.. although I do think it’s appalling to ask for money for one in the situation you were in!!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d love to read a similarly themed post from you! 😄 I’ve been lucky to mostly have only good experiences, I guess my biggest problem is when I look like an obvious foreigner, because I’d rather blend! Which is a 1st world problem, after all!!! 😊 AA is definitely on my to-avoid list, as is flying thru the US in general because of the extra hassle with getting an Esta

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I really enjoyed reading this post, such interesting insights. The comment about women laughing in public is a new one!! I’ve never heard anything like this before, very strange, you’d have to be a robot not to express a basic human emotion/reaction like laughter – never been to Turkey either.

    Liked by 1 person

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