First time travelers from the USA are often caught off-guard by the unexpected experiences, sights, sounds, and atmosphere of being in a whole new world… and not always in a good way....
Travelers to countries like Israel find that while personalities, cuisine, and architecture may be exotic, the country operates like any other first world country. Hotels are what you would expect, streets are well maintained, and one can almost be lulled into the belief that they are in Europe. But the reality is, that the local customs differ. So, for example, what may be perceived as being rude in America, is more than acceptable in Israel.
Understand Where You Are...
While developing countries offer attractions and experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, travelers often do a double take by some of the conditions when they arrive.
Take Egypt for example: Visiting the Land of the Pharaohs is an incredible experience, with the Nile River, the Pyramids, and more, history is all around you and the sites are overwhelming! The hotels, while dated, are also wonderful and luxurious, but you may be surprised at the state of Cairo, with traffic laws that are nearly non-existent and street conditions that are not what you would find in the USA.
Taking a tour that involves more than one country? It is important to remember that the standards that govern hotel ratings, the hotel star system in other words, are set by the country’s tourism ministry. This means that “5-Star” hotels mean completely different things in different countries!
It is not uncommon for us to hear that travelers are disappointed by hotel standards when traveling from a 1st-world country, to a developing or 3rd-world country. So, if you are visiting Jordan, for example, Petra will surely astound you, but a 3- star or 4-star hotel, while clean, may not impress you as much as those in Egypt.
Traveling is a great way to expand your horizons, experience new cultures, and see sights, hear sounds, and taste foods that are unlike those back home. But it is important to approach the destinations with an open mind, and remember that it is all part of the experience!
And of course, you cant compare an exotic orange with the Big Apple.