What Did You Like About a Country You Visited? | Coursera Community
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What Did You Like About a Country You Visited?

  • 22 January 2019
  • 13 replies

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Most of us have probably visited another country at some point in our lifetime; some may have visited many. What's something that you liked about a country that you visited? Was it the culture, people, countryside, etc.? Would you like to go back there?

In 2009, I visited the US. Some things that I really liked were the scenery such as Capitol Reef and the Grand Canyon. I also liked the American accent (Americans would probably say that they don't have an accent). 🙂

Does anyone else have anything they want to share about a country they visited?

13 replies

@Lillian , what a wonderful idea for a topic discussion!
A country that surprised me by what I saw was Cuba. It was so rich with culture. Musicians were well respected and had jobs everywhere. I visited a music and arts school where talented students get to live and improve their talents. Every student was given a musical instrument. When they graduate all of them are given jobs! As a result, every town has a town ensemble. Every good restaurant has a music ensemble too. Music was everywhere. In the small parks , guitarists gather to play with one another too.
As for the beauty of the cities, there was a commitment to restoring the buildings. It was exciting to see many of these buildings come back to life!
It was interesting to see young teens interacting.They didn’t have cellphones since internet connections haven’t been good there. The old “boom boxes” were prevalent. They listened to music and spent much of their time together dancing.
I also appreciated how important achools are. In the most remote of areas, you will find a one room school. I had visited one and taught the kids an American song. In exchange, they sang a Cuban song to me. It was such an enriching experience.
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@Judith, your description of Cuba makes me want to go there! 🙂 To be honest, I've never thought of Cuba as a holiday destination until now.

That is such a good idea to give the students a job when they leave the music and arts school. Having an ensemble in each town would definitely make the whole atmosphere more festive and joyful.

It also sounds as if the people there are very friendly. How long were you there?
@Lillian , I was there for 2 weeks. The people were very friendly. In one park, someone lent me his guitar so I could play with them. That was such fun!
It is a poor country in some ways, but not in other. All education and health care is free.They don’t have a lot of material things which I found interesting. For example, there is only one kind of bottled water you could get. Here in the USA there are so many different kinds of bottled water to choose from it becomes overwhelming. I met someone who makes clothes for a living. She said it is almost impossible to find new material so she takes apart old clothes and makes new ones.
I agree that it is wonderful to get a job in your field and not have the stress or worry about finding one. They only accept the number of people to their music schools who they know they can find jobs for.
Cuba is south of where I live, so visiting in my winter was so pleasant.
I think it is so funny that you enjoy American accents.We enjoy Aussie ones!
Do you have any future plans to travel? If so, where to?
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I think that 2 weeks is a nice amount of time to have a holiday, @Judith. Any less and you feel like you haven't done anything; too much more and you may get sick of it and miss your home!
My parents have been to America mostly for work, and they often comment on how the Americans are always telling them to say stuff so that they can hear their accents. 😉
I don't have any major travelling plans on the horizon. I think we may go to Tasmania (an island down the bottom of Australia) in a couple of years and do a 4-5 day walk in the mountains.
What about you? Do you have any travelling plans?
How about anyone else?
@Lillian , there are many kinds of American accents, from the south, the north, and I have a New York City one I have tried to avoid. The “r”s get dropped so I would say, “How’s your motha” meaning “mother”? I didn’t realize I had one so pronounced until I heard myself on a recording. I always tease my husband who says “faw” meaning “four”.Most digital recordings don’t recognize what number he is saying! LOL.
Your walk in the mountains sounds wonderful!

It would be so exciting to hear about other people’s experiences in other countries!
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40 years ago, my husband and I went to Britain and Western Europe. We were there for three months and, yes, it was a long time to be away from home. We loved the spectacular scenery, particularly in Norway and Switzerland. The history was amazing. An old building in Australia is anything over 100 years. I enjoyed visiting my grandfather's birthplace in Wales.

We managed with my husband's high school German and smatterings of French if the local people could not understand English.

These days, we enjoy driving trips in Australia and holidays at the beach.
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What a great idea to start this thread @Lillian ! It could be like a guide for anyone who plans to travel somewhere! Thank you! Quite a few wonderful responses already! I have not been to any of those countries mentioned yet @Judith & @Pat B . Your experiences sound amazing.

I would like to highlight Thailand as one of our favorite countries visited so far with my husband, a few years ago. We felt that not only it was so beautiful, but also the people there were incredibly nice and kind, really coming from the heart, particularly in South of Phuket.

On our first day, I had twisted my ankle at the edge of a pavement and fell. Everyone around rushed to help me. My ankle had swollen immediately, they took me to a nearby place, which was for physiotherapy. The lady there spent over ~2 hours treating me, non-stop with genuine care. She did not wish to take any extra money for the extra time either despite my insisting.

The next day, my ankle was as good as new! It was amazing since I was really concerned if I broke it and ruined the holiday before it started. Every time I passed they also recognized me and asked how I was doing, if I needed more treatment. It was not money oriented either since they had so many customers already, they did not need me. I was really touched with their genuine love and care for everyone in that area.
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@Judith, in Australia, we do not pronounce the 'r's very much. We also have some different words for things. A few months ago, some of Dad's work colleagues dropped in. They were American. We thought it was really funny when they started talking about 'trash cans' and 'restrooms' - words that they just took for granted, but we never use! 🙂

@Pat B, visiting Britain and Western Europe sounds wonderful! I would love to do that some day. I agree that Australia has hardly any history compared with other countries. Did you see many castles? Some of my relatives visited Western Europe a few years ago. They were surprised at the number of old castles and churches.

@Denise, how wonderful for you that everyone was so helpful when you fell! I have heard similar things about Thailand from other relatives who have been there. They've said that the people are so friendly and kind. One of my aunts actually is Thai! It sounds like you had an amazing experience there! I would love to go there someday.

The way I'm going, I'll be ending up wanting to visit everywhere in the world! 😀
@Lillian we can learn so much from one another and experience travel through other’s descriptions. I never knew anyone who lived on a sheep farm, what life was like, but thanks to you, I now have a better understanding of it.
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That’s so true @Judith .

@Lillian , I did not even mention that much about their extraordinarily spectacular scenery, especially with their incredible islands that seem to surface up just off the water unexpectedly, full of green landscapes, crystal clear waters around the islands, which are excellent for snorkelling with colourful fish and sea turtles swimming around you. And their superb cuisine, of course!! -which you probably know well thanks to your auntie. 😋 Definitely an amazing country to visit for everyone...
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@Denise, you're making me want to visit Thailand even more with your wonderful description! 😆 I have not had a chance to taste the cuisine, since my aunt lives on the other side of the continent!

@Judith, I totally agree that it's wonderful that we can 'visit' places without actually going anywhere by chatting to people from different cultures, countries, life stages, etc.

Does anyone else have any more countries to add?
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@Lillian yes, we saw many castles and cathedrals in Britain and Europe. My husband at one stage declared he never wanted to traipse through any more old buildings ever again. But he did, to keep me company 🙂 I loved it! Walking where famous historical people walked, seeing their tombs, and the amazing artwork was a wonderful experience.

@Denise Thailand sounds like a wonderful country!
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Britain and Europe sound amazing, @Pat B! It must have been a wonderful experience to go there. Hopefully, one day, I'll get a chance to go. 🙂

Does anyone else have anything to add, either about the countries already mentioned or a new one?