Discover exciting destinations around the world that make language learning fun
The Funnest Facts About Traveling
When was the last time you traveled? Did you have a good time?
Most people love traveling because it often means visiting somewhere that is unfamiliar to you, or somewhere different from where you live. For some, traveling is a hobby, while for others it's part of a job.
One of the best things about traveling is experiencing new cultures, experiencing first hand interesting facts about the world.
Of course, what may be culturally acceptable in one country may be offensive in another. Gestures, in particular, have multiple meanings throughout the world. It’s important to know how to behave or you risk offending your host!
Here are some interesting examples of proper cultural etiquette:
- The North American “OK” sign made by curling the thumb and forefinger together is an obscene gesture in Turkey, Brazil and Germany, and can be seen as a threatening gesture in parts of the Middle East.
- In European countries, when counting on one’s hand, the thumb is 1, index finger 2, etc. In the United States, the index finger is 1, middle finger is 2, etc. and the thumb usually means 5.
- It's perfectly normal (and expected) for passengers to ride in the front seat of taxis in Australia
- Adding salt and pepper to your food is considered highly offensive to chefs in Switzerland
- In parts of Tibet, sticking one’s tongue out at someone is a greeting.
- In Albania, nodding one's head stands for 'no', while shaking one's head means 'yes'. Confusing to say the least!
There are also many different types of transport to get to your destination. Did you know...
- On many airlines, each pilot eats a different meal to minimize the risk of all pilots on board being ill
- One third of all the airports in the world are located in the US
- The shortest airline flight that you can buy tickets for lasts just 2 minutes and runs from Scottish island of Westray to Papa Westray
- In 1987, American Airlines saved $40,000 by removing one olive from each salad served in first class
- Travelling by train is usually the cheaper alternative, but I'm fairly sure you will reconsider when you want to travel to Vladivostok from Moscow. The longest rail journey in the world is between these 2 cities, taking seven days of travel through the frozen taiga forests, totaling 9,302 kilometres (5,780 miles).
- Since we are talking about trains, let's mention the fastest train ride, as well. Linking downtown Shanghai with Pudong International Airport, the Maglev train covers the intervening 30 kilometres (19 miles) in just 8 minutes, and with a top speed of 501 km/h (311 mph). That must be quite the ride.
Every country has different cultural feelings around travelling. Of course, having more free time to do it is always good.
- The number one country for paid time off is Italy. Italians receive an average of 42 paid vacation days from their employers each year.
- Most workers in the US receive less than 2 weeks’ worth of vacation time per year
Though Italians have more free time to travel, there probably aren't many who would stay at The Royal Penthouse Suite at President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. Unless, that is, if they are prepared to pay $65,000 for one night. (This is the most expensive hotel room today.)
There is one type of travel that we haven't mentioned yet. Time travel. Apart from Marty going back in time in a DeLorean to flee from terrorists in a movie, real life time travel is actually possible. Although less spectacular than you think.
Cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev holds the world record for time travel. He traveled 0.02 seconds into the future.
What Avdeyev did to travel in time is to orbit the Earth 11,968 times over the course of 748 days in the Mir space station. By the time his stint in space was over, he had experienced 0.2 seconds less than the rest of the world did.
At the World Record Academy there are hundreds of other traveling facts and related records registered.