What have you seen on travels that you wish existed at home?

Travel Forums General Talk What have you seen on travels that you wish existed at home?

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1. Posted by Peter (Admin 6611 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

I was listening to a podcast earlier today (99% Invisible) and the topic of this particular episode was the Right to Roam laws in the UK.

For those not familiar, it's basically a law stating that people have the right to walk across certain types of private land. It exists in varying degrees across Europe as well.

In Scotland they even have Bothies (small huts), often on private land that hikers can stay in overnight if they please. It sounds like such a great system that I'm sure a lot of other countries would also love to see.

I think it's somewhat inevitable when travelling around the world that you come across laws and cultural traditions that you just wish existed back where you live normally.

An example for me personally is the culture of Dachas that exists in Russia. These are small (typically) bare-bones houses on the outskirts of Russian cities where people would go to during the summer to grow food. It came about during the Soviet era I think. I got the chance to visit one of these Dachas and it was just such a magical place that I often think back to it, wishing that something like that existed here.

So what examples have you got of laws or cultural traditions that you really would love to see back in your home country?

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 21w Star this if you like it!

I got to thinking about it....In Canada we have cottages.....That's just Dachas for Canucks., There are things that I think are unique about various countries. But I can not think of a thing I wish Canada had that other places don't have. Maybe Japanese Subway Grocery Store Vending Machines.....And Greek Street Level Stand Up Bars.

3. Posted by Peter (Admin 6611 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

I don’t know enough about cottages in Canada. Are they any different to just holiday homes?

Dachas aren’t just holiday houses like we have them in Australia or in many places around the world. They are usually in their own communities and specifically for the purpose of growing food. Something like 80% of Russia’s fruit and berries are grown in dacha communities for example. I guess they are like a combination between community garden plots and holiday houses.

4. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 761 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

I agree about the Japanese vending machines, specifically for the range of coffees, hot and cold!

5. Posted by Dymphna (Budding Member 93 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

The ability to purchase antibiotics without a doctor's prescription.

6. Posted by maykal (Full Member 21 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

Cafes that stay open late! OK there might be a few in London and other major British cities, but for the most part, after about 6 or 7pm, it's very difficult to find somewhere to get good coffee, as the only things open are pubs (usually dreadful coffee, and I normally drink other things in pubs ;)) and restaurants. In my town, after 6, the only thing to do is turn to alcohol. Many other countries I've been to have cafes that stay open until midnight or sometimes later, even in small towns.

Restaurants that still serve food after 9pm. Here, unless you want take-away, it's almost impossible to find a restaurant whose kitchen doesn't close at 9.

I also like the way many places operate as cafes, bars and restaurants at the same time, and they have no objection to someone ordering just a drink. That seems to be rare in the UK (again, maybe in bigger cities it is more common, but not where I live). Here, you go to a restaurant to eat, a bar for alcohol, a cafe for coffee.

Shared taxis and minibuses for travelling between cities. I like the idea of turning up at a bus station and finding transport to somewhere quite far away, no need to book anything or worry about timetables. OK, you may have to wait a bit for the vehicle to fill up, but I've always managed to get where I want to go using this system.

Trains with affordable tickets, and tickets which cost the same no matter when or how you book them. British trains are ridiculously expensive, and have very complex ticketing systems. If there was a standard price per mile or something like that, it would be much better...it would also make spontaneous travel more attractive. If I want to pop down to London for the weekend from Scotland, train ticket prices would put me off, because last minute tickets are generally not affordable and to get anything approaching a good deal, you have to book it weeks/months in advance.

7. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 761 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

Quoting maykal

I also like the way many places operate as cafes, bars and restaurants at the same time, and they have no objection to someone ordering just a drink. That seems to be rare in the UK (again, maybe in bigger cities it is more common, but not where I live). Here, you go to a restaurant to eat, a bar for alcohol, a cafe for coffee.

Trains with affordable tickets, and tickets which cost the same no matter when or how you book them. British trains are ridiculously expensive, and have very complex ticketing systems.

Completely with you on both of these!

8. Posted by Hensku (Budding Member 71 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

I agree with maykal, its same in Finland. We have some restauraunts where you can order just drinks though. But train ticket prices varies, if you can get ticket which is on sale, its cheap, but there isnt always cheap tickets available. And time table for the trains are much better almost everywhere else in western Europe :)

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5296 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

Mountains. :P Ooh, and penguins!

More seriously: (American (but also Australian e.a.)) breakfast culture. We finally found a place 'nearby' that does acceptable American pancakes (with real maple syrup), but although they have something they call "Eggs Benedict" on the menu, it doesn't even come close. And I still marvel that there's places open for breakfast at all, as this is definitely a recent development. And then I think back to favorite breakfast places in Chicago and San Francisco where you had to book weeks in advance, as they were so incredibly popular, and deservedly so...

Diagonal pedestrian crossings.

Ice wine. :D

Hugging friends in greeting. Seriously. They do it as close by as Germany, but here in the Netherlands, it's all so distant, handshakes and airkisses...

10. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 20w Star this if you like it!

Hmmmm......So far Canada has all of these. Though it's too big to really have an intricate train system. We do have them, though.

On the Dacha thing. I was unaware that Dachas were connected to communal farming. All around Van there are neighbourhood gardens where people grow all kinds of veggies. Backyard Grapevines are a big thing too.

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Jul-2018, at 12:27 by Piecar ]