This summer has enlightened me on how to be a smart traveler when flying to a different country, or when you’re just getting on the bus to commute to work. Two weeks ago I flew to Amsterdam with a few of my friends, and once our flight touched down in the city, we had to navigate our way through the airport and discover how to travel to our hotel. While this might seem like an extremely basic task – it came as quite a challenge. We were in a foreign country with no concept of how public transportation worked (and our backup plan – uber – was not available at the time). Eventually we discovered that we could buy a 3 day train/bus ticket to travel around the city, and everything was smooth sailing from that point onward.
Even in Dublin I find that I have adapted to the behavior that native Dubliners have while commuting on the bus. There are very small, casual behaviors that everyone follows on the bus – such as giving your seat to a woman or child if there isn’t on available, or pressing the “stop” button for someone who cannot reach it. These things may just appear to be common curtesy, but I have found that everyone abides by them – which makes me think that I must have come off as an arrogant American my first week on the bus when I wasn’t following any of those customs!
Additionally, I traveled to Ireland in the first place because a lot of my heritage stems from this country. I am 3/4 Italian, and then 1/4 Irish which inspired me to travel here and experience the cultures and intricacies of my ancestors.