Berlin – Brussels – Tokyo
I have a collection of friends from all over the world who come together once a year to explore a different city in a different country for one week. We do these in the summer. All of my friends were once students of YIS so in a sense we started this trip to Tokyo. Here we were all foreigners and often had trips in the city. However, in Japan, it was always difficult to communicate with the environment and culture around us due to a language barrier. This all changed when we started taking trips to Europe where one of us always spoke the language of the city we visited. This allowed us to really develop intercultural Communications skills. We started in Berlin where we booked a hostel and explored the city. I got to help my friends to see the city from a perspective that tourist would often not experience. I translated often when we were talking to other travelers and going to different places. I taught my friends how they could order their food and drinks and they started to attempt to interact with my culture and the people of the city. This not only allowed them to learn about German culture but they got to ask questions and see the city in their own way. We explored restaurants and city corners that where not part of the daily tourist attractions so that we could see the city how many of the people of Berlin see it. However, I had no difficulty or much of a learning experience because I spoke the language and was already part of both cultures.
I got to experience what they experienced in Berlin when we went to Brussels the next year. Here the two languages are Flemish and French. Unfortunately, I do not speak either, but this time some of my other friends spoke the language so they were able to teach me a little about the culture. Here we explored the city, went to museums and travels with the tramp to see different art exhibitions. My favorite part of this trip was that we stayed in a 10 men bedroom for one night with one of my friends. Here we meet several different travelers from around the world, We stayed up all night talking about our different experiences and dissuade topics from skiing in Japan to the school system in Australia to the future of the different travelers. One Travellers was taking a break from uni and spend her money to travel Europe and see the world, the other trailer spends the winter to work and gain some money and then traveled the world with his money in the summer.
I enjoyed being able to see different places around the world with my friends and being able to understand and learn about other peoples cultures. I defiantly want to continue traveling with this group of people and learn and experience as much as I possibly can.