Life around the world

Friday, 13 April, 2012 - 13:47

The attraction of foreign lands

by JohnM

I love going on holiday, especially going abroad – I mean, don’t we all? Italy, France, Spain, Russia… whether it’s a train journey through the countryside or a visit to a beautiful city, there’s always going to be something new to see and somewhere interesting to visit. It’s an adventure. And that’s why we love to travel – the planning, the preparation, the shopping… it’s all part of this exciting process that distracts us from reality. We book the flights, mark our calendars and then impatiently count down the days until we fly off to foreign land. We love going on holiday and we love going abroad. But why do we love going abroad so much?

Spain, for example, is full of tourists from all over the world. The sun, sea and clean beaches attract so many foreign visitors – especially British people – whose main reason for going abroad is normally the weather. When our friends tell us that they are going on holiday, we want to go too. We are mainly jealous because we never have much sunshine in Britain; the winters are very cold and the springs are very wet, so in the summer we go to countries like Spain to really make the most of the warmer climate.

Spain is such a popular holiday destination for British people. As well as the weather, the relaxed atmosphere and nightlife are very appealing. For example, we love being able to socialise and party until the early hours of the morning. Spanish holiday resorts are therefore very popular and thrive in the summer. British families love the familiar atmosphere, the familiar environment, and the familiar foods; that there are pubs and takeaway restaurants almost everywhere you go; and that the entertainment provides its audience with the particular humour of Britain. Yes, many British people go on holiday to Spain and have a great time. But unfortunately, not everyone actually experiences Spain because it adapts so much to cater for the typical British holiday-maker.

But then, two months ago I moved to Spain. In Scotland, because I’m studying Spanish, I must spend a year in Spain before continuing with my studies. And now I live in Seville, working as an English language assistant in a school. I have my very own crazy and exciting adventure, and it’s a fantastic opportunity. Yet it still doesn’t feel real – I mean, I did the planning, the preparation, the shopping, and I even counted down the days on my calendar. But this isn’t just a two-week holiday in the summer. I live abroad now.

Yes, many foreigners come to Spain for the sun, sea and sand, but here, right in the heart of Andalusia, is a beautiful city rich in culture and history. Seville is undoubtedly foreign - the palm trees, the fountains, the lively streets and the gothic cathedral are all new for many British visitors. I think there is something very intriguing about Seville. We are captivated by its alluring charm; we want to explore it and discover its secrets. And it’s definitely full of new and interesting things – living here really is a refreshing change. However, while I’ve traded fish and chips for tapas, miserable weather for sunshine, and the angry ocean waves for the calm Guadalquivir River, I think I’ll always be brought back to my town in Scotland. It’s my home – yes, the winters are very cold and the springs are very wet, but this is what I’m used to. For me, Spain will always be somewhat foreign. But that’s exactly what makes it so attractive and exciting. Spain is my adventure.

Everyone is different. We all have different tastes and interests, so we all have different reasons for going abroad… and whether it's to relax on the beach, explore a new culture, or even learn a language, the world has something for everyone. Going abroad is a wonderful opportunity to visit so many new places and see so many interesting things – foreign things – and all of these help us to escape the daily routine at home. Yes, we are all different; but no matter where we go or what we do, we always embrace the adventure. We really do love going abroad. And in the end, we all fall for the world of the exotic.

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Why do you think people love going abroad so much? Would you like to live abroad?

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