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Your favorite part about leaving the US for a 2 or 3 week tour?

Always nice to come home, but one of my favorite things about leaving the US for a couple of weeks is not hearing "ask your doctor about _______." The US is one of only two countries in the world that permits drug advertising on TV.

Aside from getting away from work or drug ads on TV, what do you like most about getting away?

Posted by
1982 posts

Besides the food and seeing a different country, it's the chance to see American through a different lens, especially in TV news. We were in Istanbul when the Boston Marathon bombing took place and the difference between the CNN International coverage and BBC World was stark. CNN had the breathless OTT coverage(nowhere is safe!), whereas BBC World reported more of the facts. Watching the news in other countries always shows me how American News outlets are more entertainment than fact.

In addition to news, I like to look at other countries' TV programs. France used to have so many panel discussion shows. And had a weird obsession with 1980s shows like Knight Rider.

Finally, it also makes me aware of the positives of the US. Open spaces, National Parks, friendly service and a sprit of volunteerism not seen in other countries.

Posted by
11434 posts

Not being subjected to endless political advertising and not driving.

Posted by
82 posts

Not being asked to tip $3 for a coffee
Cheap, good wine and beer
Plazas
Cobbled lanes and the cute cafes hidden down them

Posted by
531 posts

While I'm at home, I watch a lot of British shows on PBS just to feel like I'm traveling ๐Ÿ˜†

Posted by
531 posts

Good call outs on the lack of political ads and no pressure to tip! 100% agree!

Posted by
3953 posts

losing weight lol! Whenever I return to Spain for a few weeks I always end up dropping a few kg. More walking, less driving, and healthier food with smaller portions.

The same happens with a fellow expat friend, who also lives in the States, whenever she returns to her hometown of Kyoto, she always loses weight haha

Posted by
195 posts

Different culinary experiences and the evening walks. Hearing all the languages of the EU.

Posted by
4589 posts

US is one of only two countries in the world that permits drug advertising on TV.

What I love about drug advertising is the reminder that I am only a pill away from being happier, better looking, and on a fabulous vacation.

Posted by
38 posts

Freedom, excitement, not being responsible for deciding what to cook for dinner, not being available to babytend grandchildren on a moments notice!

Posted by
15525 posts

In regard to the drug ads, you could do what my brother does......he Tivo's everything and then fast forwards through the commercials.

Posted by
531 posts

@Frank too much effort, they shouldn't be on TV at all, in my humble opinion. ๐Ÿ˜‰

@carlos Don't go on the GAS tour. You definitely won't lose weight on that one! My pants were tight by the end of that tour in 2019!

Posted by
5348 posts

I simply can't watch TV in the US. You're either watching adverts, a re-cap on what happened on the programme prior to the break just in case your memory is that poor, a long winded 'coming up' prior to the next break and a couple of minutes of actual content with everything being so dramatic, high octane and brash.

Posted by
138 posts

Ditto Claudia! A fresh perspective. Also seeing the world as my 3 year old grandson doesโ€ฆeverything will be a new sight, sound, smell, taste, experience. Carpe Diem!

Posted by
4589 posts

BBC World News reported more of the facts. Watching the news in other countries always shows me how American News outlets are more entertainment than fact.

There's no question that US cable news has more an "entertainment"/propaganda quality, broadcast national news isn't so much that way (and reaches like five times as many people as cable news does). AFAIK BBC World News is available for free on PBS in every US market, for a half hour/day. I like the Commonwealth bent of BBC World News, the focus of coverage on India, South Africa, NZ, Canada, etc. There's BBC News Hour on NPR every day too, at 3 am and 3 pm in my market. And for heaven's sake, Maryland is not pronounced Mary-Land!

Back to the topic, getting out of the rut is the main appeal, but getting away from waste is another. I don't understand when after being closed up in a heated environment for 6 months neighbors turn on the AC for the other 6. For example it is a beautiful morning of low humidity, about 65 F/18 C, and wonderful conditions all day yesterday-- why is their AC condenser running??? I don't understand wasting $100s like this every summer and missing out on enjoying the nice days with windows open. I like to get away from waste like that.

Posted by
5348 posts

For example it is a beautiful morning of low humidity, about 65 F/18 C, and wonderful conditions all day yesterday-- why is their AC condenser running???

I have neighbours who act in a similar manner, they never hang out their washing, preferring to tumble dry it even when it's a glorious day. It's 30 C, sunny with a gentle breeze today and the washing dries within an hour yet they're wasting electricity by drying their washing in the tumble dryer. At a time when electricity prices are through the roof why waste what nature provides for free?

I can't speak for leaving the US (other than when returning home from a holiday there) but one of my favourite things about travelling to the Continent is the food, including browsing supermarkets, and also the fairly predictable climate. Living in a maritime climate means that it's difficult to make plans that are reliant on good weather

Posted by
7965 posts

The effortless weight loss for sure. And low prices for freshed baked goods and quality beer and wine

Finally, it also makes me aware of the positives of the US. Open spaces, National Parks, friendly service and a sprit of volunteerism not seen in other countries.

Huh? Europe has national parks that you might not be aware of https://www.roadaffair.com/best-national-parks-in-europe/ . Also I go to a lot fairs and festivals over there that similar to here depend on and are manned by volunteers. Moreover, Doctors without Borders is an all volunteer founded and based in Europe that travels to conflict areas. Finally getting friendly service in the USA in my 53 years has always depended on who you are and where you go.

Posted by
8585 posts

Something new and unfamiliar and often challenging, every day.

Posted by
55 posts

Unlike Mary, who enjoys not cooking while away, I enjoy doing some cooking. In the Latin Quarter of Paris, I visited the local farmers market and the adjacent market street to pick up food for breakfasts and a few dinners. The local butcher shop was selling whole roasted rabbits one day.

In eastern Europe, you find a wide selection of duck, goose and game in the meat section of an average chain grocery. Potatoes are sold with the field dirt still on them, stacked up in a box. Dinner one evening in Poland was roasted goose legs and potatoes . The goose fat flavored the potatoes wonderfully.

Don't get me wrong--I love to eat out, too, but experiencing the local foods by cooking myself is fun, too.

Posted by
3953 posts

sprit of volunteerism not seen in other countries.

At least in Europe, I'd say the spirit volunteerism is quite strong, just look at the current situation regarding Ukrainian refugees, from Ireland to Italy many people opening their homes to take in Ukrainian families.

Posted by
1982 posts

One more thing I like is seeing the fashions of the different countries. Like the Spanish who dress up at every holiday and night out. Every woman looked fantastic with the stiletto heels, sleek skirt, coiffed hair, or the fashions of the young people.

And yes, the exercise of walking everywhere seems more interesting rather than the usually walk around the hometown. I need to go vacation to lose a few pounds. It's a bit different after COVID but I loved flying over to Europe. Just the feeling of being up in the clouds and seeing the beauty outside relaxed me.

I would add buying chocolate. I'm a Ritter Sport fan and a friend brought me back some great and unusual flavored chocolate bars. They also paid half the price you can get it on amazon.

Posted by
2453 posts

heather, Walmart sells Ritter Sport. And now I'm craving the one with the whole hazelnuts...

Posted by
531 posts

World Market is a great place for international foods and candies...incl various flavors of Ritter Sport.

Posted by
2453 posts

World Market is dangerous for my wallet. Milka is another brand they carry that I love.

Posted by
3961 posts

Going out of my comfort zone, broadening my perspective= leading to greater understanding.

Posted by
5348 posts

Milka is another brand they carry that I love.

Milka has gone downhill of late. They've changed their recipe and also introduced recipe combinations that reduce the amount of chocolate in favour of cheaper ingredients such as biscuit, puffed rice etc.

Ritter Sport continues to reign supreme although the name continues to fail to elicit thoughts of chocolate!

Posted by
734 posts

I simply can't watch TV in the US. You're either watching adverts, a re-cap on what happened on the programme prior to the break just in case your memory is that poor, a long winded 'coming up' prior to the next break and a couple of minutes of actual content with everything being so dramatic, high octane and brash.

We've found that to be true to a certain extent nearly everywhere we've traveled. "Judge Judy" commercials are just as annoying in York England as they are in Detroit. I dread quarantine almost anywhere if all I have available is the usual commercial television in hotels.

In the US some use DVR's to skip through the annoyances. Ours skips commercials super quickly and automatically positions itself. There's plenty of quality uninterrupted programming on PBS, TCM, etc. It is really bothersome that PBS inserts fundraising breaks when they air new Rick Steves programs. Premium channels can offer quality uninterrupted programming as well as schlock.

We just watched the "Hitsville: The Making of Motown" special on Showtime - 2 hours of superb television!

Posted by
2453 posts

Ritter Sport continues to reign supreme although the name continues to fail to elicit thoughts of chocolate!

The name has always been odd to me. They should've just left it at "Ritter's Chokolade." Who puts chocolate in a jacket, sport or otherwise?

According to the BBC, the German company's bars have been square since 1932 when co-founder of Ritter Sport (or Ritter's Sport Chokolade, as it was known then) Clara Ritter suggested designing a chocolate bar that would fit perfectly in the pocket of a sports jacket (hence the โ€œsportโ€ in Ritter Sport).

Posted by
5348 posts

We just watched the "Hitsville: The Making of Motown" special on Showtime - 2 hours of superb television!

Couldn't agree more, excellent programme!

Posted by
1982 posts

Thanks Jill-but I've only seen the English packages there. The chocolate doesn't taste as well as the ones with the German packaging. Love the Marzipan and strawberry creme Cherry Blossom ones I got.

Posted by
442 posts

Cappuccino and espresso in a ceramic cup not cardboard. Espresso at 1/3 the price and 2X the quality. Brad

Posted by
531 posts

Food in Europe tastes better because it doesn't have all the junk/preservatives like in the US.

I found a Kit Kat chunky peanut butter bar when I was in Germany a few years ago and I can't find it anywhere in the US. So good!

The other treat I love that we can't get here is Bonne Maman chocolate mousse (cups). I have to make sure to get some while I am in France in a few months. They are sooooo good! We can only get BM jam here in the US.

Posted by
531 posts

I love how this has morphed into more of a "what I love most about Europe" theme ๐Ÿ˜Š

Posted by
2211 posts

I love leaving my car behind. Being able to shop without having to jump in a car is a real treat.

Posted by
201 posts

Good public transportation in most cities. Trains. Being pleasantly surprised by everyday things.

Posted by
85 posts

The greatest thing after having a wonderful and (hopefully) relaxing time in a distant land, after tasting luscious new foods, after seeing marvelous sights and historic landmarks, after experiencing a new and different culture, is coming home to the USA. Coming home with new perspectives and a deeper understanding of how fortunate and how blessed we as Americans are. I am not downplaying the beauty and wonders of the places visited, or the blessing those other places likewise enjoy. Just expressing the reminder of our blessings. Even with the challenges (problems) we face, I would live nowhere else. Yes, the greatest part about leaving the USA is coming home to the USA!

Posted by
531 posts

@susan Agree with you about the trains in Europe! I've taken the Eurostar from London to Paris twice, and I've taken trains from London all the way to Amsterdam. Great experience!

If you're solo traveler, and don't want to get stuck sitting across from or next to a stranger, book a solo seat. And if you want quiet, book first class. It's worth every penny.

Posted by
131 posts

Jill,

KitKat is quite different outside the US: in the US, KitKat is made by (licensed by) Hershey. In the rest of the world, it made by Nestle. I don't know for a fact that they use different recipes, but that would not surprise me.

Posted by
131 posts

Oh, and Bonne Maman: I'm sure in France this is considered bad quality, but I love their madelines sold in french grocery stores. The chocolate dipped ones are fantastic, but the plain are not bad either. And you get a whole bag of them! Nice snacks on the trains! (I think I found them in the UK, but I've never seen them in the US, sadly.)

Posted by
118 posts

We love where we live in a little mountain village up in the Rockies & we walk all the time. Yet, we leave for our 3rd RS tour next month because itโ€™s so much easier than doing all the planning, as we use to do, ourselves & because itโ€™s fun to travel having new experiences!

Posted by
11373 posts

Your favorite part about leaving the US for a 2 or 3 week tour?

Appreciating that I am fortunate enough to be able to do so.

Posted by
1259 posts

Dear Wife has refused to let me travel so the best part about getting out of town in October (domestic trip, family visit) is to field test the refinements I've been making to my international kit over the last three years. Going to Spain with RS early March 2023.