Travelling is something most people love. You get to meet new people, explore new countries and try new foods: it´s a self-development experience. While travelling you will encounter many things that are not the same as in your home country, and some other that are not that different. They might greet you in another way or have a different way of life than you.
Coming from Scandinavia (Norway) and visiting Costa Rica, a traveler will see some of these differences: starting by the obvious, Costa Rica is warm and sunny, Norway is cold and windy. And of course the weather will brew a different set of people which will withstand such warmth or cold. Norwegians tend to seem a little upfront before you get to know them; Latin people are more open from the start and they’ll include you somehow faster than a Norwegian would do at the start of a friendship. In Costa Rica it’s normal to hug and kiss people on the cheek, while in Norway the norm is more a handshake: Norwegians really love their personal space and a handshake is more than enough when you meet someone new. And the similarities…in both countries you can find trustful and caring people to grow an excellent and lasting friendship!
A lot of people travel to explore new tastes and new food. All countries have different gastronomy. Much of it depends on what you can produce or get in your country: Norway has always been a farmland, and because of its cold weather and geographic location in the north, there is a lot of seasonal fruits and vegetables. That can explain why the traditional food there consists of a lot of dried meat and fish, and potatoes and other hard root vegetables that can be stored throughout the winter without getting bad. If you look at Costarican typical food, you will find a lot more tropical fresh fruits and vegetables combined with different kinds of meats: also there will be main ingredients like rice and beans, because it’s cheaper and has good nutritional value. And of course, the similarities: in both places you can find delicious food for all tastes! It is as likely to find a Norwegian in Costa Rica enjoying a sweet and juicy papaya, than it would be to find a Costarican in Norway enjoying a tasteful salmon filet.
People from different places have a different views on life. Some people are more relaxed while others need to have a plan for every step of their day. This also differs from country to country: Costaricans don’t like confrontation, while Scandinavians tend to be quite direct. In those terms, Costaricans have a more relaxed view on life and might be less organized, while Scandinavians will exceed at planning and executing a perfect vacation, for example!
Most people travel to explore new things, and nature is a big part of travelling. People travel to Norway because of the mountains and the fjords, while people travel to Costa Rica to look at the volcanoes and the beaches. Nature will take your breath away in both places: while the shapes and colors will be different, the spectacular landscapes and wildlife will be unique and will awake your senses in a very similar way! Keep traveling, keep growing and keep sharing…tourism is a personal journey that should never stop!
By Alex Dahl – Norway, for Elemento Natural.