Experiences in other countries can sometimes be so enlightening that you can't help but wish you could bring those little traditions back home with you. So when we published the responses to redditor u/danielgmal's question, "What did you experience in another country that you wish you could make a part of your regular life?" both the BuzzFeed and HuffPost communities shared the aspects of everyday life in other countries they wish existed at home. Here's what they had to say:
1."It's been a while since I was in France, but I remember how nice it was that the waitstaff didn't plop down the check with dinner, making us feel we had to hurry up. We took our time, enjoyed the meal, and asked for the check when we were ready."
2."I really enjoyed the Autobahn in Germany with the no speed limit sections — well-trained people that would only use the left lane for passing and would move over to the right lane after passing. Driving in Germany was awesome. The best thing I enjoyed on that trip."
3."I go to the Philippines for work from time to time. I love how almost every meal at a Filipino restaurant is served family style so everyone at the table collaborates on what to order and then shares all the dishes. It gave me a chance to try a little of everything, and it felt really inclusive and engaging."
4."A friend of mine spent a year going to school in Geneva and told me how easy it was to travel anywhere. It didn't matter if you were commuting to work from outside a major city or traveling from country to country — the trains, buses, subways, and trams went everywhere. So many people never bought a car, because they didn't need them. If you needed to go see someone a few streets away, you had your bike. Traveling from country to country via rail was like traveling from state to state here, and many people regularly took vacations in other countries in Europe because of the ease of doing so."
5."Past resident of both Belgium and Germany here. I dig picking up fresh flowers on the way home. Outside every train station, bus depot, and metro port, there is always some place selling fresh flowers. And there's fresh bread from kiosks next to the flower seller."
6."I lived in Australia. I truly loved a greengrocer in every neighborhood. Your greengrocer would know where they got every fruit and vegetable they sold. There is also a great cafe culture there with eating outside. I used to go to a lovely Indian restaurant for lunch and sit outside at a little table. It was so nice and relaxing."
7."I lived in France for several years, and I miss the big table surrounded by friends, fine wine, and heaps of good food and conversation. Also, the ease in which one can move to many other countries by road or rail to enjoy the cultures."
8."Free snacks when you order drinks at a bar is a custom in Italy, and they will usually refill for free if you finish eating. Differs from place to place, but that is just the standard there, and I absolutely loved it in my year abroad. Coming back home to Canadian bars was disappointing without it."
9."Special parking for pregnant women and families with small children in Portugal. As well as special security lines at the airport for families with small children/special needs. It made everything way less stressful for EVERYONE!"
10."German Christmas markets. I went to Germany during December, and each town has Christmas markets that run through the holiday season. There is food, shopping, activities, etc. It is a place where everyone comes to hang out during the evenings, and the area is decorated up for Christmas. It seems like the perfect thing for us to have in the US, but there are very few here."
11."In Stockholm, the amount of outdoor eating options. Every restaurant had an outdoor covered area with heat lamps and fleece blankets. Most umbrellas and coverings as well as the blankets were all promotional items from beer brands. Made me want to eat outside, even if it was chilly."
12."I lived with my paternal family in Rosario, Argentina for six months when I graduated high school. I grew to love the ability to have public transport at every corner and the daily siestas for everyone! The ease to purchase all of your food items on each block, whether it was the butcher, fresh produce, or bakery. If we needed anything else, we went to Central (downtown) via the bus for other household needs."
13."In Japan, they give you wet wipes or hot towels before every meal. Also, the bidet in every toilet (even public restrooms) was a pleasant experience. And they don’t have paper towels in the bathrooms — you’re expected to bring your own hand towel everywhere with you which makes for significantly cleaner restrooms. They really value cleanliness so there’s no trash littered everywhere."
14."I grew up in Italy, and I'm hoping to move back in the next few years. I became extremely depressed in the US because things that seemed so small like the passeggiata, going to a restaurant without being rushed, and genuinely enjoying the company you’re with until late with a small coffee and/or limoncello weren't as present. I miss the family-first, work-second culture."
15."Drying clothes on a line outside. My husband and I installed a retractable line so I could dry my clothes, sheets, etc. outside. They smell so much better and save electricity. My grandparents’ parents had them, but with the washer and dryer making things easier, they stopped putting them in backyards. Of course, there are times when I can’t use it, but I just love doing it."
16."In Italy, we loved the natural 'water fountains.' Each fountain allowed for drinking water access — very helpful on hot days."
17."I loved the slower pace of Spain as an 18-year-old exchange student from the US (30 years ago). I would take a bus to school at 6:30 a.m. back home without time to eat. In Spain, we ate a leisurely family breakfast every morning because school/work started at 9 a.m.! Parents and kids got home at the same time. We'd eat a little meal around 5 p.m. and go to the market, park, or just hang out. We all helped prepare the big meal, and it lasted for hours. It was relaxing."
18."I definitely noticed how efficient the public transportation was in London and Paris. It was so easy to get anywhere in each city you wanted to go on their underground transportation systems, even the Metro in Paris where almost every sign is in French. My wife and I figured out how to use the Metro and the Tube in London after one day. Both of them are also very inexpensive."
19."Outside my dorm in Germany, we had an area for waste separation and recycling, including a bin for food scraps/organic waste. So I could literally toss eggshells and banana peels there! The Pfand system was also neat. You pay a deposit for a bottle, drink the contents, and return it to a big vending machine-looking thing outside of stores. Then, you get a receipt for your deposit that you could use inside the store to take money off your purchase. The empty bottles get recycled."
20."In Korea, you can find some kind of convenience store on every corner, and they always have so many more options than just snacks and bottled drinks. You can get healthy premade meals, hot beverages (kept in a separate 'hot fridge' that I was obsessed with), many kinds of ramen (that you could then make and often eat in the store since there were usually either stools and a counter or a table outside), and often even freshly steamed sweet potatoes. The number of times we would just each grab a roll of kimbap from the CU for, like, a dollar and eat that for lunch was wild. I miss that so much."
Are there any customs or traditions you experienced when traveling that you wish existed where you live? Let us know in the comments!
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.