Saturday, June 14, 2014

June 14th the Queen's birthday parade,,20395222_20826180,00.html
Today was the Queen's birthday parade, the trooping of the colors. We watched the practice, but I wish we could have seen the real thing!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thinking globally and acting locally

As many can imagine thinking globally is hard to do when you have never traveled.  Being American we have the freedom to travel from state to state and not have to worry about the change in currency or language.  I just returned from taking my children to Utah to see the Arches National Park and there were so many French and Japanese people there speaking their own language.  I have tried to take my children to many places in America to get them use to different places, because every state here is diferent in their own way.  However traveling into another country is a different story.  While in London we had to learn their currency and we had to get used to their life style.  By the time it was time to leave I felt I could act like a local, I had finally got used to their money and their "Queen's English" but it took awhile to get used to it.  Having global competence is necessary when you are traveling, you need to know what events are going on in the country that you plan to visit.  You need to know their language and their currency.  You do not want to travel to a country that is having violent issues or civil wars, or if your life will be in danger.
I have traveled to France, Italy and now England, I feel that it has added to my global competence because I know how they live everyday life in another country.  I am trying to press into my children that it is a good experience to travel and as soon as I have the money and they are old enough I will be taking them over seas to see other countries.  For now I settle for showing them as much of America as I can.  Every place is different and it adds to global competence and experiences that we can take with us for the rest of our lives.  I hope to carry on my love for traveling and learning about our world to my children, and they will enjoy it as much as I do.
It is hard to act local no matter where you go, even if it is just another state.  We all have norms that we get from our "home" that we take with us, and there are different norms in all places.  Being in London for two weeks wasn't enough time to feel like you fit in enough to feel like a local.  But it was just enough time to get used to being there and want to go home.  It was an experience that I will never forget!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Random pictures

One the plane waiting for takeoff, London bound!
Michaela was impressed with the breakfast :)
Nick took a minute to reflect whie Michaela needed a drink :)
Pretty ladies sitting on a bench :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Global Citizen

What does it mean to be a global citizen?  According to a global citizen is someone who identifies with being a part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices.  Assuming that there is such thing as an emerging world community to which anyone would identify with and that they have a set of values, I would consider myself part of this community.  I can appreciate the things that other countries have to offer, as well as I do respect the other countries as well. 
I have to say that Americans have a definite stereotype in other countries.  This is not always a good thing.  There will always be those Americans that give us a bad name, and fit to well into the stereotype.  What is the stereotype? Lazy, t-shirts pants, rude, loud and ungrateful.  Yes I have witnessed this from certain Americans while abroad, and I tried my hardest to set this stereotype straight.  But it seemed no matter what we did there were still people on the underground whispering about us, or calling us stupid Americans. 
I would consider myself a global citizen I have experienced what it is like to be in another country that is so much different than ours.  I have to say I felt very safe the whole time I was there, and everyone was very friendly, as I liked to say, very politely rude!  Being aware of the social responsibility of fitting in while in another country is important.  We want people to fit in while they are here in our country so we should learn their social norms while we are in their country.  We have the freedom to travel freely to wherever we wish.  I would recommend embracing this freedom to anyone who asks me.  The experiences that you get is not something that can be learned or taught from a textbook, it is something that only living it will teach you.  Having respect for the other culture is critical if you want them to have respect for you.  You can be welcomed with open arms as well as we welcome foreigners with open arms here.
No matter where you go, no matter what country you call home or go to visit, you will always fit in with someone, somewhere.  I recommend becoming a global citizen and expanding your horizons!  It is something that will be remembered forever!  I will always remember what we did and what we saw, and the friends that I have made!

Differing ways of living in the world

The good thing about traveling abroad is the difference in food and drinks that can be experienced.  I was excited to try some new foods, and drinks, but by the end of the trip I was ready for a homemade meal and some soda on ice.  Eating out at a pub was a fun experience, but it gets old if you have to do it every day for two weeks.  Of course you didn’t have to eat at a pub every day, but it was so hard to try and find something to eat besides a pub.  Pubs are on every corner, another place to eat was hard to find, unless you were traveled with Dr. Nobiling and we learned that very quickly!  Unless we had the luxury of dinning with Dr. Nobiling, we spent most of our time looking for a place to eat.  We found some good places, and we also found some not so good places.  Our guide Maria told us that they do not eat the traditional food every day or they would all be very heavy.  I think that it is hard to eat out for two weeks straight and not go crazy, but I have noticed that a lot of the pubs have gone to a standard menu and it doesn’t even seem like it’s homemade.  I had come to enjoy the Aspal Cider with a shot of black current in it.  It was my favorite drink while I was there, and the Yorkshire pudding was good also.  I was happy to come home to a home cooked meal.
I found it very interesting that a pub would serve drinks all day, but wouldn't serve food until noon or 1pm.  I don't know how many times we walked in wanting lunch and they weren't serving food until noon, but we could drink!  The people that we would see on their lunch break having a pint was not normal to us.  Here in America it is frowned upon to have a beer on your lunch break, and over there they encourage it.  These are little differences that I had noticed. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wide open spaces!

After arriving home (Wyoming) I have realized how much we take for granted in this wonderful state! Although I have not been able to really enjoy anything but the guest bed in my parents' house, it is comfy! My immune system took a hit from the environment of London, could be the millions of people on the underground, the congestion of the city, or just bad luck on my part. I have a severe upper respiratory infection and I have to say I'm so thankful that I'm home to be this miserable. If we were still in London I would be struggling to breathe in the second hand smoke and congestion, while walking to our next destination.
I had a blast doing the things that we did and meeting the wonderful people that we met. This truly is a chance of a lifetime, and everyone who has the chance to go should jump on it! It is so worth it in the end!! Looking back on the two weeks abroad all I have to say is, my butt was on Buckingham Palace!! I was leaning against the wall!! I stepped into the stoop when it started raining!! Among every other thing we did of course, it was amazing! 
I have made some forever friends (Jessica, Michaela and Nick) because let's face it, once you stay with someone for that long in one setting, your practically family!! I will now have someone I can bug when I decide to go back (Constable Watson) haha, and of course you have a place to stay if you ever want to come stay in the real mountains in Wyoming! Elk hunting? What do you say Constable Watson? I hear retirement can be awfully boring... Just saying :)
We all have to expand our horizons and experience things we haven't experienced before. We do have things in this country that we would consider luxuries, (soda, ice, wide open spaces, regular water pressure, free public restrooms, and toilets that flush, just to name a few) but other countries have things that we could never have, history! I will always be blown away by the tradition of this country that dates back to before our country was even born! They have buildings and castles that have been standing since before time! You can not even grasp the concept until you are standing next to that building or touring that castle, or standing next to that reporter taking pictures listening to him tell you why the soldiers are doing what they are doing! Not to mention the monarchy! That alone is so different for us to experience. Everything about the police force that is responsible for the birth of our police force is still so different! I don't want to give them props, but they have things pretty figured out, but after all these years, you would hope so. :) I have a tremendous amount of respect for all of those on the force in England, especially those on Watson's team! They really have a hard job trying to plan those events that America would never have to worry about because we do not have a monarchy, or 13 million people in one city.  
We have to be aware of what is going on and how things run in other countries, hey maybe our leaders should take some notes. America is all we know and all we like to come back to, but they feel the same way about us. I think I have heard more bad thing said about us than good, but it's all we know. We could improve, we could be a better country, but they aren't perfect either and outlawing guns wouldn't solve our problems, it goes much deeper than that. I would not trade my wide open spaces though, I love the fresh air and the fresh river running through my home town, even though it might flood it this year! It beats the green water flowing through London :)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Global effects of local behavior

So I am sick along with three of my fellow travelers. The one thing that I have noticed the most about this country is the smoking, everyone smokes everywhere here! And the congestion of the cars, they tax you for driving in this city. It's called a congestion tax to try and make you take public transportation. There are an average if 6 million people that use the tube system here and there is black soot in our lungs and nose because if the tubes. The germs alone on these trains are outrageous, I'm not surprised that we all got sick! We will be bringing this sickness back to America with us! I will not miss walking out if a store and getting second hand smoke blown in my face! I have only seen a handful of people using the vapor cigarette. This city is very comparable to the cities in the US, but most if our cities are outlawing smoking in public.
I will not miss having to use public transportation, I'm so sick of the smell of the underground. I have to say that I do have the handle on it though! The public restrooms here are nothing like America either, you have to pay to use a nasty bathroom, and the people working them are so grouchy! I have had a good time but I have to say we are spoiled in our wonderful country!