Which countries should I go to? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-13-2008, 07:10 PM
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Originally my Spanish teacher, three other students and I were supposed to go to Spain this summer, but we could not get the trip we booked. So, we have to choose another program. Our choices are London, Madrid and Paris; Spain, France and Germany; France, Italy and Spain; or a Latin America tour (I'm not sure which countries).



Which would you choose?
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#2 Old 02-13-2008, 07:13 PM
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France, Italy, Spain.



Italy and Spain are on my top of places to visit.
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#3 Old 02-13-2008, 07:27 PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with any of those.
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#4 Old 02-13-2008, 07:42 PM
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It depends on what you want to learn. Do you want to learn lots of white-people history? Is it very important to you to be in developed countries, where you can probably count on having all the amenities you're accustomed to in the US? If so, one of the European tours would be preferable.



But, if you'd like to learn about non-white indigenous people, or learn about how groups of white people have really screwed things up--not that you wouldn't learn this in Europe, but it's different here in Latin America--and it's not that important to you to be assured of electricity, hot running water, and flush toilets everywhere you go, then you might find the Latin American tour more interesting.



On either continent you can find historical sites that are many centuries old. Both have cathedrals, though certainly there's a statute of limitations on how old the cathedrals built by Europeans in Latin America can be. I don't know of many Mayan, Incan or Aztec pyramids in Europe, though.



Oh, also... if you absolutely hate changing money, go to Europe. Except for the UK, which uses the pound, the rest of the European Union uses the Euro (AFAIK). You could change money twice (once for London, and once for your other destinations) and not have to do it again. This is not the case in Latin America, though depending on the US dollar's strength when you go, you may be able to pay for some things on the street with US dollars. Each country has its own currency, it seems. Barring a local-economy crash, you're best paying with the local currency.



You will meet wonderful, giving people wherever you go. You may also encounter mean, nasty people wherever you go. Any time you're in a touristy area, the risk of pickpocketing and purse-snatching goes up. I've been warned many times by locals here in Bolivia not to wear shiny jewelry since that can make me a target--no one warned me about this in Spain, so I wore my gold kartoush out and about in the subways and on the streets.

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#5 Old 02-13-2008, 10:57 PM
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France, Italy and Spain

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#6 Old 02-14-2008, 01:45 AM
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Some of those are cities not countries



I'd go for Latin America myself, but I'm fairly adventuress.
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#7 Old 02-14-2008, 02:05 AM
 
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*chuckle* Yeah. There's a lot more to the UK, Spain and France, than London, Madrid and Paris. I'd think that Germany would add a bit different flavor than the Romance countries, so that's something to consider.



Also...

It's wicked hot in much of Latin America during the summer months. If you're not used to it, it can be a real drag.



For how long are you planning to be away? Travelling to Europe is a bit more time-consuming than going to Central/South America. If you're planning a lengthy trip though, then it's not such a big deal.



Are you going with the purpose of learning/practicing Spanish?



If monetary considerations are high on your list, then Europe is going to be less enticing. If you're going on a pre-planned tour though, I'm not sure how big of a factor that would be.



I wouldn't let the different in amenities scare you away from Latin America. There are plenty of clean hotels, good restaurants, etc. Transportation outside of the cities can be a bit more of an adventure, from every story I've ever heard, but that's part of the fun.



I think you can't go wrong, whichever path you choose. You're going to have a great time!

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#8 Old 02-14-2008, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kat View Post

Some of those are cities not countries



I'm aware of that, thanks.



If we choose London, Madrid and Paris, then we would only visit those cities.



The trip is pre-planned (I think I would prefer it not to be, but oh well), and the programs range from 10-16 days.



The purpose was to learn and use Spanish in Spain... I'm thinking that I might be leaning towards one with France because I've been studying French as well. But then again, I want to see Latin America. There are too many choices...
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#9 Old 02-14-2008, 04:26 AM
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You may find if it's a coach tour, you wont get too many opportunities to use your language skills. I remember going on one to Paris and it was like that. Some areas are just so touristy that everyone speaks English to you.
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#10 Old 02-14-2008, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post


It's wicked hot in much of Latin America during the summer months. If you're not used to it, it can be a real drag.



However, Bells, do remember the seasons get more opposite what you're used to the further south of the equator you go. Thus, if you go to, say, Chile, in June-August, it'll be their winter. That will probably mean it's windy and dry, and temps between 50 and 80.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

For how long are you planning to be away? Travelling to Europe is a bit more time-consuming than going to Central/South America. If you're planning a lengthy trip though, then it's not such a big deal.



It all depends on what part. If you're going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, it may be comparable to Berlin, German.



Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

If you're going on a pre-planned tour though, I'm not sure how big of a factor that would be.



Yes, pre-planned tours get milked for money in both places. For example, if you just have to see Machu Piccu, plan on paying ten times as much as Peruvian citizens pay to get in. Plus, if you want to take the train that gets you there in two hours vs. driving twelve, you have to fork over almost as much as you pay to see the place. (This is based off what one of my Peruvian friends told me.)



Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

I wouldn't let the different in amenities scare you away from Latin America. There are plenty of clean hotels, good restaurants, etc. Transportation outside of the cities can be a bit more of an adventure, from every story I've ever heard, but that's part of the fun.



If it's a pre-planned tour, the chances of her not having the amenities is pretty slim unless something goes drastically awry. However, I mentioned the amenities thing because to some people, it's really really important. I don't know Bells well, so I don't know how the idea of possibly not having a flush toilet in every store in the city would strike her.



Oh, another little thing--as far as I know, wherever you go in Latin America, you put the toilet paper in the trash can, not the toilet. This is because septic systems here are not built to handle and decompose toilet paper the way systems do in the U.S. and Europe. If that really freaks you out... practice at home.

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#11 Old 02-14-2008, 07:03 AM
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Idaho
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#12 Old 02-14-2008, 05:29 PM
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Germany, France and Spain. Well I'd toss France for Italy but that's just me personally.



And I'd spend most of it in Spain just cause that is my favourite European country.
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#13 Old 02-14-2008, 06:18 PM
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yeah. italia all the way, just for the food alone. i pigged out like a pigging out thing when i was there.
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