Welcome to America. God bless pedestrian right of way.
Having just returned to the States after a trip around the world there is one thing I have learned—nothing beats having pedestrian right of way.
In the last year I have braved the streets of Bangkok on foot, competed for space for my scooter in Bali, and feared for my life on the Turkish highways. Coming home to a cultural (and legal) respect for pedestrians has never seemed better.
In celebration of our homecoming Briana and I started playing the pedestrian right of way game, darting out in front of cars just to marvel at their willingness to stop for us. I guess learned to have a higher tolerance for danger as well.
After arriving home we were frequently asked what we missed most. Inevitably both Briana and I said we missed Mexican food. No place does it better (outside of Mexico) than California. After a few weeks back and a few days of consecutive meals of Mexican food I can finally say that I have satiated the year long craving.
The biggest lesson we learned while travelling is that people are generally good and helpful, and that every country loves respectful tourists. Understanding a little bit of the local customs will get you a long way.
Tourists get a bad rap everywhere and for the most part they deserve it. A little effort put forth to learn key phrases in the local language and dress and act accordingly will get you a long way. If you respect people they will respect you.
Managing your attitude, understanding, and expectations is key to having a great time no matter where you are. Equipped with this knowledge we are ready to experience our own country with new insights gained from our global experience.