Traveling is not just about enjoying the nice view, the delicious food, or buying souvenirs but also about understanding the cultures of the places we are visiting and respecting them. Oftentimes, people can feel awkward with the difference in cultures and traditions when traveling to new places; however, I believe that it is always important to have the mindset that we are the visitors and not the citizens. Imagine hosting a party and one of the guests starts to set their own rule and complain about the party just because it is not their style. You will most likely feel disrespected and will want them to go home as soon as possible. I think this applies to when we travel. When we are travelling we are the guests so we should be following the rules of the country we are visiting.
In Japan, it is always expected for shop staff to be alert of their customers and try to sell as much as they can. Therefore, I was very surprised when I visited Bangkok for the first time and saw the way Thai shop staff were using their phones during their shifts and answering “mai mee kha” even when they had the things I asked for. At first, I got very frustrated with the way they served me as it was different from my expectations. However, I was able to realize how this is their own culture and thought that maybe Japan is just too strict and perfect about serving others and that it is not the same for everywhere else. This thought enabled me to accept the cultural differences and allowed me to respect it with the mindset that I am a tourist.