When people get stressed out of their work, most of them go on vacation. A vacation is a perfect getaway to forget problems at work and home temporarily. If you don’t find a way to release stress, you’ll suffer not just from psychological problems but also physical.
Imagine having to walk the sandy beaches of Australia. See yourself climbing the top of the Eiffel Tower in France. How about eating at a roadside diner or criteria in the Philippines? Being in a new environment can bring in a lot of positive changes to your feelings and health.
There are lots of things you can experience when going to a new country. You could see new places, meet friendly people, savor the local exotic cuisines, and learn a thing or two about the place you’re visiting. Traveling can be a lot of fun, especially if you learn about the language of the country you’re visiting.
Although there’s a pandemic going on today, it’s virtually impossible to travel because of border restrictions. However, things are looking good, and vacations can soon be possible again. To get you hyped up, here are some strange, yet awesome facts about travel and some countries that you should know about:
Brazil Is a Tree
One of the best places to visit in the world is Brazil. Aside from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and football, Brazil is also known for its beaches and excellent nightlife. Although the country is located in South America, the people in Brazil speak Portuguese.
Brazil is the only country to be named after a tree. This unique name is because when the Portuguese arrived, they harvested brazilwood to create settlements in modern-day Brazil. Brazil’s name is just one of the many did you know facts that might surprise you.
Hugging Trees Is Illegal
Speaking of countries and trees, it’s illegal for anyone to hug a tree in China. This law stemmed from a mass tree hugging incident within the Chinese imperial garden. Although the practice itself is harmless, the Chinese government thought it was a cult practice and banned the activity.
Interestingly, the law is still well and alive today. Violators found guilty of tree-hugging can face hefty fines and can even be sent to reeducation facilities. Habitual offenders will end up in jail.
There’s No Official Language in the USA
You might think that a country like the United States of America, an English-heavy speaking country, would have English as its official language. However, as weird as it sounds, the US doesn’t officially designate any language as its official language.
In the US, most people speak English. However, a large population residing within the country also knows Spanish. In fact, almost 37 million people know Spanish. Other languages that are freely spoken by significant communities in the US are Mandarin, French, and Tagalog.
Smells Like Heaven
In Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, there’s a unique fruit that locals love to eat. The said fruit only grows at a particular time of the year, and when it does grow, it’s tough to harvest. That’s because the fruit is heavy and covered in spikes. That fruit is called the durian. Locals love the fruit so much that festivals are dedicated when it comes to harvesting the fruit.
For foreigners and some locals, the fruit can smell extremely bad. Some locals say that durian smells like rotten eggs. For that reason, local establishments such as hotels, restaurants, and even hospitals ban the fruit from their premises. As for taste, the durian is delicious. The taste is comparable to a bittersweet custard cake.
French Fries Didn’t Come From France
French Fries actually originated in Belgium. US soldiers who were stationed there during the first world war. Since French was the primary language spoken in Belgium, the soldiers began calling these tasty potato sticks into “French” fries. The name stuck, and it’s been known that ever since.
Rice Is Everywhere
Everywhere you go, no matter what country you’re in, someone will be eating rice. Rice is the world’s most common food. In reality, 50% of the world consumes rice. You can find a variety of rice dishes all over the world. In the Philippines, biko and bibingka are tasty rice cakes. In India, biryani is a local rice dish mixed with chicken and spices.
The World’s Top Winemaker
Italy is considered to be the world’s top winemaker in terms of quality and taste. The economy of the country relies heavily on the winemaking industry. Italy is ideal for growing grapes, a crucial ingredient in producing wine.
Several types of grapes are grown in Italy. These grapes thrive because of the fertile soil spread evenly. Examples of grapes that grow in the country are muscat, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, malbec, and zinfandel.
Don’t Do a Thumbs up in Middle East Countries
Although a thumbs up might be a sign of approval or something positive for some, a thumbs up in the middle east can be offensive. Be sure not to make the gesture if you’re in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, or any other middle eastern country. A thumbs-up is equivalent to the middle finger.
The Dead Sea Is Actually a Lake
One of the best tourist destinations to go to in Jordan is the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is actually a large inland lake.
Tourists can reach the Dead Sea from Amman, which is an hour away via land travel. When you swim in the Dead Sea, you’ll float easily. That’s because the Dead Sea is a giant salt lake. Salt changes water’s density, which makes almost anything in its float.
When you’re in Australia, be sure to visit the Koalas. Koalas are arboreal marsupials that exclusively eat eucalyptus leaves. Due to their diet and anatomy, koalas live high up in eucalyptus trees. You might notice that eucalyptus is the main component in sports rubs and other heat creams. Because of this, eucalyptus is highly toxic.
The koala’s digestive system has to work hard to neutralize the toxins found in eucalyptus leaves. Due to the strain that the koala’s body endures during digestion, it takes up a lot of energy; hence a koala needs to sleep long hours to recover.
Although most people can’t travel right now because of the pandemic, many things are looking positive. Soon, people can now travel and enjoy the world. The facts mentioned above are enough to keep you excited until travel is safer once more.