As promised, we want to give you some other insights in our travels.. not only the places we have visited. So, here we go..
By being so long in a foreign country you’ll start to see a lot of differences and cultural diversity between the country of your origin and the one you’re traveling/living in. We thought we give you some insights in some of the differences:
- The price on the price tag is never the price you pay in the USA. In Switzerland – and in most other countries we travelled the price on the price tag was the price you had to pay. But not here in the USA. Here you have to add the sales tax – and this can be nothing (places like Montana) or 10% (some cities in Louisiana). So, when you travel, you never really know until you find out in a new state, what you’re going to pay.
- Eating out in a restaurant in the USA usually is much cheaper than in Switzerland. First you have lots of fast food options – it is everywhere and it is very affordable. And it is not only burgers in Wendy’s or Carl’s Junior. One of our favorites is Panera bread, where you can order tasty sandwiches, soups and salads. Especially on our traveling days we like to eat lunch in a fast food place – and we only pay below $20.- for the two of us for a healthy but yummy meal. And as it is much more affordable, everybody is eating out often, while in Switzerland it’s more something you do to celebrate something or have a real nice evening out. Moreover, the service is excellent in the US. It is absolutely normal here to change your menu (no blue cheese but feta instead), to share a plate and only drink the free tap water (try that in Zurich…). So we do enjoy a lot of eating out 😂
- When we look back at our everyday life in Switzerland we didn’t have to wait for so many things like we have to here in the USA. In Zurich you have an appointment, you show up on time, and if you have to wait for like 15 minutes (for your doctor or something) you felt like that there must be a problem. Here we had to wait for everything. You have to wait for a table in your good restaurant (we often wait like 30 or more minutes), we had to wait for several hours when going to the doctor (and yes, we had an appointment), and after that again like 30 minutes or more for picking up your prescription meds. We had a service appointment for our car at 1:30pm and they started working on it at 4pm. For an Oil Change we had to stand in line for several hours – and even when entering a National Park in peak season, yes, we had to line up and wait until it was our turn to show our annual pass at the entrance station… Americans do not seem to bother about the wait, they are probably just used to it.. but we Swiss.. hm.. we definitively need some other rounds to get used to that 🙈
- Even after more than one year of traveling and talking to all sorts of people every day, we are sometimes still surprised about all the things people, you’ve never met before, tell you immediately. For example, an Uber driver talked during our 8-minute ride about her divorce and how bad her ex-husband treated her, our neighbor in the campground explained us exactly how much he earns in his current job and how much he paid for his truck. For us foreigners it is really interesting and exciting to talk to all those people that easily, we could learn a lot about the local culture and we made some good friends on the road. But we had to learn to open up ourselves, as a typical Swiss definitively is not talking about their private life to anyone.
- Opening hours.. oh my god, I don’t know how we are ever going to shop in Switzerland again in the future. The shops are just always open here.. you can go into Walmart to buy your groceries in the middle of the night and all shopping malls are open on Sunday. What are we going to do on a Sunday in Switzerland again, when everything, but everything is closed? 😂🙈 And every time we’re coming home from work, the shops are closed already too.. the US is paradise for shopping!
Hear from Three on the Road the differences of traveling in National Parks and State Parks in the US in our following blog.