25 Tourists Reveal The Hidden Gems They Discovered Abroad And Wish Were Back Home

Published 3 weeks ago

Traveling is not just about exploring new places; it’s about discovering new ways of living and fresh ideas that can make life better. A recent Reddit thread posed the question, “What’s one thing you’ve seen on your travels that’s made you think – I really wish we had that back home?”

The responses were a treasure trove of innovative and inspiring concepts from around the world. Here are some of the top ideas Redditors wish they could bring back to their own countries.

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Image source: terminal_e, Wendy Wei/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Italian coffee bars. I endorse coffee buying experiences where: You basically share no language with the staff You cannot order mocha latte skim flat fat with whatever Espresso shots approximate 1 Euro I don’t need lightly roasted 3rd wave cold brew. The Italians figured out all the s**t I needed decades ago. It is a solved problem


Image source: DogFun2635, Jonny Jelinek/Flickr (not the actual photo)

Plazas. I love grabbing a coffee or a drink and sitting on a bench in a plaza on a pleasant evening. We just don’t have that where I am.


Image source: 02nz, Mike Mozart/Flickr (not the actual photo)

Most grocery stores in Germany have these machines where you insert your empty bottle, it gets scanned, and after you’ve inserted all your empties you press a button to get a stub for the bottle deposit. It’s so satisfying returning those things!


Image source: AmIDoingThisRight14, Rajarshi MITRA/Flickr (not the actual photo)

When I was in Piombino, Italy in the evening everyone just gathered in the streets, pulled up chairs and sat and chatted. Some people brought instruments and played music. It was so amazing, there was just such a strong feeling of community and being welcomed.


Image source: FreePensWriteBetter, Paul Krueger/Flickr (not the actual photo)

Protected bike lanes. And effective public transit.


Image source: Tcchung11, Павел Сорокин/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Health care, I got sick in Taiwan and my wife called an ambulance. I spent about 8 hours in the hospital. All in cost for everything including medicine was about $250 usd. It would have been less if I was a resident. Also my doctor went to school in California.


Image source: -lover-of-books-, Mark Fowler/Flickr (not the actual photo)

I’m American and public transportation!! High-speed rail between cities but also innercity public transportation!!

Beautiful city centers with beautiful architecture and beautiful streets to just walk around.


Image source: jwink3101, Jim Champion/Flickr (not the actual photo)

Good bread by default. When I was in Germany, every sandwich was served on a high-quality roll that had a nice crust and good flavor. In the USA you absolutely can get that, but it sure-as-hell not the default. You have to go to a place that does it and/or ask for it.


Image source: Bonbonnibles, Flo Dahm/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Long, leisurely meals. People hanging out for an hour after eating without a thought to leaving because it’s the cultural norm to actually relax and enjoy your meal and company.

Nonsexual physical touch and intimacy between men. This has all but disappeared in the west, but other parts of the world men hug, hold hands, kiss each other on the cheek, and show a kind of physical closeness that you just don’t see in the US.

An abundance of well populated third spaces and people with the time to fill them.


Image source: feralllamas, Leon Brocard/Flickr (not the actual photo)

So many comments about Japan here, but no one’s hitting on one of my favorites. I’m actually there right now and often they have this little button on the table at restaurants for requesting service.

Coming from America’s overzealous service culture, it’s so nice not having repeated interruptions checking if you’re ready to order or how your food is or whether you need anything else. It’s great.


Image source: AnnelieSierra, Miguel Romay/Flickr (not the actual photo)

I just came back from Japan. I really wish that people back home would behave more like the Japanese do. They are polite and always take other people into consideration. How you act and what you do affect other people – therefore you should be aware of your behaviour and not think about yourself only. Don’t litter, don’t be noisy, wait for your turn. The society is well organised and safe.


Image source: OddlyBrainedBear, SuSanA Secretariat/Flickr (not the actual photo)

The amount of open (i.e. unlocked/not boarded up) and reasonably clean and safe feeling public toilets in Australia compared to the UK is amazing. I hate going walking here knowing that you’ll almost certainly not be able to find a toilet anywhere.


Image source: doug7250, Chan Walrus/Flickr (not the actual photo)

In Scandinavia I noticed that every restaurant, snack bar, convenience store, highway stop, etc. had vegetarian and vegan options. Cool if you’re into that.


Image source: Sea_Age_3640, jwyg/Flickr (not the actual photo)

Japanese tatami mats and the chairs without legs they put on them. So comfortable and so great for eating, socializing, reading, etc. Wish we had that more.

French sidewalk cafes – in Paris there are tons of beautiful cafes with little tables out on the sidewalk. You can have a coffee, drink, or snack and people watch, read, or chat with friends.

Also, the Spanish custom of taking eating dinner late (e.g. 9 pm), and having it be a social experience with friends/family. I’m a night person so I would love late dinners.


Image source: FrozenBananaStand, Markus Winkler/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Group dining in China. When you eat out in China, everyone shares the meal family style. Your table orders a bunch of plates of different dishes, then everyone just grabs pieces of whatever they’d like to eat. I love this style of dining.


Image source: drtypete, Virginia State Parks/Flickr (not the actual photo)

When I went to Canada this summer I was amazed that there were recycle and compost bins everywhere. It was to the point that I almost didn’t throw anything in the actual garbage the entire trip. Time to step up your game America.


Image source: Wexylu, Jörg Kanngießer/Flickr (not the actual photo)

Smaller portions.

Currently in South East Asia, I was craving Skittles something fierce. They have the perfect portion size package of Skittles. Bigger than Halloween size but not as big as the standard North American size. Was absolutely perfect and satisfied the craving without gorging myself.

Everything here is smaller and our North American diets could hugely benefit from this.


Image source: robert_dunder, Günter Hentschel/Flickr (not the actual photo)

German Christmas Markets. I was in Germany during December, and each town had Christmas Markets that ran the holiday season. There was food, shopping, activities, and more. These markets were places where everyone gathered to hang out in the evenings. Christmas Markets seem like they would be perfect for the US, but there are very few here.


Image source: androidgirl, Ryan McBride/Flickr (not the actual photo)

The amount of stress that left my body after each onsen visit, even in a hotel with a deep soaking tub in the middle of the city was astounding. Bathing culture has huge mental health benefits. Also that heated seat at 3 am when it’s cold.


Image source: CaptainGladysStoat, Toshiyuki IMAI/Flickr (not the actual photo)

In Vietnam, the traffic lights count down the seconds until the light is going to change.


Image source: glacialerratical, France Bon Appétit/Flickr (not the actual photo)

A boulongerie or patisserie every few blocks so I can have fresh baguettes or pain au chocolate.


Image source: apkcoffee, Hugo Heimendinger/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Street markets in Asia. I love wandering the streets and finding great eats at the stalls. Some of the best food I had in Vietnam was from them.


Image source: washington_breadstix, Zola Windows: Performance, Form & Function/Youtube

Tilt-and-turn windows.


Image source: pelican678, Francisco Anzola/Flickr (not the actual photo)

High speed rail. Saw it in all its glory in China – very fast, clean, reasonably priced and made me woefully rue the godawful British train system where it costs hundreds of pounds to travel sub high speed on a packed and dirty train with no seat! Not to mention they rotate all the seats to forward facing before the start of every journey – why do we still have those awful backward facing seats that make you feel sick?


Image source: FormicaDinette33, Fineas Anton/Pexels (not the actual photo)

My friend and I had our “Italian happy hour” every afternoon around 5 after sightseeing. A little wine, cheese, cold cuts. Then we would relax for a few hours and then go out for a proper dinner.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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surprisingly good foreign things, things tourists like, travel, travel stories, traveling
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