A Bit of An Edge

I just got back from a trip to North Africa and Spain and I realized something obvious but something I just never put my finger on before. There is a huge difference between a place like Morocco or any lesser developed country, which is a bit dirtier, a bit more difficult to get things accomplished and a place like Spain which caters to every need of the tourist. When we crossed the border from Morocco into Ceuta and then even moreso when we arrived into the Spanish mainland, you almost notice an easing of nerve. A feeling of a more relaxed atmosphere. You feel safer and more at ease. You feel like a tourist.

I love Europe, I really do, and I love the big countries that everyone loves, ie Spain, France, Italy, England, Germany, etc. but there is something missing from these places that lesser developed countries have and it’s an edge. There is an edge, a slight feeling of excitement and uneasiness at every moment of the day. In the lesser developed world, you never know what you’re going to get. There are so many variables and you have to work a lot harder to accomplish things and to communicate with people. I know that a lot of people want that easiness and that’s fine with me and I understand their desires for comfort and ease. But for me, I like to feel a bit on edge, I believe it makes me more focused on what I am doing or seeing and my surroundings. I believe that it teaches me more and makes me feel more a part of the country I am in or the city I am visiting. I like the unknown, in fact I live for it.

When you are in a big European tourist country, you already know everything that you are going to see and are generally on some type of schedule. You will see package tour group after group and you will walk the charming streets and take pictures and say how cute everything is. The streets are in impeccable shape and the restaurants cater to you and the whole nine yards. Again, I enjoy all this stuff as much as anyone but I really love being somewhere and walking around and never knowing whats coming around the next corner. You toil around and discover hidden gems that you might never have seen. Perhaps a friendly local will recommend something to you or even invite you in for a bite or a drink. There is a just an edge that developing countries have that is missing in Europe and the Western Countries.

It’s hard to exactly express what I am talking about but if you have been to third world and developing countries and then quickly moved to a western country there is a large culture shock. It’s actually kind of cool but different nonetheless. Neither is bad but I prefer a bit of an edge. Of course customer service is something that is really lacking in less developed countries and that can drive everyone nuts. But in the end you are better off for your experience because you more able to take everything in and, in fact, be the driver instead of just being along for the ride.

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  1. I totally agree. I hate the regular places that all normal people rave about. I prefer out the way places where you can expect the unexpected-very cool point.

  2. Hi Alexis, I don’t hate Europe at all, in fact I love it. I was just saying that I like the way I feel in a developing place because it has an ‘edge’, for lack of a better word, to it. Sometimes it’s nice to feel completely at ease and let everything come to you instead of going out and grabbing it but I do hear what you are saying and know how you feel. Thanks for the comment.

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