Looking for Sean McLachlan? He mostly hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog these days, but feel free to nose around this blog for some fun older posts!

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Monday, 10 March 2008

Travel Tip #1: Get out of the Capital!

I've been to something like 25 countries, and one thing I've noticed about all of them is that people are much nicer once you get out of the capital. I'm not sure what it is, perhaps the stress of big-city life or the natural arrogance of being from the country's most important city, but people in a capital city are much more likely to be rude, in a hurry, and completely uninterested in meeting foreign visitors. It's a shame so many tourists never venture beyond London or Paris or Cairo. Even Lonely Planet-toting "travelers" are often guilty of this, especially in developing countries where the capitals offer more of the technology and comforts rich visitors are used to.

Nowhere is the capital-countryside divide as pronounced as it is in England. London is a wonderful city, but it's rude, rushed, and often violent. But just an hour's drive away is Oxford, my favorite small city. Not only do you get the dreaming spires of the world's greatest university, but you get people who are much more friendly and relaxed. People even walk slower. So my advice to travelers is. . .get out of the capital!

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