Do you actually know anything about the world?

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Are you thinking about taking a nice vacation, to a beautiful tropical country, but with media and racism out there, who knows what’s actually true about these places?

For example, maybe you want to go to Japan. Its great for absorbing some Asian culture. You could try out some food, check out the geography and sights, take a tour of some of your favorite studios, or you could find some interest in an ancient shrine. But, did you know, Japan has, on average, 1,500 earthquakes every year? And, according to the Royal Geographical Society, every year, Japan is hit with 17 magnitude 7 earthquakes. If you didn’t know, magnitude 7 is extremely powerful. Another fun fact is that Japan has an extraordinarily low crime rate. The use of drugs is minimal compared to other countries. In Japan, going to prison is a social stigma that is so bad, that doing so is the metaphorical equivalent of death.

Or maybe you want to check out France. You want to try some elegant French cuisine. Did you know in France, a “bakery”, isn’t technically a bakery unless it bakes its food itself. Maybe you want to go to a famous monument like the Louvre or the Eiffel tower. Or maybe you want to see some Roman architecture. An American study also showed that France might be the most depressed country in the world. Some argue that this study is not correct. They say that this might be because developed countries will talk much more casually about depression. But low-income countries don’t usually act in the same way. Others argue that the French take the most anti-depressants out of any country. But some say that this isn’t because of the citizens actually being depressed. Instead it is apparently because the doctors in France are just much more lax about giving them out.

And then there are countries like China. Somewhat recently, China has become very polluted, due to it becoming more industrialized. Sometimes, for a long series of days, many citizens are forced to wear smoke masks for most of the time. Maybe you’ve heard about Beijing. It’s a famous city in China if you didn’t know. Many people regard it as one of the cleanest cities in the world. Day to day, you can see teens and elderly alike, walking along the streets, cleaning up garbage. But, citizens of Beijing are some of the most prone to littering. Whether it be in the middle of roads, by a cigarette kiosk, or even at a school. Children of Beijing are barely educated about the dangers of littering. They do it constantly. Some argue that without the littering, many of those people out in the street cleaning would be out of jobs. But lets not be rude to China, and talk about the things that make it awesome. For one thing, as I said earlier about Japan, its great for absorbing some Asian culture. Maybe you want to test out some interesting and traditional foods, like pig’s foot or some wontons.

But you might want to possibly check out India! Maybe you didn’t know that India is home to an estimated 78 million homeless people. And directly south of India is the small country of Sri Lanka. With a rich history of Buddhism and many other ethnic groups, Sri Lanka is extremely interesting. Its one of the oldest democracies in Asia. And the flora and fauna is quite interesting. But, it’s also known for not treating LGBT(lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people quite nicely. It’s illegal to be homosexual. Homes ran by same-sex couples do not receive protection from the government like different-sex couples do. Some LGBT are executed, either by their neighbors or the government. But let’s go back to India.

Again, like Sri Lanka, the wildlife in India is very interesting. Whether you want to see an Indian elephant, Bengal Tiger, Indian Lion, as well as many species of Antelope. Its also great if you want to see some interesting geography. Whether you want to see the tallest mountain on Earth, Mt. Everest, or a famous river like the Indus or the Ganges.

So we’ve only covered France so far, so let’s take more of a closer look at Europe!

You could check out Italy, famous for its food and its rich history. Maybe you want to look at Venas, Italy, well known for its waterways. Instead of cars and roads. They have canals and gondolas! Or you could go to Rome, and check out some famous historical structures. For instance there’s the Colosseum, named that after the Nerotic Colossus, a massive statue placed there by the greedy emperor Nero, who burned many Christians at the stake. He also didn’t help during the Great Fire of Rome. Instead, he built a massive castle in his honor on top of the burned buildings. At the Colosseum, in ancient times, the Romans would hold gladiator battles, where slaves were forced to fight each other or exotic animals to the death. But don’t think of Italy like that, as that was ancient times. Italy is also a great place to try out some traditional foods. Did you know Italian is considered a language of love? But did you hear about the massive earthquake that just hit central Italy a couple weeks ago? Scores of buildings were completely destroyed. So who knows how safe it is?

But we can’t forget the British Isles. Sure they’re not one country, but there so close together and related, that we can talk about them in the same paragraph. Maybe you want to learn about the monarchy in England. You could also check out Stonehenge in Scotland. You could look at Big Ben in London. You could even try out a double decker bus. Have you ever heard of the London Eye? When it was created in 1999 it was the tallest ferris wheel in the world! Do you know about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union? Brexit? The votes were extremely split. Many people who voted for leaving the EU were simply against foreigners. So you might want to watch out for that.

But one place we’ve barely touched is Africa! One of the most stereotyped countries in the world!

You might think people in Africa live in small huts and villages. Carrying water jugs on their heads, living among the wildlife. Yeah, did you ever actually read or even try to learn about this place?

First, lets talk about areas to avoid. There is a lot of war, and slavery, in Africa. So lets just say two countries that you should check out! Morocco and Uganda! They’re pretty war-free zones. You can check out the safari in Uganda. It’s one of the best places to look at famous African wildlife, like African elephants or lions. Or you could check out Morocco, where you’ll realize how African cities actually look! You could see famous places like Casablanca! Its also known for being very independent compared to its neighbors. It has the fifth largest economy in Africa. But back to Uganda. Did you know Uganda is the second most popular landlocked country in the world. It does have a bit of a war-filled history. But since then, it has turned into an extremely popular tourist spot.

But why don’t we head across the Atlantic all the way over to the Americas. You could check out some ancient civilizations, like the Incas, the Mayans, and the Aztecs. Did you know Egypt isn’t the only place with pyramids? There are many ancient pyramids in Mexico, worshiping gods like Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent. And you don’t have to be in Spain to try some Spanish food. Like, some really good Spanish food. Mexico is sometimes known for being dirty, which is only somewhat true. You’re going to find someplace disgusting in every country. But, Mexico is also home to 10% to 12% of the world’s biodiversity. Its wildlife is very interesting. But in Mexico, drug cartels are an extremely bad problem. Around 20,000 have been missing due to the drug war, and 60,000 have been confirmed dead.

Then there’s Canada. While the U.S.A. has deserts, Canada has tundras. Most people live very close to the border with the United States, in cities like Toronto. So, in most popular areas, its not that cold, but in winter, snowstorms can be extremely harsh. A fun place to check out is Niagara Falls! They’re well known for their use as a hydroelectric power plant, and their commercial use. People come from all over to check out the natural beauty of the falls. But if you want to look at anything farther north, you’re out of luck. The snow is so bad, barely anyone lives there.

Also, I’m not going to talk about the U.S. because you probably live there if you’re reading this.

Now let’s not forget the last livable continent on Earth! Australia!

Okay, first of all, don’t wander through the outback. Just don’t. Just search “Australian bugs and animals” and you’ll know what I mean. But if you want a place to relax by the beach, you might be looking for Australia. You might hear people call it, down under. That’s because it’s one of the southernmost areas in the world. It’s almost never cold. So, yeah, if you want to go to the beach, go to Australia.

Now, we’ve been talking about all these different countries. And for everyone there’s going to be something or someone who lives or stays there, who is going to be stupid, disgusting, and downright annoying. But let’s not hold down these places to this sort of stereotype. Instead, we should genuinely make an effort to explore this world, and try and understand different places and people.

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