General Question

SherlockPoems's avatar

What is the first thing you think about when seeing a place that's new. What is the first thing you do? Is it more about the people? the culture? the landscape? the view?

Asked by SherlockPoems (696points) March 3rd, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

24 Answers

vindice's avatar

Definitely the landscape and physical structures.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I also look at the landscape and buildings (if any) first.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

The view and then, oddly enough, I look for any sort of threats that may be lurking. My reasoning is that there is no ‘utopia’, and anything that smacks of it must be dangerous somehow. I suppose that makes me a paranoid type of person.

Introverted_Leo's avatar

Striking landmarks and features. Eventually, though, I notice the people, how they’re going about their lives, etc. Seems backwards, but it looks like I’m not the only one who notices the people last, lol.

Though, if I were in a vastly foreign setting, the people would stand out a lot more to me. Especially if they aren’t wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt or any other “western” kind of clothes. Like when I went to Guatemala as a kid, I vividly remember the people from there—the colors and patterns they wore, their facial expressions, the kinds of foods they ate…

I guess it just depends on what seems familiar to me and what seems foreign. The more foreign, the more I’m apt to remember it.

TheRocketPig's avatar

Yep, landscape and buildings here too.

marinelife's avatar

It depends on the place. If it is very scenic, the natural area. If it is urban the city vibe and places around me.

zephyr826's avatar

@sherlockpoems Interesting rhyme scheme.
Now to the question. The first thing I look for is my location (specifically street names). I once spent 3 hours looking for a youth hostel in Paris with 80 pounds of luggage because I missed my street by 2 blocks.
Once I know “where” I am, I look for landmarks to orient myself. Then I focus on the people, usually first by the sounds that they are making. I listen to the ambient noise, and that’s often what I remember about places – how they sound.

simpleD's avatar

Food. It’s all about the food. Culture, history, architecture and landscapes are all satellites orbiting the sun of food. I try to find out where the locals eat, and eat local food. It’s often a problem finding vegetarian food, so my perception of a new place is often filtered through my own cultural preferences. But then again, aren’t everybody’s?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Definitely landscape.

LostInParadise's avatar

I like visiting cities and the first thing I do when visiting a new city is to walk the streets. I can’t say what exactly I focus on, but I try to get a feel for the place.

I like visiting bookstores, especially non-chain bookstores. You can pick up quite a bit by seeing the book selection. Bookstores in the South have a lot of books on the Civil War and bookstores in San Francisco have a lot on the occult. Bookstores in Rome were filled with art books.

Another good thing to do is to visit a restaurant or bar away from the more touristy sections.

laureth's avatar

When a friend was trying to convince me to go to Jamaica with him, I was a tough sell. Interesting people? Don’t like people much. Interesting scenery? Probably too expensive to fly there anyway. Great food? Wait, what? I’m in!

It’s all about the food.

onesecondregrets's avatar

Adrenaline kicks in. I get excited. No matter the place. The first thing I do is really put my senses to work. Sight, hearing and smell especially. It’s definitely about the landscape and view at first, the people are mixed in with that, that forms the culture..and culture is what makes it something “new.” God, I love it. I love traveling. And your question rhymed, it made me smile. :).

Baloo72's avatar

It really depends on the whole situation. How I found the place, what sort of place it is, etc. Some new places I think “Boy I wish I was on fluther right now”, others I think “Wow. That building is really cool.” Still others I think “Hmm. I wonder what all these people are congregating here for?” I suppose the most important thing is just the moment.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

When I’m visiting a new place (assuming it’s not just the newest suburb), I think about the history of the place. When I was in Europe this summer, it was particularly enthralling…

TheKNYHT's avatar

As I will be visiting Monument Valley at the end of this month, I will be monitoring my actions to see exactly what it is that I really do. Typically, I like to get my bearings: where is my hotel in position to gas stations, restaurants, attractions, grocery stores, BOOK stores, novelty shops, what have you. Natural scenery is something I examine and appreciate along the way, pausing often to see what I can see.
I like to watch and listen to people as they pass along. For some reason people find me easy to talk to, and I often get people asking me where I’m from, do I like their city, and soon we are conversing at length.

MooKoo's avatar

The first thing I notice would be the landscape, followed by the people that live there and the culture, which is then followed by architecture and how a place is put together.

Sellz's avatar

I go sight-seeing. Then i try to learn the history about the place. After that i go out to a social event and meet new people.


2corgis's avatar

It’s always about the people. We travel to prove to ourselves that we are connected to other cultures, times, and experiences. Whether we run for the tourist traps, the museums, or the hidden cafes tucked into back alleys, we are hoping to find bits of ourselves. The conclusion I’ve been able to come to after years of travel is that no matter where I go, regardless of socio-economic conditions, history, language, creed, ethnicity, or gender, there is far more that we all have in common than that which keeps up apart. A little rosy? Perhaps, but it’s honest.

eaglei20200's avatar

Landscape first, then culture, then view, then people. Then I think how it would be to live there, and then, according to my spouse, I always start making plans to move there. Anywhere—I’m a sucker for new places.

jackfright's avatar

exit points and support.
support being friends, access to transportation and money.

if those things are covered, i look at the people on the streets/ground beside me and evaluate them and the local culture (which i think every one of us does). then try to find out more about the history and try the local food (weird?).

buildings come after people because
people are more likely to stab you than buildings are
buildings aren’t quite as interactive

CMaz's avatar

First thing I do is find the bathroom.

eddie's avatar

i just like taking everything in. i’ll usually just start walking in a random direction and meet people

Zerstorte's avatar

I only notice the differences from where I’d been. Moment I arrive… “These people dress different.” “This food tastes funny.” Stuff like that.

EverRose11's avatar

Landscape, than I start figuring out my Landmarks, and try to get a feel for the people around me.

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