Travel Tips

#ttot Travel Talk on Twitter: The World’s Friendliest Countries

#ttot Worlds Friendliest Countries Blog Post Graphic
Have you ever heard of Twitter Chats? These upbeat, friendly and funny hour long group conversations that take place via tweets between people all over the world, efficiently moderated by a small selection of interested parties in the travel industry.

Concierge99 recently took part in the #ttot (stands for ‘Travel Talk on Twitter’) chat on Tuesday (aka #TravelTuesday for you hashtaggers out there) and it was such a fun and interesting hour spent with colleagues in the travel community, other travel bloggers and generally people who just have a passion for travel.

This week’s chat topic: The World’s Friendliest Countries, thereby introducing a topic that encourages camaraderie and cheer amongst an already friendly and chatty crowd!

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First question bounced out at us at 9:30am on the dot via @bohemianceblog with:

“What is it about a country that makes it ‘friendly’?”
There were many varied answers from Twitter users all over the globe claiming that what makes a country ‘friendly’ ranges from its people, to their specific behaviour regarding giving directions or even sharing food, all the way to the structure of their public transport systems.@PostcardandTag put it eloquently by tweeting:
“When people make you feel at home in another land. They are nice, helpful, warm, and welcoming.”

@cvoyagerm joined in with a very practical point from their current experience, which in our opinion is an underrated trait in people when you’re hungry and in an unknown land…:
“They want to share food 🙂 It’s their attitude, I recently moved to NZ and overwhelmed by how much people want to help”

Concierge99’s own @siamac stated quite sensibly:
“If a country can find the balance between helpful and intrusive, they are on the right track to making friends!”

And to round out the remarks, @african_impact said:
“Helpful public transport! Nothing more terrifying for first-time travelers than feeling intimidated and afraid to ask for help.”

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After much back and forth between the tweeters, points being clarified, ‘Likes’ and ‘LOLs’ being distributed, Question 2 quickly came hurtling after the first when @roniweiss asked, potentially controversially (for anyone super sensitive about their country’s perception in the world):

“Which country has really struck you unexpected with surprise by being friendly? And why?”
No one likes to think that their country is perceived as ‘unfriendly’ and this Twitter Chat succeeded in refuting many of those claims with loads of stories of happy locals, friendly customs staff and welcoming arms wherever they stayed:@BackpackBritts made a very succinct and valid point with:
“Germany. The language doesn’t sound overly friendly but the people definitely are! Great in Munich”

While @ContentSuitcase made us all agree with stories of our travels in NYC with:
“Not a country, but a city #NewYork really surprised us at how helpful everyone was. Didn’t expect from a big touristy city.”

And finally, @BohemianceBlog made us all want to take a trip to South Asia by stating:
“Also not exactly a surprise, but Nepal is one of the friendliest countries I’ve ever been to – everyone so open and chatty”

See? The Twitter Chat makes you consider new travel destinations for future trips, reconsider past locations you’d forgotten about and feel excited about all this talk about travel and new, unexplored (by you, anyway) places.

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Question 3 in now from @SonjaSwissLife, who asked us all to:

“Give an example of a ‘friendly welcome’ – what and where?”

So many amazing stories poured in! From dancing kids in Guatemala by @WanderlustChloe, to@Siamac’s story about coming home to his native Iran:
“In #Iran I was greeted by barely known family, extended family, friends, a feast, music and dancing into the wee hours”

We were all becoming fast friends here! Everyone has such great stories to share, and they’re genuinely interested in hearing more about your own travel stories.

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Amongst all our chatter back and forth, the Chat moved on to Question 4 posed by @gapyeardotcom, putting us all into a tizzy of searching online photo albums:

“Share a pic of a friend you met abroad”

Well, what happened next was unexpected; an outpouring of love for the furry friends we met on our travels were the most shared pics! Most pics were of dogs, cats, monkeys, etc. people had taken a liking to (or the other way around). Here are some of the cutest from@WanderlustChloe@ALongDayOff  and @WlustSafaris:

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To tie it all together, the last question was suddenly upon us to:

“Share a heartwarming or funny story from the friendliest country you’ve ever visited.”

Lamenting stories of late night arrival woes and long journeys were transformed in the telling by experiences with friendly hosts, generous strangers and even Zulu grandmothers in the final push to share our travel stories:

@WLustSafaris told the story of the mysterious and generous stranger:
“Emirates didn’t let me board the plane due to stolen credit card. A British stranger bought me a new ticket! #forevergrateful

And ‏@CompassChasers told the story with thankfully a good ending of:
“Crashing into a friendly Russian’s car in Montenegro brought out a kind and friendly side to all sorts”

And then it came time to wrap things up. Goodbyes and thank yous were tweeted, last minute retweets were retweeted and most importantly, copious notes were made to look into some super-friendly destinations for future travelling.

[FYI; The countries with the most friendly ratings from this chat turned out to be: New Zealand, Nepal, United States, Montenegro, South Africa, Ireland, Iran, Guatemala, Germany and the UK – and those are just the ones mentioned the most.]

Thanks to everyone involved – it’s always fun being part of the travel community!

Originally published at www.concierge99.com

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