On October 23, 2009 I arrived in Serbia for the first time via a train from Hungary. It occurred to me when my passport was getting stamped that I can never arrive in Serbia for the first time again. I call this “New Country Day”.
Being in a country for the first time can only officially happen 193 times times in your life, though it depends on what list and country definition you use. “New Country Day” is an extra special travel day. Even though I travel a lot, it’s a different feeling when you arrive in a country for the first time.
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve been to Bangkok, and I’ve found myself half way from the airport in the back of a taxi before thinking about that I’m in another country. When you are in a new country though, all your senses are on full alert. I’m looking at everything around me completely aware of little details, such as the uniforms of the passport control officers, to seeing new country URL’s everywhere (yes of course I would notice that). The language (or accent) is different, and there’s a new currency to deal with (most of the time).
When I’m in the bus or taxi from the airport I put the phone away and pay full attention to my surrounds because this day will not happen again.
That feeling 😊 when you just arrived 🙏 in a new country riding in the backseat of a cab 🚕🎶 from the airport 🛬 to the city center 🌃👌
— Marc Köhlbrugge (@marckohlbrugge) March 3, 2018