Brits commonly exaggerate cultural experiences – have you?

Holiday exaggerations

When I was in secondary school friends would often talk about their summer holidays, their jetting off to foreign counties experiencing the variety of cultures, different foods and of course a hot summer.

I always dreamed of these types of holidays and imagined what they would be like. Up until I was 18 I hadn’t been abroad, we had family holidays but always in the UK as my parents weren’t keen on flying. At the age of 18 I went to Spain on a girls holiday with 2 of my best friends to celebrate the end of school, we stayed in a basic apartment, joined a few excursions, hit the beach and of course the clubs. We drank too much, stayed out too late and had a fantastic time – it did give me the taste for wanting to see new places though.

Over the next few years I holidayed with boyfriends visiting the places I had always wanted to – I’ve been to Spain, America, Australia, Egypt, Rome and even OZ. Experienced things I only dreamed of but of course there are still places I would love to visit and to experience.

More than one in ten Brits (14 percent) have claimed they have visited a place they have never been to, enjoyed a book they’ve never read, or eaten food they secretly can’t stand, in a bid to appear more “cultured” according to a new study.

When Paul and I were dating we would discuss holidays often and the places we would like to visit, while I was happy with a beach he was more into seeing the sights, the more he spoke of it, the more exciting these experiences sounded and the more I wanted to see them too – this is how we came spend a lovely week in Rome visiting the Vatican, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Sistine chapel and many other wonderful sights. I had a great time.  This is also how we ended up in Egypt for our honeymoon, Paul surprised me by booking the 2 week trip, it wasn’t a place I had ever thought of visiting and definitely not somewhere I would have picked for a honeymoon BUT it was amazing – even if we did spent a lot of the time denying we were on honeymoon at all (you get mobbed in the markets if they learn this fact and it’s hard to leave without buying something else you don’t need).

MSC Cruises commissioned researchers to carry out a study into cultural experiences, which reveals the hilarious exaggerations Britons tell to appear more interesting, better-travelled and more worldly wise.  While a cruise with MSC Cruises can be culturally rewarding, there aren’t too many of us who’ve been on  Mediterranean Cruises, with this in mind I set about asking fellow bloggers what exaggerations they had told in a bid to appear more cultured:

Lauren said:  “I once told an American chat room buddy I’d read War and Peace… I hadn’t (I have since read about a third of it) though I was only 16 at the time so hopefully can be excused from trying to make myself sound cultured!”

Sarah says: “Haha! I don’t tell fibs per say but I am guilty of completely mispronouncing long words to try and sound clever”

Beth said: “I got into a chat about going to the theatre…I was meaning with my kids for the pantomime. They meant to see the ballet…I was too far in to correct them ??”

Kate has a big ambition which she has now admitted may not happen “One of my ambitions is to climb Mont Blanc…I happily will say this to anyone who asks what ambitions I have and would put it on my CV….because I genuinely want to do it….but I’m also meekly aware that I have had this on my to do list for about 15 years now ? and did training walks/challenges (Yorkshire 3 peaks and a 3 volcano challenge getting on for 10 years ago now…) and I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever do it, or if I just say it because there’s a little part of me that knows it sounds adventurous. My current reason for not doing it is the expense and fitting in the training whilst I’m off work with young children….. ? P.S. This is the first time I have admitted this to myself out loud, as it were!”

Jessica reveals a tale which will leave your eyes watering: “I went to an Indian restaurant, tried to be cocky + order a really spicy dish. It had lots of green beans in, my fave vegetable so saved them all till last. I piled three onto my fork and swallowed…only to realise they were green chillies, not beans!
I ‘saved face’ by not admitting my mistake to friends, who were all rather impressed I ate so many chillies. My bum was not so impressed that evening ?”

Laura says: “My MIL often tells us she is going to have a cup of tea and read her book which makes her sound cultured, but her “book” always turns out to be a women’s weekly magazine such as women’s own!”

Lastly, Nyomi says: “About as cultured as I get is when I say dinner instead of tea so non northerners understand me!”

If you thought those were amusing, you’ve love this infographic which details more of the exaggerations which are commonly told

*Collaborative post*


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3 thoughts on “Brits commonly exaggerate cultural experiences – have you?

  1. Thanks for including me!! I thought of another – I ate a whole plate of raw fish in the Tokyo fish market, including a raw prawn and scallop ? – because that’s just what you do there….but I mostly did it so that I could say I had ? Ha ha. Clearly I’m rather keen on appearing cultured? ? Oops!!. Kate x

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