Travel Weekly: Next stop, Spain
For travel lovers looking for experience in a family-oriented culture, Santa Monica College student Henric Emdenborg says Spain should be on your list of places to go. "They're always with their families, and I feel that we should be more like that here," said Emdenborg. "I think California is very materialistic, and they're not [in Spain]. They're more spiritual; they're more with family over there. They're not always talking about the new iPhone."
He says that some people in Spain are more courteous with each other when it comes to asking about each other's day or caring about how the other person is feeling.
Emdenborg who, other than English, speaks Korean, German, Swedish and Spanish says that taking up the language is definitely helpful when addressing adults in a respectful manner in Spain.
"Learn about their culture," he said. "Especially how to greet their parents. Be very polite to them and just show them general respect."
He says learning some of the common phrases of the language such as "hello" and "goodbye" in Spanish is also very resourceful. Although he could not name a specific time, Emdenborg recalls a few times he stumbled when greeting adults due to not knowing the language.
Still, Emdenborg's love for new experience is what drew him to SMC.
"I just love learning new languages," he said, explaining that he enjoyed learning the English language as well as meeting people in a diverse population.
"The overall environment and atmosphere here, I just love it," he said.
Emdenborg's main reason for leaving Spain for the Golden State was the school system in California.
"The school system is not very good over there," he said. "They're very poor compared to here."
He said that in the city of Malaga, where he stayed in Spain, it was often difficult to receive the basic academic materials that are available in California, such as text books.
For fun in Spain, Emdenborg, who skateboards as a hobby, passed the time visiting different skate spots, which he says are rich in Spain.
"I did a lot of competitions," he said. "They're known for their skate spots. Barcelona is about two hours away from there, and it's, like, the best city for skating and also Malaga is very famous for skating."
Partying is also big in Spain, which Emdenborg said adds to the night scene and the overall excitement of living there.
The holiday scene in Spain is also different than that of California, said the SMC film major. He says Christmas is actually celebrated on Jan. 7 in Spain, and that birthdays are spent with families but that they do not receive gifts.
Also, he said Halloween is not celebrated in Spain, which is something he really enjoys about living in California.
Other places Emdenborg has visited include France, Denmark, Portugal and Sweden, which is where Emdenborg is originally from.
One place he longs to travel to is Asia. Emdenborg says the Korean culture in particular appeals to him as it reminds him of the same family oriented culture of Spain.
While Emdenborg certainly has a strong resume of places visited, he is quick to name his favorite place by far.
"Definitely California; I just love it," he said. "I'm never going to move from here. My favorite thing about California, I would say is Hollywood. I just love cruising the streets there. It's awesome."
When asked if he would ever move back to Sweden or Spain, Emdenborg laughed and simply said "never."