In recent posts, I’ve been sharing some of the photos from trips I have taken. I’m going to do the same today with a little different perspective. As writers who create the characters in our stories, we are warned not to make our characters too stereotypical. We want them to be what they call three-dimensional. We want them to be like real people who are both good and bad. None of us is all good or all bad. You can even find something good in a villain.
Sometimes we can stereotype countries. I had some expectations when it came to our trip to The Netherlands, Norway and Belgium. Some of the stereotypes held true, but I was surprised by a lot of other things.
The Netherlands, in my mind, is known for cheese, wooden shoes and windmills.
I think I was right, but here are some things that surprised me. The architecture with buildings that tilted. Beautiful canals. Indonesian food. More bicycles than I could count.
Then we went to Norway where I expected to see glaciers, thatched roofs, trolls and woolly cows. I saw all those things.
But I had expected the glaciers to be larger like those in Alaska. I never expected to see WWII bunkers, comments on US presidential candidates, so many beautiful flowers or dozens of waterfalls.
In Belgium, I didn’t have as many preconceived ideas about what I would see. I expected to see lots of chocolate, and I did wonder about security with the recent terrorist attacks in mind. I was not disappointed in the chocolate, and we saw soldiers everywhere in Brussels, but not in the smaller towns. I saw lots of fabulous architecture in every city we visited in Belgium.
Finally, I thought the place we stayed in Brussels had an appropriate name.
Do you have any preconceived ideas about places you haven’t been? If you did visit, what did you find that surprised you?
I have books to giveaway. I’m giving away one of my older books, Montana Match, to anyone who leaves a comment on the blog.
My latest book, A Love to Call Mine, is up for preorder. You can find it here.