As much as we might want to, there are some patches of real estate on the planet we are simply not going to be able to visit. As a second-best alternative, our family hosts international visitors to Chicago several times a year. The local organization we go through is WorldChicago. They create and facilitate the US Department of State-sponsored programs the visitors attend while in Chicago. Sometimes they come over to our house for one dinner, other times they live with us for as long as a month.
Our visitors have gone through an application and screening process. In one sense, meeting people through these hosting encounters is more fulfilling than if we were the ones doing the traveling: when we go on vacation abroad, we do not have the State Department working to insure that every person we meet is intelligent, friendly, and an expert in his or her field.
In this website’s Reverse Travel category I will collect and describe the same cultural confusions that we find strange or embarrassing (and eventually amusing) when we are on the road, except this time I will be the witness, and not the perpetrator.
Names and details will be changed to protect the guilty; the innocent don’t care.