You know what I hate? Encountering obnoxious Americans when I’m traveling and living abroad. Obnoxious anyone, for that matter.
You know what I hate even more? Encountering Americans who are traveling and living abroad slamming other Americans.
It’s true that at one point I was a bit reluctant to associate myself with Americans while traveling. I’m sure a lot of you have heard the advice “Tell everyone you’re Canadian when you travel” due to the seemingly overwhelming unpopularity of Americans when visiting countries other than their own. I’ve never fibbed about my nationality, but there have certainly been times when I’ve cringed at the stories I’ve heard about loud Americans in bars, rude Americans in restaurants, or Americans asking some really ridiculous questions (like, “Do French people use toilet paper?” COME ON PEOPLE!).
However, imagine if, in the history of the world, every single person who was ever something unpopular turned on their own kind and shunned who they are. What exactly would our global society look like if every person who had stood up to someone saying that their race/ethnicity/religion/nationality wasn’t worth defending simply agreed with whatever negativity surrounded them at the time and faded away?
So to all of my fellow Americans who are living or traveling abroad, here’s an idea: if you find yourself constantly annoyed by Americans, instead of jumping to insult them, why not try leading by example? Be the better tourist/expat, and change the opinion people have of us. Change can start with one person, so maybe it’s time for each of us to be that person. And you never know, maybe in a few years the American-abroad reputation will be so much improved that Canadians will be wearing stars and stripes on their backpacks the next time they take a Euro-trip. 🙂
Tagged: american, American expat, annoying Americans, anti-American, expat, Travel
You know me – I complain about EVERYTHING! Ha ha! But you are absolutely right about this. This should be one of the New Year’s resolutions of every American expat! Bravo!
Haha! I don’t know that you complain about everything, but I DO know that you are a very inspirational American expat who has a lot to offer in the ways of improving the American image. I’m stuck on the idea of “leading by example,” I think it’s my mantra for the year. So I think you’ve got what it takes to be a pretty phenomenal leader in this department 😉
Yeah sure, lots of Americans are problematic travelers. But most of the shit I hear from people as an American traveling abroad has to do with American Foreign policy rather than behavior of American tourists. So unless the Canadians start waging wars in various places around the planet and the US suddenly becomes peace-loving, it’s going to be a very long time before Canadians start wearing stars and stripes while traveling.
I certainly don’t disagree with you that there’s a lot of frustration surrounding American politics in general coming from the global perspective. But when THAT is the focus of American distaste, there’s a distinction between not liking Americans and not liking the American government. Those who are educated enough to know the difference are not the ones I’m worried about. But as a whole, we are lumped in together with people who seem to think the world is our playground, and these are the complaints I want to stop.
Anyway, this post focuses more on Americans bashing Americans than anything else. So if I can do anything, it’s to not end up as one of those.
ohh, i guess thats why i met many canadians friend.haha
I agree with you, we should be proud to be loud Americans 🙂
I hope that the holidays have treated you well, and I just wanted to let you know I’ve passed along the Versatile Blogger Award your way!