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11. Posted by s_hoot (Respected Member 497 posts) 10y

Thank all of you for your inputs so far, good stuff but I want more.

I was doing some more thinking on this the other day of how to add to this project and came up with one major idea that I can maybe explain just why americans are the way they are. I thought of how big the US is and compared it to the rest of the world. The US is larger than all of Western Europe and still one country, one president, more than one state as we have 50 of them, but going from one state to the next is not a major difference at all, just a slight change in accents the farther away you go, everyone still speaks the same language, lives the same exact lives, reads the same newspapers and watches the same major news channels and is basically all on the same train of thought. America is such a big country that I think most Americans have a hard time just keeping up with what is going on at home and dont want to look outside the large bubble around the States cause it is simply too much for them. Unless you have actually gotton outsite of your home town or state or country I dont think you can really fathom how big this world really is and truly understand that you are not the center of the world.

I have lived in Europe the last three years and it really opened up my mind and made me understand that, I need to be concerned with the rest of the world around me, though it may not directly affect my everyday life I should still know about what is happening out there.

From all of your posts so far i see a pattern in them forming that i already saw coming, that a lot of, not all of us as i dont want to offend anyone, but the average american first time traveller really does seem to think that the US, is, the ceter of the world and that everything revolves around us, that is why so many complain about the mcdonalds or have to stay in the five star hotels and then complain when they only measure up to a two star by american standards, why we get the nicest rent-a-cars and seem to talk so loud as if we are at home and everyone around us is just suppose to understand and think nothing of it and why we just expect everyone to speak "American" even while in a foreighn speaking country.

Help me further expand on this, I would like to get some Americans point of views also now to see if they agree or disagree.

12. Posted by chemukh (Full Member 132 posts) 10y

Quoting Q_Zhang

I don't see travellers from many other countries (Germans, Italians, Brits, etc.) who are this ignorant. I think it has more to do with exposure to other countries and cultures at home. There's an upsurge in tourism in China, and I see many of the same qualities in the Chinese. They, of course, have been isolated behind Communism for many decades.

I think that is the point of the difference to me, ignorance, and it's the biggest difference with people from Europe, by example. But this opinion is more based in what I´ve seen in other countries, because people who travel to Chile are not the typical tourist. To come to this deep corner of the world, you first have to know that it exist, and that is something. (Believe me, I´ve encountered American tourist in Mexico and France that never have even heard of a country called Chili) And tourists at here use to be people looking for something different, not just beaches, sun and night life. It makes harder to find the typical Ugly American.

On the other hand, we don´t even call them "Americans", we call them "Northamericans" or "Estadounidenses" (or more frequently... gringos ;)) Because we are americans too, America is a big continent, divided in three parts, North, Central and South, but America at last.

13. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member 269 posts) 10y

I was in a tiny ski resort in Austria when this American couple were trying to purchase tickets using US dollars and couldn't understand why the poor ticket conductor wouldn't except them.
And was on a Greyhound bus in Canada the other day, when three US teens
decided it would be cool to slag off everything about Canada and smoke
in the back of the bus, showing blatent disrespect for Canadian rules (however, this could have been because they were 18/19 year old knobs rather than because they were from the US).

But a lot of countries have stereotypical travellers. I was in Barbados
with a big group of Trinis last May and was soooo embarrassed by the British packaged holiday yobs who were throwing up everywhere, shouting abuse and getting it on with other drunken Brits in the middle of the street!

14. Posted by jackflash (Inactive 84 posts) 10y

whilst in a coffeshop in amsterdam myself and three other English males were interupted by an american women who came and sat with us. She had been listening to us speak for quite sometime. She gave us an explanation of what it is that defies the English as a nation, what she offered was both interesting and true. She opened our eyes and we opened our arms to her and spent hours chatting and smoking the day away. This was my most memorable encounter with an American and we will cherish it above any other.

God Bless America! yeeh hah (I'm sure I will bump into an ignorant hillbilly sooner or later, but hey I've seen the good side)

15. Posted by Desiree (Inactive 157 posts) 10y

The first time I met a american guy from my age was in Rome, and he shocked me..
I was talking with a friend of mine in dutch and he could understand what i was saying because he had learned german at school..

A day later, we were at the trevi fountain and we really the stereotypes, so we turned it into a game, guess where the tourist is from. Almost all the time we were right, just by looking at the clothes.

This year I met a girl from the states, and she was great, I have my ideas about americans, thanks to the media, but I believed here is she was from australia or something like that.
Again a few days later I met two elderly sisters from the states on their trip trough Spain, and indeed, they had their large sunglasses, tried to speak english with people who don't speak english.. but it was okay, it was nice talking to them.

Every country has their own habits, america has just some that include, a bad taste for clothing and the ability to think you rule the world..

16. Posted by Twinkle (Travel Guru 1112 posts) 10y

Personally I love Americans, I was working out in the US twice and I met some of the lovliest and funniest people ever.....a few choice experiences....I went to stay with a girl I had first met when I was 7 years old on a family holiday, we remained penpals for years and years and the last time I saw her was when I was 15...when I was working in New York I went to spend a weekend with her at her college up in Albany.....couldnt believe her and her friends....firstly they started this whole display in the restaurant claiming the soup they had had 5 minutes earlier had given them chronic diarreah, next thing they are all going on about their parents and the "country club" and before I knew it they went wild when we went out, most of them were from really srtict upper class backgrounds so this whole college experience was a chance for them to really unleash!!!Just when I thought it couldnt get anymore extreme as I was sleeping in the bunk bed sudden movement work me up only to find people having sex in the upper bunk!!!I was traumatised!
The next day the prize comment was said....
"Im doing a semester abroad in september in Europe and as your in London we will have to go out alllllll the time!!!" I was like "Great, where abouts in London are you going to be?" couldnt believe the response... "In Italy!!!!"It took quite a lot of explaining for her to grasp that Italy is actually another country, she was under the impression she was a half hour bus ride away!!!!

But all and all I find Americans soooooo friendly and really easy to get on with!!!!

17. Posted by Desiree (Inactive 157 posts) 10y

funny story

18. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 10y

I found most of the Americans I met travelling to be incredibly friendly. But I really didn't meet many Americans, compared to the vast numbers of people from countries with far smaller populations (eg Ireland, Israel, Australia, Sweden)

My theory is this. Its well known that Americans don't travel abroad much. Some tiny percentage of Americans have a passport. And they get something disgracefully unfair like 2 weeks annual leave. And its a huge and varied country with a lot to see and do. So you can kind of see why they don't. Correct me if I'm wrong cos I've never been there, but I've also heard that news and current affairs programmes show hardly any World news or stuff from outside the USA (scary considering the nation's power/influence) so all in all its very inward looking.

In the UK, its only in the last 30 or so years, that travelling overseas has been possible and affordable for lots of people. If you think 30 years ago before foreign travel became mainstream, when it was a similarly small percentage that travelled, I wonder if were we not just as ignorant about other countries/cultures? And many British people still are. Hence the need for many to eat egg and chips, read The Sun, and drink Carling in Spain!

19. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 10y

Quoting Lil Liz

My theory is this. Its well known that Americans don't travel abroad much. Some tiny percentage of Americans have a passport. And they get something disgracefully unfair like 2 weeks annual leave. And its a huge and varied country with a lot to see and do. So you can kind of see why they don't. Correct me if I'm wrong cos I've never been there, but I've also heard that news and current affairs programmes show hardly any World news or stuff from outside the USA (scary considering the nation's power/influence) so all in all its very inward looking.

I think you have hit the nail on the head! Generally speaking American's are very inward looking...hardly any world news (unless you search for it) Very little time off a year, no such thing as a gap year....Most American's don't even see their OWN country, let alone any others....sad state of affairs indeed. I think it would be great if EVERYONE travelled..saw the world beyond their front door..but that is just my 2 cents. ;)

20. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 10y

And its a huge and varied country with a lot to see and do. So you can kind of see why they don't.

Yes, Liz. I believe people from China and India too are facing such scenario. Just imagine Cupcake had taken such a long journey just to more to a new place in one country will never become my own experience for-ever! (Unless I intend to move to Borneo)My sister-in-law who born in Xiamen, China has never even been to Beijing or Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan for the past 25 years!!! She said she has been growing up there and spent most of the time in her hometown and it's scarcely to find people to travel to The Great Wall and seeing their the most precious creature - panda, is just another world apart from the info they got from magazine, newspaper, story books and a better option(now) - TV set and internet! Imagine that! To travel by train from Shanghai to Yunnan is like going for several countries...