What's wrong with USA tourists?!

What’s wrong with U.S.A. tourists?!

Traveling across Europe, the Americas and Asia I have met travelers from many nationalities, but the majority has probably been from the USA, particularly around Latin America. US Americans have quite a culture of traveling (young and old), doing gap years and backpacking.

US American tourists have been labeled as loud and obnoxious by many. I personally do not necessarily agree with that. I have met loud people from all over the world and let’s face it, when travelers get together and have more than a drink or two, things tend to get loud no matter where you come from.

But there are indeed other annoying habits that USA travelers seem to carry with them no matter where they go. Why are they so proud of their country? It sometimes feels like they see the USA as the capital of the world and everything else as suburbs!

I didn't know Hawaii has kangaroos?

I didn't know Hawaii has kangaroos?


Where the hell is Oregon ?!

When you meet travelers on the road, the most common question to break the ice is “where are you from?” Naturally, this gives you a good way to start conversation, by mentioning if you’ve been there or not, or what is it like, etc..

If I meet someone from France, they will say “I am from France”. If they are Chinese, they will state “I am from China” and so on. But this doesn’t happen with US American tourists!

Angry Backpacker:So… where are you from?

USA Traveler:I am from Oregon!

Replace that answer with some other examples I have heard before, and you’ll get the picture of what I am trying to say: “I’m from Salt Lake City”; “I am from Texas”; “I come from Wichita”. What makes you think I know where the hell is Wichita?! You do not hear a person from Colombia just saying “I’m from Medellin” or a Portuguese stating “I come from Evora”.

So please, USA tourists, stop assuming we all know the details of your country’s map… ’cause it’s not like you know the rest of the world’s either!

And by the way, your country is not called America – it’s the USA. If a traveler ever says to me again “I am American” I swear I shall reply “So, where about? Mexico? Argentina? Costa Rica?” or worse… “Canada?” (just kidding about this last one!)

THE American border... of course...

THE American border… of course…


Why do they always assume everyone else is from the USA too?

As a regular traveler I participate in many online forums where I share experiences with fellow travelers. I am particularly active on Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree and Reddit/r/travel.

Time and time again (to the point that it doesn’t surprise me anymore!) I come across threads where the person posting or commenting simply assumes that everyone is from the USA! Sometimes I come across posts asking things like “I have X amount of money, where can I travel to?”. Well… where are you coming from? That should be included in the post, right? Apparently, not everyone thinks so because you will have answers giving tips, automatically assuming that the OP is based in the USA. What is this USA centrism all about? You do know that not everyone on the internet is from the USA, right?!

One more example of Reddit's USA-centrism. He is from the North and wants to hit the South... does he mean that he lives in the North Pole and wants to visit Antarctica? Maybe that is it...

One more example of Reddit's USA-centrism. He is from the North and wants to hit the South… does he mean that he lives in the North Pole and wants to visit Antarctica? Maybe that is it…


I know that there are plenty of  ”continental” countries but I don’t see this kind of attitude from Brazilians or Chinese people. They sure don’t write “back home” as much as USA people do, without stating where “back home” is. Example:

Where is "back home", dude?

Where is "back home", dude?


Obama gives us “plenty of pancake money”

A while ago at a certain border crossing, I was charged 5 quid more than what the stated amount was. When I mentioned this in passing conversation to an elderly border jumping couple (from Texas… I wonder where that is!) they replied “Argghh, it doesn’t matter! Our President gives us plenty of pancake money!” … What the fuck?!

Obama keeps some pancake money for himself too!

Obama keeps some pancake money for himself too!

So here is where all the US American pancake money goes…



OK, I’ll say it: Dear Americans, or should I say US Americans?.. A 25% tip IS NOT NORMAL! At least not unless you got a happy ending!

Just because in the USA there is a tipping culture that suggests you spend 1/4 of the price of your meal on tips (or 1/5 if the waiter didn’t do a good job) doesn’t mean that the same applies anywhere else in the world. Of course you are free to do whatever you feel like with your money but please understand that your actions have repercussions for other US American tourists, for the rest of us that come from the ‘suburbs’, and the local economies.

The same does NOT apply everywhere you go!

The same does NOT apply everywhere you go!

Unfortunately, the throwing around of 25% tips leads businesses in other countries to start treating this as the norm and the result is that they often end up adding a massive tip into the bill as a ‘service charge’.


Paying with US Dollars

US Americans are often too lazy to do the math for currency conversion. They end up sticking to the US Dollar prices for tours, activities, restaurants, etc. which are often 20% higher than the local currency prices. Recently an ice cream seller quoted “2 soles, or 1 USD for Gringo”. The 1 USD would work out about 25% more expensive.

The more you pay with US Dollars, the greater the inflation in prices. In fact in some cases locals end up doing reverse conversions to quote you higher prices due to the lovely imperial american tourists.

USA’ians – please use those fancy smartphones. They have a “Calculator” application that will help you save. Also, stop hitting the automatic tip button in NYC cabs.


Everywhere else is a war zone

Dear USA, most of the current war zones in the world are somehow created by you.

Alright, lets start with crime. There is as much crime (if not more) in the USA as many South American countries. However, often times due to the horrendous reports from (the USA travel advisory), fearful Americans will run for cover under advice threads on online forums.

The USA should spend less pancake money on propaganda against Mexico!

The USA should spend less pancake money on propaganda against Mexico!


If you were to go by the US travel advisory, you should wear bomb and bullet protection the moment you step out of the good ol’ USA. Of course, travel advice is good, but sometimes it gets to be over the top crazy. Wikitravel is a victim of the same propaganda. Often there is enough safety hyperbole in there to make it seem like you’re going to get mugged, robbed and raped in every developing country the moment you step off the airplane. Naive US Americans will buy this crap and act petrified thus increasing their chances of getting taken advantage of.

Singapore is fine. But just because her hotel is in the Little India hood, that automatically makes her feel uncomfortable. Nope!... not racist at all...

Singapore is fine. But just because her hotel is in the Little India hood, that automatically makes her feel uncomfortable. Nope!… not racist at all…


Things happen, but things do not always happen and certainly not to everyone (same as in NYC). The rest of the world isn’t a crime ridden dump – sorry but your exotic rape fantasies probably won’t come true here.

Dear Thomas: stay at home! I hear it is particularly unsafe in Easter Island, where huge men with stone heads go around assaulting tourists!...

Dear Thomas: stay at home! I hear it is particularly unsafe in Easter Island, where huge men with stone heads go around assaulting tourists!…


Football is the name of the sport

This applies especially in Latin American and European countries. Don’t go there asking about “Soccer”. No one knows what the fuck that is. The name of the sport is “Football”. Just because you have your own version of it (with very little use of the feet, mind you) doesn’t mean that everyone refers to it the same way. It’s “Football” everywhere outside the US, now practice saying that word before you get on the plane.

Football = foot + ball (duhhh)

Football = foot + ball (duhhh)


There are of-course ignorant tourists from everywhere in the world. There are also plenty of well informed, educated, and globally aware US American tourists. However, due to sheer volume – the above trends do get noticed very often around the world. But armed with the information presented above, US Americans can surely make a positive impact on the global stage, as they have been doing for thousands of years.


USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!


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  • Wilma Says

    Wow, just wow. I liked other parts of your blog, but this one makes you come across as pretty ignorant. Sorry you met some people you didn’t like, with behavior you didn’t like, but let’s leave all 300+ million Americans out of it.

    Too bad–I really enjoyed the post on food in Easter Island. I went from being starved to now having a really foul taste in my mouth.

    • Sivach Says

      I think you missed the conclusion of the article. Here it is for you:

      There are also plenty of well informed, educated, and globally aware US American tourists. However, due to sheer volume – the above trends do get noticed very often around the world.

      Too bad there are folks out there without a sense of humor..

      • Zara Says

        Exactly! It’s better to read this post with a sense of humor! It’s (fairly obviously) a caricature of a certain stereotype of USA tourist… You can’t label everyone under the same principles, but that’s what caricatures do: exaggerate things to make them more clear and, funny!
        No offense should be taken and… Even if many USA tourists don’t do the things mentioned by Angry Backpacker above, it is a fact that many others do!

    • JAMSisExcitement Says

      OMG I agree completely. I’ve actually experienced quite the opposite – American kids are apologizing for their nationality and bashing America and saying it’s all fake and thinking people dunno squat about where This That or the Other is in the US. Shitty things we do in the US are shitty; shitty things they do in other countries are cultural (unless it’s trendy to bash it, like apartheid, before it ended)… Female Genital Mutilation is actually just like male circumcision and who’re you to judge!!! Ummmm because it’s mutilation and removes the ability to experience sexual pleasure and girls get septic and die from it? So, ya, I mean, you always here about self-hating American backpackers pretending they’re Canadian… And regarding “soccer” – dunno who you’ve met but I’ve found a positive association between annoying/self-effacing American tourists and a consistent desperation to get really, really into following “football” and to drop the “correct” use of the term at every opportunity.

  • Wilma Says

    The post isn’t humorous, though. It’s a long rant and there doesn’t seem to be anything friendly or funny behind it. It’s a lot more insightful when people poke fun at their own country then when they do it at others.

    A few comments:
    1. I can vouch for all of America that nobody thinks of mice when they think of Canada. Seriously. Did you mean to say moose? We don’t think of them with Canada either, because we have our own moose here. Betcha didn’t know that, huh?

    Americans have also been criticized for assuming the other person does not know US geography. If you say you’re from the US, the answer is “but WHERE?” One can’t win. By the way, the population of Evora is 41,000. Wichita’s is 385,000. Not a good comparison.

    2. Americans do not assume everyone is American. But your excellent English may have led them to believe that at first (apply this answer to #1 also.) But why do YOU assume that everyone doing something you don’t like is American? Note that ban_janti is Polish and had been living in the UK! I’d hope you’d get your facts straight before stereotyping 300 million people!

    Also, are you sure you can tell the difference between an American and a Canadian? Hint: don’t believe the maple leaf patches on the backpacks.

    3. I am afraid that you probably misunderstood the pancake money quote. That term is not used in the US. Sorry. There is a song that uses it in its title, but that’s it. And the picture of Obama has nothing to do with pancake money, even though there are pancakes in the drawing.

    4. Tipping 25% is not normal. If you saw someone do it, they were behaving weirdly, not displaying American values. Do you have any weird people in your countries? Because I saw a man in Porto pooping in the street. Should I post a list of instructions for Portuguese people, telling them not to poop in the street? Let me know if that would be instructive. It would be *hilarious* and I’m sure they would all read it with a sense of humor. Riiiight.

    5. There’s no trend of American travlers paying with USD vs. local currency. People pay with what they have. I think local is the way to go too, but it’s not up to me to tell other people what they prefer. I hope you’re not using USD as a method of recognzing Americans, because other people may have USD in their wallets too.

    6. There is violence in several parts of Mexico and it’s not strange that Megan wanted to find out. She was still planning a trip there, did you miss that point? Please note that once again, you have called someone an American who is not. Rawhinti is from New Zealand. You knew that, because that’s in her signature, but you took it out when you pasted it in here. I can’t find thomasII’s profile, but since you’ve been wrong twice already, I am going to assume he is not American. He doesn’t even write like a native speaker of English.

    7. Soccer is the correct name of the sport in the US. Why are you telling Americans they’re wrong? I would agree with you if you said that it would be more effective to say “football” in another country, so you would be more readily understood. But you’re just wrong that “football is the name of the sport.” It might be, in your own version of English, but that’s your own version of English.

    And last but not least, “American” is the term for people from the US. I’m sorry you don’t like it. I don’t like Bollywood or cod fritters, but I didn’t start a blog post about it.

    You’re welcome to form whatever opinions you want, but a post like this really shows your inexperience and lack of adaptability to other cultures. The US is different from your countries. If you think that means that the US is wrong, then you have a lot to learn about appreciating differences. As I said, I was enjoying your blog, but this is just silly. There was no humor to be had in the post. It smacks of frustration and the lack of cultural understanding. I hope you’ll open your minds more to the world around you. Not everything is going to be like India or Portugal/Spain. But there’s a lot of interesting things in the world to see, and I think you’ll get a lot more out of it if you enjoy the differences instead of ranting about them.

    • Ashray Says

      You have some interesting points but first I’d like to say that we don’t have anything at all against Americans, neither are we talking about 300 million people in this post, as you like to insinuate repeatedly. If I were to say that Gujarati (Gujarat is a state in India) tourists go to Switzerland in droves and muck up Mt. Titlis – that would be completely true. Obviously, that statement doesn’t mean that all 60 million Gujaratis do that. First of all, not all 60 million Gujarati’s are tourists. Secondly, stereotypes obviously don’t apply to everyone. So please lets correct the math. A few american tourists do act this way. The post talks about “American TOURISTS”.

      I’m sorry to see that you think we’re inexperienced and lack adaptability. Also, point #7 from your post is exactly what this article says so I don’t see where you’re going with that. For point #2, Americans do often assume that folks on the internet are from there. I’ve had that happen plenty of times and that’s what the picture above is trying to show you. It’s got nothing to do with my English because I don’t necessarily interact with these people. On sites like reddit this is especially noticeable like in the picture posted in the article, or the fact that the sub-reddit for politics is only for US politics. Things like that..

      Also, I do watch a lot of US TV shows and movies and the only reason I know Wichita is because my father once went there for some flight training. Trust me when I say that the average person in India has never heard of the place.

      We too saw a man pooping on the streets in Chile. Heck! People in India poop behind my house on the railway track every morning. Is that funny ? Yeah I think so :D Would I be offended if someone talked about it/made fun of it ? Nope.

      I’m truly happy that not everywhere in the world is like India. I think one India is enough for the world. I’m glad that we can laugh at ourselves and others without feeling the need to be politically correct all the time. I think that’s what happens when you travel a lot, you stop being uptight. I hope you lighten up and stop assuming things about us because you don’t really know us.

      I don’t dislike the use of the term “American” but I find it funny when Mexican people get frustrated that a US tourist just introduced themselves as “American”. Same thing happens elsewhere in the Americas.

      Our American friends found this post pretty funny and they could relate to it. Given that, I truly believe that it isn’t as offensive as you’re making it out to be.

      • I’m sorry, but you’re a dumbass, and I doubt you’ve even been to the United States or met more than two or three Americans in your whole life, despite the fact that there are over 330 million of us. Oh, and by the way, why the hell would we call ourselves anything but Americans? Would we call ourselves United Statesians? And why would we go to another country without knowing what to expect and places to avoid? Even traveling here, in Australia, where crime is low, Aussie locals have warned me about criminals (and dangerous wildlife) in certain areas. Better safe than sorry.

        We Americans normally say, “I’m from the United States” when addressing fellow travelers from other countries. I’ve yet to hear an American say, “I’m from Texas” or “I’m from Florida” to another traveler. Now, they will tell me their home state because they hear my accent and assume I’m either American or Canadian.

        You also need to remember–well, in your case, know because you clearly don’t–that each U.S. state functions more like a country than a territory or province. Here’s a good comparison: You don’t hear French travelers say, “I’m from Europe”, even though the European Union is on the long, difficult path to nationhood. Where are YOU from, anyways?

        P.S. Reddit is U.S.-centric because it was created in the U.S. by Americans! Therefore, the majority of its users are English-speaking Americans, who have a very U.S.-centric worldview! What else did you expect?! Nevermind the fact that the internet was collectively invented by a number of those “ignorant” and “stupid” Americans, so without us, you couldn’t post your patronizing, self-serving bullshit for everyone to see.

        • Whoops. Meant to post this on main comment thread. Sorry, Ashray. This was not an attack on you. This is aimed at Angry Backpacker.

        • JAMSisExcitement Says

          Amen! I hate that argument about “Americans”… That’s what we are! If you’re from Paraguay you say you’re… “Paraguan”?… or “South American.” There’s no ambuiguity and no holier-than-though bullshit. Canadians are thrilled to call themselves “Canadians” and not “North Americans” to get grouped with the often-belitteled USA. And Yes, due to our centrality on the world-stage and the ubiquity of American TV, it could, in fact, be insulting to assume someone doesn’t know where Texas, etc., is. I know a lot about Canada and I always think Canadians must think Americans are R-word-ed when they tell me in detail where Toronto or Vancouver is located… Like, a lotta people know major cities and states/provinces, and there’s nothing wrong with assuming so and politely explaining if it turns out otherwise.

    • Steph Says
  • Wilma Says

    Hi Ashray,

    I think you’re the author of the original post, so thank you for taking the time to respond.

    I always think it’s interesting when there is a discussion like this and the person who made the remarks suggests that the receiving party needs to lighten up/learn to laugh at themselves. It seems like they’re really saying “you need to learn to take it better when I insult you.” For example, imagine you’re on the street with 50 people. You pick one of them and say “you’re so ugly!” That person says “hey, don’t talk to me that way!” and you say “oh please, I was just joking. You need to lighten up. *I* know how to laugh at myself!” Well, the thing is, you didn’t laugh at yourself. You laughed at this guy. And he’s really no uglier than anyone else. His nose might be huge, but the person next to him has really bad teeth, and next to him is someone with a big pot belly.

    So, I did actually find your post offensive, because though you’re writing about your experiences and your own opinions, you seem to have singled out one group of people who might have problems in one way, but are better travelers then others in different ways. It was such a abrupt end to a series of interesting posts.

    Americans can be annoying when traveling–I could have written a negative post twice as long as yours about American tourists, believe me! But we’re sure not alone in that regard. I tend to think that criticism is often more interesting when it comes from the inside, or at least when it is inclusive. You say that you have no problem with Americans, and I’ll take your word for it, but can you see how it sounds when you go from a lovely travel blog to insults directed at only one nationality, out of the blue?

    I believe you when you say that your American friends didn’t find the post to be insulting. I think that’s because you’re probably a nice guy and they hear your voice saying these things, and maybe it’s even very funny. But I don’t have the benefit of knowing you, so I’m reacting only to the words on the page, and not the personality behind them. The words themselves aren’t very complimentary.

    Regarding the difference between Americans and American tourists, I don’t see the difference to be so different. There’s not a real difference in demographics between the ones of us who travel and the ones who don’t. I can see that it would be different in, for example, a poor country, where only a certain subset of the population could ever travel. But with the US, the ones in the country aren’t that different from the ones traveling. Though hopefully the ones traveling are more internationally minded! So if you’re saying that Americans in South America are {x} then the rest of us are just as likely to be equally {x}.

    I think that there is something (I don’t know what) about Indians or Indian tourists that I could blog about and offend you. It might not be the same thing that offends me when said about the US. So, you say it’s funny re: pooping on the street, but I wonder if I had blogged about my recent trip to Africa and next to a post about the excellent seafood I had written a post saying WHAT’S WRONG WITH INDIAN TOURISTS!? You might have found it a little jarring. Imagine that my post included things tat offend you. And then imagine if my “proof” of annoying things that Indians do had included a bunch of things done by people who aren’t even Indian! But if I do that it’s considered worse then when you do it, because it’s only proof that Americans don’t know anything about the world, like in the map you posted.

    Anyway, my comment about #7 was based on the section heading “Football is the name of the sport”. I’m glad we agree that using international English is better for all English speakers in Latin America, but your heading seemed that you were objecting to people using the word soccer.

    I can’t comment on Reddit because I’ve only visited the site a few times, but I am under the impression that they’re a smart bunch over there. There could be a lot of reasons why they only have US politics in the politics branch, so I don’t know if your assumption is correct that they think Amerians are the only people on the internet. It might be that they know their traffic IS predominantly American. Or they had other branches for other countries but they got little use and were taken down.

    You’re right that I don’t really know you, and maybe I went overboard in my assumption that you’re inflexible etc. But my opinion is based on nothing but your post and the ideas and words you’ve chosen to publish. It’s not like I based it on your picture or your name or something completely irrelevant. That post did suggest to me that your mind is somewhat closed. But, I should have considered the other posts on your blog before I said that, because they have painted another picture. I’m sorry for that.

    • Ashray Says

      Alright, so I see a bit of where you’re coming from. It’s not that we wrote something bad about the whole USA here, it’s about **some** people who act a certain way. Also, this isn’t the first critical post on this website, there are a few others that have received some attention before:

      We used to live in Dubai so our criticism of it is quite a bit of “we used to belong there”. If that doesn’t satisfy you then you should subscribe and wait for my upcoming million part series “Whats wrong with India” not Indian tourists – but India. There’s plenty, that’s why I kid about the million parts :D For even more entertainment maybe you should read the upcoming “Why homestays suck!”. Obviously that’s going to offend tons of people who might have had great home stays and we’ve had some too, but we’ve had our share of bad ones as well!

      Our goal isn’t to offend anyone over here. But we do hope to write about things as openly as possible and sometimes that requires being a bit politically incorrect. Maybe the post should’ve been titled “What’s wrong with some American tourists..” or “Things you might see American tourists doing..”, I can see how if you get introduced to a topic the wrong way you can continue down that path and end up really angry. I can also understand that you feel like we singled out the USA but hey we’ve met Indian/Spanish/Portuguese/Chinese/etc. tourists who do some bizarre stuff too and we will be writing about other things as well.

  • Cheyenne Says


    Funny, when you tell people how to tip in their own cities and what to call things in their own language in their own country, you don’t come across as the worldly one. Why in the name of Christmas do you have an opinion about how people generate their tip in their native city?

    When Brits come here and say roundabout and knackered, we don’t tell them to stop. We know what they mean and we keep talking. I know you know what soccer means because we never hear the end of it from people around the world that we should fix our soccer/football problem. Because I love telling people that a word in their own language, built from two other words in their own language, that I’ve appropriated into my language, should now be used the way I use it. I like going to France and telling them they use ‘souvenir’ wrong. It goes really well.

    In contrast to the stereotype that we think everyone does or should speak English, we actually think that people around the world have blogs and forums in their own language, and that when writing in English, chances are somewhat strong that people are from the U.S. That’s what experience tells us — there are a lot of us. If I were on a French forum and I asked what department someone lived in, I wouldn’t expect “I live in Haiti! How DARE you assume I’m in France!!!” as a reasonable objection. My expectations were in line with experience. We also assume that when someone speaks authoritatively about life in the U.S., they actually live there, although we’re constantly surprised on that front and are regularly informed about our country from people who’ve not only never set foot here but morally refuse to for one reason or another. It’s pleasant.

    And yes, we know that Gujarat is a state in India, and that the average person in the street there has never heard of Wichita. We’re also used to having things overexplained to us.

  • Wow! Definitely a lot of ink spilt here. I’ve definitely seen enough “America bashing” in my travels that its left a bad taste in my mouth. Even if the American was sympathetic to the critique you could see how they would become defensive just out of human instinct.

    Recently a North Korean film “exposing Western Propaganda” surfaced. It verbalises a lot of critiques we might have had with Western values and society and values. Its really quite jarring.

    There is a high degree of difficulty with a post like this because it can be taken the wrong way. By your dialogue its clear that Wilma and the writers are reasonable, fair-minded people. Cheyenne is funny.

  • Sydney Says

    Greetings from Planet U.S.A…as an expat who has lived on this ‘planet’ for the last 25 years I bow to your observations!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. In fact I laughed like a drain from beginning to end. I have friends who do exactly what you mentioned and don’t think anything of it, so no you are not being obnoxious or rude, you are just making some very realistic comments. Everything you have said is absolute fact. I have to to leave the planet every now and then in order to experience the REAL world. Keep writing kiddo!

  • Belle Says

    OMG I laughed my arse off when reading this, I don’t like to stereotype based on nationalities, but most american’s i have met abroad are exactly as you have described them! However, there are some absolutely wonderful americans out there as well!!

  • ISIS Says

    Its my first visit there and I def. laughed a lot reading this post!! So true!

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  • Steff Says

    I am just going to say one thing, the US is not the only place in the world that calls football soccer, Australia does as well… maybe you should check your facts.

    • Zara Says

      We know that! But that wasn’t really the point!..

      • Steff Says

        Maybe not the point but it feels a bit mean that my country was completely disregarded. I understand this wasn’t ‘the point’ and maybe I’m a small person… but I’m sure it would annoy someone from America if I said “the only countries in the world that’s main lanaguage is English is all the UK, Australia and Singpore.” This is clearly wrong and if the writer ‘knew that’ why would they publish something knowing it wasn’t true. I’m not insulting the article, I’m just saying maybe they should check things before writing them, so as not appear ignorant or as you suggest, just plain rude, as though Australia is just not worth their time to mention.

  • Sarah Says

    I absolutely love this post! The 25% tipping irks me too – 1/4 of the total of your bill – why oh why?! Keep writing guys, I look forward to reading about your next adventure. let’s all have a beer and a cod-fritter and spare a thought for the 200million +- Americans who don’t even have a passport.

    • Zara Says

      Thanks Sarah!
      We’re actually going back to the USA in 6 days.. I can’t believe I have 6 weeks of 20% tipping ahead of me. It’s the only part that turns me off. USA: you better provide some freakin’ outstanding service to earn those tips!!
      And sure… we raise our beers and cod-fritters for all of them! ;)

  • nicole Says

    alrighty, there are definitely a lot of assbackwards people out there. But, they’re not ALL in the United States of…AMERICA. Educated Americans who grew up on the coastal areas will tend to be more openminded.

    I’d have to agree with another commenter above: I’ve said I’m from the “U.S.,” or “the United States,” or that I’m just plain “American,” only to be asked a follow-up of “where, exactly?” So, then I have to explain I live in Los Angeles, only to be asked another follow up of: “Do you see Tom Cruise?” Huh? Talk about stereotype… I rarely see celebrities and that’s fine by me.

    Also, I don’t know of any other country in the Northern American continent or South American continent who uses “America” in their name. I know another country that uses “united states.” That country is Mexico. But not many people know that around the world (or maybe they do). But no Mexican I know (myself being one of them) would go around saying: “I’m US Mexican” or “I’m a united states of Mexican.” It simply doesn’t make sense, nor does it roll off the tongue. Therefore, we people of the United States are “American.” If that’s offensive or rude, then there are bigger problems in the world to worry about. To try to give someone another name that they don’t refer to themselves as, is just plain rude…and you’re doing exactly what you hate about Americans.

    PS: I have no idea what pancake money is. But those peeps were from Texas…So, take it with a grain of salt. They’re practically their own country. ;-)

  • Claire Says

    I was in Ghana when the results of the trial for the elections was released. The US government had released a warning that it could be dangerous (in one of the most peaceful countries anywhere). This resulted in a Ghanaian telling me that “Americans aren’t allowed out today.” when I was in town. Made me laugh :)

  • Dre Says

    It would be so much simpler if people would actually accept “the U.S.” as an answer to where I’m from but nooo they always want to know where exactly in the States (a couple hours ago the hostel owner asked where I was from and I told him the U.S. and his reply was “Yeah I know but which city?” And then inevitably they conflate New York State and New York City.) I would presume this is why most U.S.Americans have given up and simply answer immediately with their state when asked where they’re from.

  • Stone Hocker Says

    I’m a high-schooler in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. I believe that the main reason that Americans introduce themselves in a foreign country by their state or city is solely to provide more information, not to insult the intelligence of the person they are speaking to. The United States is such a melting pot of cultures that it is sometimes necessary to establish that someone has grown up in a Midwestern town as opposed to metropolitan New York City. When I address others while traveling abroad I provide the city first as a means of assuming ,out of courtesy, that they are knowledgeable of geography. It is not an insult to start off with the city name first; it is a way to give them the benefit of the doubt and not just talk to them like they know nothing by only saying that I am from “The United States”.

    I also think that the main reason that many of the threads on travel blogs and other websites automatically assume that a user is American is that for the most part that assumption is correct. The United States created many websites, like reddit, that are used internationally and undeniably have the largest presence on the Internet worldwide. Also many threads that you may be commenting on are in English and for the most part it is safe to assume that someone commenting is a native level English is from an English speaking nation. The largest of these is the United States of America. If you were to be involved in a Portuguese discussion chances are that you would not be automatically labeled an American.

    I have just started reading you blog and enjoy it very much! You have created a great environment to share experiences and foster discussion.

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