Traveling opens doors for many people. They learn about new cultures, try different foods, and meet people they never would have come in contact with before. As an American, it can be truly eye opening to travel abroad somewhere. These Americans recall when they discovered something truly only belonged to US culture while abroad.
Even though Australians speak English, some of their slang words have different meanings. So, when at a sporting event and you say that you “root” for a team, it has a completely different meaning. “Root” is slang for having sex in Australia!
No Smiling in the UK
Foreigners have said that Americans are too nice. In England, don’t expect strangers to smile at you on the street. They are busy with their own problems, they don’t need to show you any kindness.
Sales Tax Doesn’t Exist
In America, we pay sales tax, so the price we see on the tag isn’t always what we end up paying. Well, when abroad they do not have a sales tax. So, when you get to the cash register, you know exactly how much you can expect to pay.
A lot of foreigners drive small compact cars or motorbikes to get around their towns and cities. This is completely different compared to the large SUVs and pickup trucks we see driving across America.
Americans are Loud
There is a stereotype about Americans that we are loud. Whether we are having a conversation with friends or talking on the phone, we tend to speak louder than most people in the world.
Americans Eat Large Portions
Don’t expect to have a large platter when going out to eat at a foreign restaurant. The portions in America are especially big. If you order an American-sized meal abroad, the restaurant staff will definitely give you some dirty looks.
Chivalry Is Still Present
Chivalry isn’t completely dead in the world, maybe just in America. In Mexico, if a woman tries to hold a door open for a man, the man will insist on holding it open for the woman. In their culture, the man must not let a woman hold open the door for them.
Nobody Drives for Hours
When it comes to taking a road trip in America, we are used to driving for multiple hours just to get to a simple destination. However, in Europe if you have to drive more than a few hours, it’s a huge deal! People will get their cars inspected and heavily prepare for this kind of trip.
Walk a Block
Most American cities are designed as a grid, so you can tell someone that a destination is a certain number of blocks away. However, other cities around the world aren’t built this way. So, if you tell someone that a restaurant is two blocks away, they will have no idea what you mean.
Garbage Disposals Are Rare
In most foreign countries, a drain is simply something that water goes down. Never would they think to put food down there! Garbage disposals are pretty much only an American household luxury.
Americans Are Too Friendly
Americans are very open and want to become friends with everyone they meet. However, most cultures aren’t as open as this. Nobody but an American will walk into a room of people they don’t know and introduce themselves to everyone.
American Avocados are Small
Americans go absolutely insane when it comes to avocado. So, it’s a shame that the avocados in the States are so small. When you travel to let’s say Puerto Rico or Mexico, you’ll notice that the avocados are the size of footballs.
No More S’mores
S’mores are solely an American snack. While other countries will roast marshmallows, they hardly ever think to put it between two graham crackers and a piece of chocolate.
Europeans Don’t Work Like Americans Do
Working is heavily compartmentalized in Europe. When you aren’t at work, you don’t talk about it. They also work fewer hours and have much more vacation time than Americans. In fact, their vacation time is required by the government.
Americans Eat Too Fast
When going out to eat in America, you can expect to be at a restaurant for no longer than an hour and a half. Servers will get your food as quickly as possible. However, in Europe people will take their time eating and will stay at a restaurant as long as they want.
Americans Need Personal Space
Americans tend to go to extreme measures to stay away from other people. They don’t like their personal space compromised, while other countries don’t mind rubbing shoulders with a stranger on the subway.
Americans Have the Best Burgers
Americans are experts when it comes to cooking and eating hamburgers. In fact, some foreigners eat burgers with a fork and knife instead of their hands! You can count on always getting a good burger in the States.
The British Don’t Blow Dry Their Hair in the Bathroom
Where else would you blow dry your hair if not in front of the bathroom mirror? Well, people in the UK have to blow dry their hair in their bedrooms because they do not have outlets next to the sink.
American Is Seen as Exotic to Some
Some foreigners view American 1950’s culture and large cities as really interesting and exotic. Just like we view Paris and Rome, that’s how some people view New York City and Los Angeles. It’s wild to think something so familiar to us is so exotic to other people.
PB&J isn’t Common
Growing up, you probably had the occasional peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your school lunch. Well, foreign countries view the combination as absolutely disgusting!
Even Americans Have Accents
It’s strange to think that you yourself has an accent. Well, while traveling abroad, people can tell that you are from America when you speak either English or a foreign language because of your accent.
Drinking Openly is Legal
It is illegal to carry around an open container of alcohol in most places in the US, but it is completely legal to do it in European countries. A lot of Europeans are confused as to how drinking in public is illegal but carrying around guns in the US is legal.
American Fashion is Lazy
Americans have a reputation for dressing lazily. A lot of other countries put a lot of work into their style and outfits everyday. You can typically spot an American because they are wearing a t-shirt and jeans or leggings.
Americans Get Free Water
Only in America will you get free water at a restaurant. Other countries will make you pay for a water bottle. Also, you can forget about carrying around a reusable water bottle because other people definitely do not do that.
Americans Bleed Red White and Blue
Americans are known for their patriotism. In other countries, you will rarely see people representing their country’s flag, singing (or even knowing) their national anthem, or chanting about their country at parties.
Grocery Stores Have a Large Selection
There are half a dozen brands for just about every item on the grocery store shelves in America. Well, grocery stores abroad have a much more limited selection when it comes to their brands. Food is food outside of the US.
America is Enormous
Compared to other countries in the world, America is absolutely enormous. It’s so big that you can fit Switzerland in the state of Texas 17 times!
Food is Fresher Abroad
Americans are used to buying packaged and processed foods. When you go abroad, you’ll notice that more natural ingredients and fresh food is used when cooking.
Use Both Hands to Eat
Some Americans will switch their fork and knife between their dominant hand. People abroad learn how to use their less dominant hand to cut their food, though. So, they see switching the knife and fork as silly.
American Chinese Food
If you go to China, don’t expect to be served General Tso’s Chicken. American Chinese food is a complete sham! The food in China is much more authentic and completely different from anything we know in the States.
Americans Avoid Staring
Oftentimes, Americans try not to stare at people as it is considered rude or creepy. In foreign countries, people will stare shamelessly at people. They don’t mean any harm, it just isn’t considered rude in their culture.
Americans Live in Constant Worry
Anxiety is high in the United States. There are so many things that can happen in a split second that can change your life forever and cause you to file for bankruptcy or hit rock bottom. Other countries have safety nets for their citizens and are willing to help them when they are in need.
Servers Rely on Tips in America
Being a waitress or waiter in American means that you are living almost solely on tips. Their hourly wage is so low that they have to depend on the tips they make from customers. However, in other countries, tipping is seen as rude because their servers are actually paid a decent wage.
Toilets are Full of Water in America
To conserve water, most countries don’t have their toilets fill up with water. Only when they are flushed will water come gushing out.
Dieting is Trendy
Americans are always hopping on the latest diet trends, whether it be Paleo, Keto, or the South Beach diet. People in foreign countries rarely go on diets and will consume natural foods like whole eggs and whole milk rather than eating just egg whites and skim milk.
Tailgating is an American Thing
Only in America is it acceptable to party and drink in a parking lot. Whether it’s before a sporting event or concert, other countries don’t typically drink from the trunks of their cars before going into an event.
Americans Don’t Waste Time
When going up to a cop or public servant, Americans are short and to the point with their questions. However, in foreign countries, people like to be greeted and asked how they are doing before getting straight to the point.
Americans Drink a Ton of Water
Americans tend to drink a lot of water compared to other countries. You can start to see that when you have to pay for water at restaurants. Don’t expect to get a free refill either
Tipping Isn’t Necessary Outside of America
Waiters don’t expect to receive a tip after serving you. However, if you do leave a little extra on the table, it can go two ways. The server can be very gracious or feel insulted.