I know I recently wrote about traveling while black, but I think it is worth a few words about traveling while American as well. Of course I can not speak for all Americans or African Americans, but I can say that many of us often times do not think of ourselves as sharing an “American” culture. We relate to one another through our communities such as African American, Native American, southerners, mid-westerners etc….. Our American is so unique because we are not homogeneous and there are so many cultures that make up ours.
From what I have learned, we Americans have kind of a bad wrap as travelers out there in the world. Apparently being loud, freedom of speech- loving, football watching, junk food eating people is frowned upon in some parts of the world. Believe it or not, we are usually spotted a mile away. Often times, that is not a good thing. As a woman, we are sometimes presumed to be promiscuous. I’ve noticed this first hand.
I personally like to prove people wrong about me as a woman, an American and/or an African American by showing them a much better version of what they had in their mind. I have just a few words of advice for my fellow American travelers if I may…….
- Although our country is pretty awesome, when we leave it, we are actually in someone else’s country. Same rules and freedoms do not apply.
- Learn a few words of another language
- Use your inside voice 🙂
- Let go of flip flops, booty shorts and tank tops unless you are on the beach. Err on the side of classic and a little more conservative. It’s amazing how much clothes say about you whether you like it or not.
Hey, I love America. I love our crazy melting pot thing that we have going on. The world knows more about us than we know about the rest of the world. Open your mind to new things and ways of living. Just remember that we are guests and not everyone wants to be American.
When traveling abroad, just look around and soak in the beauty of the world. I promise, that you will be very grateful for what you have when you return home.