Americans huh? Way too loud, over the top, cheesy, proud of their country? The general population doesn’t travel a lot making the USA the centre of the world. Well, that’s the stereotype of course. The Brits and Irish in particular make fun of them. Shaking there heads in embarrassment over there use of words, strong accents, lack of understanding other nations. Where you from? Florida. Most people would answer which country first, not their state.
These are all things that can become annoyances for other nations, but when it comes to American backpackers, it ain’t all bad ya’ll. I’m from the North East of England. A place where generally we can criticize or misunderstand most nations in the world. So my initial thoughts when meeting so many Americans, I was of a slight intimidation to them. Somehow I had the feeling they felt they were better than us. That they seen more, had more to offer as people and were more worldly like. However, I still had an open mind when I was travelling, I was interested in learning and getting to know other nations and cultures. I quickly realized Americans and Canadians are different. Canadians are more loose, a bit like the Aussies and I warmed to that better at first. Yet, as over 2 years have passed in 3 different continents, I can honestly say the Americans I have met, and that’s quite a lot, have been amazing.
The Americans generally get a bad time for going backpacking from employers or some of their family. It is seen as unstable, the motives are questioned and inevitably find themselves further down the ladder of career success in some lines of work because of the year they took out. This can just be a misunderstood judgement on them by their previous or potential employees. Which is a shame and a very small minded mentality. To be able to deal with this and still continue on with owns plans, is tough and a harder decision than for most backpackers.
Americans will also probably have some insight to what others think of the average American, and for backpackers it’s completely unjust. They bring a certain excitement and maybe yes more loud than others but that’s just America. They speak clearly and justifiably. There are released from a cocooned country which doesn’t encourage that sort of travel despite it being one of the top frontier country’s on the planet. Nevermind probably the most sought for.
The American backpackers will be patient and understand different parts of the world and try understand where you are from. They want to see the world too and what is has to offer.
They will be quick to learn and get involved in an activity, you won’t see many Americans back down from a challenge or two. They are brave and have a certain confident energy around them but at the same time naive about the rest of the world. This is a learning curve for them and to experience what else is out there.
They will just as much like to party and hit the shots then go on a 4/5 day hike or go for an adventure in the ocean. They’ll fill you in on their country whether it’s politics, sport or general job situations.
That’s what I like, Americans know about there country even if they aren’t interested in certain aspects of it.
Who cares if there football, sorry ‘soccer’ anthems are cheesy? ‘ I believe that we will win’ was one used hugely in the World Cup. I see other nations shake there head in shame. Yes, it is definitely American, as most chants for soccer are more short and catchy, but that’s just them. They show passion. I’ve met Americans from all over the place. California, Texas, Seattle, Oregon, Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Colorado. I praise the Americans for mingling with others. Also during the World Cup in Brazil, I was so impressed with the American football team spirit, passion and the fans interest in their country doing well. I was so supporting the Americans and at some points felt more passionate towards the joys than England’s dismissal displays. I put on my Facebook status that I was cheering for the Yanks. I got a comment back from a buddy in Texas whom I had travelled with on my first backpacking trip in Asia right at it’s start. He said along the lines of ‘ Thanks Tommy, you don’t hear support for the Americans everyday’. I think the backpacker Americans are so open minded, they forget about the whole Glamour Hollywood trash that comes out of American news sometimes. The whole ‘ We are the USA’. They broaden their minds to new worlds that they are curious about and are becoming more accessible. They want to see the many different cultures in Europe, the different worlds which is Asia, the new world Australia, the Latin shores of South America.
So next time you have a perception of Americans think for a second. They are just like you and me, on the road wanting something different. They are probably more worried about what perception you have of them than what they think of you.
American backpackers are generally awesome, God bless American backpackers.