Advice For Americans Abroad

Or anyone travelling abroad; especially in a place where the language that is spoken is different from those you are fluent in.

Learn what you can about the people in the part of the world you are visiting; you can learn much if you speak less and stop, look and listen. Realize that (at least in Europe) most people in business speak at least two or three languages. If you have something important to say, you will be understood, even if you don't speak the local language (at least a dozen in Europe alone). Don't spend your money on trinkets, but buy film and take a lot of pictures instead, ride a lot of great trains and see a lot of stuff that has been around for centuries. Realize that wherever you visit, you will find ancestors of "Americans", with wonderful cultures, architecture and a different flavor for what is "life". Appreciate, respect and understand the differences. When you return, you will have nothing but good to say and remember about your journey abroad.

Some practical, rather than political, advice for Americans abroad:

And a few special phrases just for 'Merkins.

In cities, learn the mass transit.

However, be prepared with an alternative in case of labor unrest. The Underground in particular is prone to trouble as I understand.

I totally agree... In the Tube and Bus strike of London in March of 1989 caused me to take a private bus from Heathrow to Central London and then walk several miles to Fulham Broadway with my suitcase.

Er. That was 13 years ago - things do change! The Underground isn't particularly prone to strikes. Right now, we've got a bit of a flurry of labour unrest on the normal trains, but even that's unusual now.

13 years ago? It seemed like only yesterday. The heat, the traffic, the grime. It seemed more like Tijuana in August than London in March. It was quite traumatic... If I wasn't so poor I would've opted for a cab.

When flying to London (or certain other popular destinations) and expecting to catch a train from the airport, don't be fobbed off with advice that you can buy your ticket on arrival - you would probably have to join a long queue for your ticket and you may end up paying too much as well, since you won't have time to get the best advice and some ticket types must be purchased in advance (or outside the country) anyway.

I would also add that in many places, they are quite friendly to Americans. I had a long and lively political discussion with a Welshman about the 1988 American Presidential elections. Don't let the apparent anti-US spirit of this Wiki population sway you - just remember that you are a guest, and act accordingly.

If country Whatever had the population and economic advantage of America the author of this page would have called it "Advice For Whatevers Traveling Abroad". People who see from the comfort of their home town confused tourists from any country gaping about on the corner with maps in their hands seeking a bit of familiarity amongst the fearful din and call them stupid, loud and boorish are probably themselves the same but lack empathy to boot. -- RodneyRyan?

When Visiting the UK...

Visiting Ireland

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