40 Ways to Spot an American Abroad

If you’ve talked to someone from another country, they’ll almost always tell you that it’s easy to spot an American abroad. It’s not our fault that we’re proud of who we are! We think we're pretty awesome. Across the globe, not everyone will agree with that sentiment, however. Our culture makes it obvious who we are, just like many other countries out there. If you’re the type that doesn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb, we made a list of a few things to try and avoid. 

Before we get started, we want to say that we're not saying there's anything wrong with being American. We have a lot to be proud of in our beautiful country, but that doesn't mean we don't have our fair share of eccentricities and oddities that can rub other cultures the wrong way. Every culture is different, after all! When you’re visiting somewhere else, it’s always better to abide by their customs. In fact, it’s highly encouraged to make your trip even better. Here are 40 sure-fire ways that other people spot an American abroad!

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Did you know...

  • Even though it is spread across five time zones, the entire country of China is set to Beijing time. Having a single time zone in the United States would certainly make things easier. Currently, the USA is spread across six, but a single time zone would make things a little wonky in Alaska and Hawai'i.
  • Jet lag is worse when you're traveling from west to east. That's because the changes in time zones become not only more physically apparent on your body, but they are also more culturally apparent. If restaurants close at 10pm on the East Coast, you'll just be getting hungry since it will feel like 7pm on your West Coast-adjusted body.
  • You've heard of the phrase "wanderlust," but do you know the German word "fernweh"? It means "far sickness" or an intensely strong urge to travel. The next time you feel the need to head out on a road trip, you've got a case of fernweh. And the only cure is to travel somewhere new!
  • The longest flight in the world is between Singapore and Newark, New Jersey. Depending on which way you're flying, it takes around 18.5 hours to complete the 9,534 miles of the journey. The flight is so long that it doesn't even have an economy class. Only first-class and business-class arrangements are offered.
  • The surface area of Pluto is just under 6.5 million square miles. The CIA Factbook lists the area of Russia to be just over 6.6 million square miles. That makes Russia bigger than Pluto (and much closer to visit). Are you still very upset that Pluto isn’t a planet anymore?