Traveling the world can be a highly enlightening experience.
It opens us up to various cultures and customs that can only expand our wisdom of the capabilities of what people can achieve while also reminding us that we are all the same.
And while there are common practices that are shared by different nations, there are some things that Americans seem to excel at more than in other countries.
Curious to hear exmples of these, Redditor Tannerman1 asked:
"What does America do better than most countries?"
North America provides everything in abundance.
"Turning corn into things that are not corn."
"When you have this much corn, what else do you do with it?"
"Being from Illinois please do something with all this corn."
"I think the stat is something like the US has half of all the large carriers in the world right now. I do know in WW2 by the end of 1944 or 45 they had more escort carriers in service than most countries had naval ships commissioned in the country's entire history."
The Great Outdoors
"National parks, we also have amazing state parks and local parks."
"Before anyone starts no you having woods too isn't the same thing."
"I’m not sure the very idea of a National Park would be a thing if not for ol Teddy Roosevelt, and the United States making them the thing they are."
Americans are very social people that have no qualms reaching out to a stranger.
Sometimes, that's a real good thing.
"Chatting, I’m from a European country where most people will avoid talking to stranger. But you can literally talk to anyone you met in the street in the US and most of them are willing to talk."
Forming A Bond
"People in many parts of the US do talk. I’m from the US and I’m kind of introvert, but I’ve actually have grown to love it as I’ve gotten older. I’m a white guy in a mostly black neighborhood and I f'king love going to the grocery store. We have this awesome little actual grocery store and everyone talks to me. It’s basically the friendliest place I’ve ever been."
"There’s an old dude who just starts spouting off with trivia questions to anyone who will listen. I responded with the answer to one and he was like, “How the f'k did you know the answer to that?'”
“I’m a biologist.”
"He and I are basically best friends now."
Three Guys Walk Into A Bar...
"I have had this experience. The only people who would talk in pubs in London were an Irishman, a Lebanese fellow, and the Nepalese bartender. There’s a joke in there somewhere. They were super cool cats, too. Oh, and the guy I chatted with in a bar in Paris, also Lebanese. None of the locals would speak more than a few words."
"Americans? We’ll talk half an hour to a wrong number."
"Side note: Does anybody know if everyone in Lebanon actually knows everybody else? It has now happened twice that I’ve met people on different continents who knew each other’s siblings."
The Germany Connection
"I met a chatty lady in Germany once and when I told her she was a friendliest person I’d met in Germany she said very quickly: 'Oh, I’m not from here, I’m from Sweden.' Then we both laughed loudly and got the side eye from the Germans."
When it comes to certain American activities, it's no contest.
Just To Be Frank
"Hot dog eating contests"
"I was going to say that the champion of the Nathan’s Famous contest is Japanese, but I looked it up & Joey Chestnut is the current reigning champion."
Americans Are Globally Recognized Due To...
"Dominate media and pop culture around the world. Nobody else comes close to the US in this regard."
"I haven't been in a lot of countries, but from my limited experience, it's the Americans With Disabilities Act."
"I have a lot of complaints about it, but I can still say that using public transportation doesn't require me to walk down or up 40 steps, with the alternative being walking . 3 miles to find an elevator that can fit one person at a time and moves so slowly it's barely usable."
What You Didn't Know
"Ironically enough science. The US has more Nobel Prize winners of all other countries combined. And here's the key thing: many of those researchers were immigrants, or at least didn't have family going back to the Mayflower."
"Also this will really sound ironic: tolerance for other cultures. The US is among the most diverse nations in the world. The most iconic American cultural icons are ultimately a mix of local and international traditions. Asiatic countries are super duper racists, but we call them 'xenophobic.'"
"Agriculture. The US is a behemoth when it comes to agriculture and agriscience. The biggest issues is cultivating for logistics instead of taste. Those yield however come with technologies other nations find repugnant and so ban American imports to protect domestic agriculture."
"Charity. Americans as a whole donate more to charities than any other nation, and on a per capita basis as well. Most Americans probably see ads or donation boxes on a daily basis."
I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing but American establishments can dish out sizable portions of food for what dining patrons pay for.
Some entrees at restaurants are enough for sharing and ordering one main plate can be an economical option to allow room for a variety of other dishes–including dessert–without breaking the bank.
Go big, or go home, right?
America the beautiful.
So much to see. So much to experience.
Just because we don't have exotic oceans and ancient history doesn't mean there isn't majesty to take in.
There are many vacations to put together.
And now we don't have to use a paper map to plan.
Our apps and GPS have it all planned out.
Redditor driedkitten wanted to compare notes about the greatest ways to see the USA, so they asked:
"Where is the most beautiful place in the United States?"
So far the cliffs of California is my favorite part of the US.
The Fallsniagara falls GIFGiphy
"Subjective of course, but Crater Lake is certainly a sight to behold."
"My home state of Oregon is full of beautiful places, South Umpqua falls, Illinois River, and Multnomah falls. Are some favorites."
"A tie for Acadia, Hoh rainforest, and Rainier in the fall."
"I was going to say Acadia. It's very underrated for some reason. My mom's friend by coincidence ended up being my English professor in college and we went on a trip to see family in ME. We stopped at Acadia for a day and she said it reminded her a lot of her visit to Greece."
"Hoh rainforest is absolutely devastatingly beautiful. Hiked the whole Hoh river trail when I was 17 and it's still near the top of the list for my favorite things I've ever done."
"Glacier national park. I was continuously in awe that the place was real life."
"The vistas of this road, on a motorcycle, were beyond breathtaking to experience. Would 100% do it again. Being on a bike allowed for stops at the waterfalls where there was no room for vehicles to pull over, and the views from the tunnels under the road were supernatural."
The Road Ahead
"There is a stretch of the Navajo reservation where there is no cell service, AM or FM radio reception. The road stretches before you for miles surrounded by red rocks touching blue sky. The buzzing undercurrent of modern connectivity fades away and your brain can be truly still."
"We did a little unscheduled off-roading in that area when we came to a road closed barrier. A Navajo couple pulled up alongside us while we pondered the dirt road heading roughly in the direction we wanted to go and assured us it was passable. Really lonely place... but wonderful."
On a Clear DayMountain GIF by Sunshine VillageGiphy
"If I stand right at the doorjamb of my front door on a clear day, I have a beautiful view. I owned this house for 15 years before I figured that out. You can't see it from any other position in the doorway, or if you're outside."
Mountains are hot. That is all.
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"Depends on what you’re looking for. The United States is a big place."
"For me - Hawaii is hard to beat."
"Zion National Park is the most well-known place in Utah. But my entire state is an outdoorsman's paradise. LOTs of beautiful scenery in both the northern and southern parts of the state."
"Totally!!! And it’s very different. I personally prefer Southern Utah because the red rocks make me feel like I’m on Mars. But I grew up in the salt lake valley, so the mountains lost a lot of their majesty. But if I’m being honest, I miss them terribly."
Smell the old growth
"I’m incredibly biased, but the most beautiful place is the California redwoods. Drive up 101, and then detour towards Petrolia. There is absolutely nothing like it. Roll down your windows and drive 35mph. Smell the old growth. Stop at the pull out. Take a small hike. It’s worth it."
"Yes, 100%. My brother lives in McKinleyville and I am going to see him the end of April. Can't wait. It's my happy place. They are like the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls... you have to see them to believe them. Those redwoods are something else!"
"Yosemite! You drive thru the tunnel and come out the other side. Looks like heaven/Utopia."
"Did a hike in Yosemite on January 1 last year. A spectacular way to start the year. I had seen photos of it, seen it in movies, watched countless videos on Youtube about it but -nothing- prepares you for the sight of El Cap as you turn that corner. I was very nearly moved to tears."
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"The Shenandoah Valley. Its an amazing place if you're an outdoorsman. Hiking, fishing, hunting, bird watching, camping."
All the wonders of the world. I may have to check all of these out.
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.
So many exotic locales in the world to see... and plenty of places NOT to see.
When one travels, we have to be astute.
Do the research.
No harm in skipping where we don't need to be.
Redditor Just_Pizzy wanted everyone to share about the places to avoid when traveling, so they asked:
"What city is extremely overrated in your opinion?"
In my travels I've been very satisfied.
But tell me where to avoid.
Ouchwill smith miami GIF by RomyGiphy
"Miami. A city of narcissists and attention wh*res."
"I swear Miami Beach is the poser capital of the world!"
"Scottsdale, AZ would be a close 2nd."
"I’m visiting here right now, and am seriously wondering why I’m here. If I want high end, there are a million ritzy suburbs that do it better. Scottsdale is a ton of neighborhoods that all want to claim the Scottsdale name to increase the real estate values."
"But only 5% of it is actually high end Scottsdale. The whole Phoenix metro area seems like one long expanse of concrete and chain stores. The only reason I can see that Pheonix has so many urban hikes is that the rest of the city is completely unwalkable. What am I missing?"
What is This?
"Nothing personal, but Dubai. And I'm not a city designer, but I don't think you call it a 'downtown' when there's a 12-lane highway cutting through a bunch of skyscraper walls and that's it."
"This city is so stupid. Instead of creating the palm island, they could have dug into the land, it still would have looked amazing, except much easier to build."
"They started from scratch with unlimited money, they could have made an awesome city with Arabic style and culture, something different. Instead they took the worse cities (from the US) as an example, and built something stupid."
But it has Luck...
"Dublin is a complete tourist trap. I am Irish and I see people coming to Ireland expecting the full Irish experience in Dublin, when really all the good stuff is outside the capital spread out all across the country. They head up to Temple Bar for the Irish pub experience and pay 3-4 times more for drinks than anywhere else in the country."
"The city itself is a product of British occupation, same style of city you will find up and down England with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture along with generic modern design. Look, there are historic places and nice places to eat but nothing out of the ordinary."
"If you want to see the real Ireland go to the countryside, the unique landscapes of the ring of Kerry, the Clare Burren and cliffs of Moher, the Connemara and donegal mountainous areas along with tonnes off historical locations all across the country. If you want an Irish city experience go to Galway instead."
Not the Happy Placemickey mouse vintage GIFGiphy
"I don't know if anyone but children and retirees actually like this city, but lawd I hate Orlando."
"My best friend moved from Seattle to Orlando for financial reasons. His parents live in Orlando and had to move in with them. A year later they said f**k this and moved back. Drove cross country both times."
Orlando isn't that bad. I've had fun.
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"Gold Coast, Queensland. It tries to be Australia's Miami, but really, it's a tacky over-developed sh**hole."
"It is really bad, I loved every place I went to in Australia but the Gold coast was terrible. Reminded me of the cities in Spain where PPL only go to to get drunk at the beach (Ballermann in Palma, Benidrom, Lloret….)"
"Not a fan of the 'trendy' cities like Charlotte or Nashville. A lot of younger people my age are moving there and they act like going to a mediocre brewery and spending $30 on a craft beer and tiny cut of brisket is some type of unique southern cultural experience."
"Not to mention the cities are now barely affordable for the people actually from there and every other block is full of those cookie-cutter gentrified apartments that just look bland as hell. Both cities have some cool parts to them but to me they just aren’t as special as people make them seem."
Sounds with Problems
"The worst city I’ve ever been to is Oklahoma City, which is rated appropriately. No complaints on the current rating."
"I have traveled to Oklahoma City a good number of times over the past six years, usually for a couple of weeks at any given time."
"Some areas of the city are okay, and I was pleasantly shocked upon the sight of a functioning streetcar service downtown. That being said, parts of OKC and its suburbs are so miserable that I almost convinced myself that Grand Theft Auto had become real life."
"Nashville. It’s a bunch of honky tonks and bachelorettes. It’s just a big party town now. I might be salty because I live here and remember old Nashville that was quiet and civilized, where locals could enjoy going downtown and we still had Opryland instead of a giant mall."
Bad Fallshanna barbera animation GIF by Boomerang OfficialGiphy
"Niagara Falls. Even if it’s poorly rated, that rating is still too high."
"It’s pretty cool to see once though. The area is just meh."
Go to Wendy's
"I used to go there every summer for tech conferences. I always use the analogy that Vegas is a lot like KFC. It’s gross, greasy, and messy, and you wonder what possessed you to go there in the first place. 6 months later, for some inexplicable reason, you get the urge to go again. You remember what it was like the last time, but somehow you’re still drawn to it."
So many places in the world... NOT to go!
What destinations should we strike from our bucket list? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks to a lot of bad press and well, a really rough couple of decades, America's image has tarnished a bit.
So we need to get some clean up going.
There are things other countries just don't understand about us.
We can guide them.
Redditor Civil_Improvement692wanted to explain a few important facts for people.
"What is one thing other countries don't understand about America?"
I will admit I have seen very little of America. So this list will be help me out as well.
Transport IssuesTravel GIF by Grish MajethiyaGiphy
"They're gonna be really, really disappointed in the train service."
"Well, the last one makes no sense. European rail systems are government run and are much better than the semi private US passenger rail system."
"The US is huge. On r/askanamerican, foreigners will tell us how they're planning a 2 week trip, starting in NY, driving to Miami, then driving to the Grand Canyon, then driving back to NY, and we're all like 'What?!'"
"I was on a call with a vendor doing some work for my department. One of the guys was in Minnesota (I'm in Wisconsin) and the rest of their team was in Ireland. The guy in Minnesota mentioned that he could come to our office since it was only about a 4 hour drive. The guys in Ireland started laughing saying that it they drove for 4 hours in any direction, they would be in the ocean!"
Law & Order
"Most people from other countries (and plenty of Americans) don't understand the system for making and enforcing laws in the US. Specifically, they don't seem to understand that laws vary by state and that there are restrictions on which laws can be made at the federal level. Also, I've seen way too many people who don't realize that the US President does not have the power to pass laws on his own."
"Not to mention our 423 national parks. I hear a lot of us Americans say that we’re over populated as a country. I was a flight attendant for twelve years and when you’re 36,000 feet above it all, a lot of it is sparse. I live in Japan now and reside in Tokyo where there’s a huge population — but outside prefectures are empty because the younger generation are moving to where the work is. I think people need to keep that in mind no matter where they reside."
PeaceRelaxing Space And Time GIF by MyaGiphy
"As someone who’s done 5 road trips across the US, it’s much more peaceful than the media lets on. Sure some areas are really bad, but do your research and you can avoid them. It’s not the war zone most of Reddit would have you believe."
Wow... there is more than I even knew about. I'm intrigued.
Oh NYCIs Awesome New York GIF by FriendsGiphy
"There’s a LOT more to New York than NYC. New York State has more land than the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg combined, for perspective. Come on by sometime, we’ve got GREAT parks and good wine!"
"How friendly most of us are. Don't believe the news. Seriously, most of us love meeting new people. Especially those from other countries and cultures. In the US. we love to tell you the best restaurant or park or best way to get from point A to point B. Don't be afraid to say 'hi.'"
"This was so evident in Florida, the first time our family visited America (from England) and everybody was so friendly. Love the people. That was back in 2002, I can't mesh the image I have of the lovely people from that trip to the image I have now from the media."
"One college roommate I had was from Hong Kong, and was just about to graduate. But before he left, he and some friends (also from HK) were going to fly into LA, rent a car, and take a day trip to the Grand Canyon and back. The next day they were going to drive up to Seattle and stop and see the sights along the way, also on one day. We had to show them several maps with comparable scales to places he knew to set them straight."
"If they get their information from the news and social media they think all Americans are extremists, one side full of hate for the other. That is completely untrue. There are a few on the far ends making most of the noise. Most Americans are middle of the road, hard working citizens. We pay our bills, respect the law and get along with each other."
OrdinaryBored Paul Rudd GIFGiphy
"How utterly normal most people’s lives are here. The news has led non us people to believe that it is a lot more like the Wild West than it really is (I am from Texas)."
See! America can be a big ole blast!
If you've traveled much before the pandemic restricted tourism, you might find American influences are abundant on almost every continent.
We all know Mickey. As in, Disney's infamous cartoon mouse. He is instantly recognizable as a universal emissary of goodwill originating from the shores of Southern California in the USA.
What about the other Mickey? You know, Mickey D's? The Golden Arches pretty much dominate most parts of the globe and much of the world's population has had a Big Mac–the flavor of America.
And although many might argue hamburgers originated in Hamburg, Germany, the popular meat sandwich is almost always associated with America.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg (lettuce).
There are tons of other things that are instantly perceived as unmistakably American.
Curious to hear examples of this, Redditor bigbeantheory asked:
"What wouldn’t be nearly as popular if it wasn’t for the US?"
How Americans do things is sooo U.S. of A.
"Black Friday. It’s a worldwide thing now even though only the US has Thanksgiving the day before."
Preferred Method Of Measurement
"Using inch to measure TV size."
Go Steady With Me
"Proms... in other countries some schools host proms just because they see it on TV."
I Got Your Location
"The American military gave away one of the coolest technologies to the world. No service fees, no subscriptions. Imagine if Meta or Apple had invented it."
You might find these items indicating we're definitely in 'Murica.
Our Plastic Chalice Of Choice
"Red solo cups."
"I have friends who've been abroad who have seen them for sale. They don't call them 'solo' cups as Solo is a brand. They call them 'American party cups' and a lot of the ones sold are meant to be reused."
It's For Your Stomach, Not Your Inbox
"Spam in northeast-asia, especially South Korea"
"American soldiers ate it during the Korea war and it gained popularity to the point that it's a common food for both Koreans, Japanese, and some Chinese cultures such as Shanghainese."
Many American Households Rely On This
"Propane and propane accessories."
The aesthetic and style are unmistakably American.
Doesn't Get Any More Rock N' Roll Than These
"Hendrix with a Fender playing the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock? That's the most American thing that has ever been done."
Love For Denim
"Denim originated in France, but the metal rivets (from Jacob Davis) and blue colour (he and Levi Strauss decided on it based on flowers on Nevada) were actually American."
"Edit: Wow this blew up. Corrections from replies: jeans originated in Italy, in Genova, while denim first came from France. And I’ve been told that blue was used before America caught on. It’s also important to note Strauss and Davis, and many others who influenced American styling of denim, were immigrants."
The Glitz And Glamour
"Stars and celebrities: what do they know? Do they know things? Let's find out."
Halloween and trick or treating to me are uniquely American experiences.
Kids glorifying creepy creatures, vampires, and witches by dressing up as them and demanding one of two options from strangers is the epitome of American entitlement to me.
My relatives and friends in Japan found it bizarre to understand the concept, and I don't blame them.
The one day-a-year tradition is like a G-rated Purge for kids.