If you’ve been abroad and especially in a hostel, you’ve likely heard that some Americans are boycotting themselves as Canadian. United States is in every media outlet around the world. All eyes are on the Americans. With the current war and past presidency alone, it brings up quite a political debate that most of us would like to avoid. There’s already a common thought in United States that Americans are usually hated by the rest of the world. Americans are scared of being treated, talked to, and thought of differently than everyone else. So, should Americans just pretend to be Canadian to avoid issues abroad?
I wasn’t on the road much during the Bush presidency so it may have been different then, however, I did just come back from nearly a year around Asia, Australia, and South America. During that time, I have never met an American boycotting themselves as Canadian. Neither have I ever pretended to be Canadian as well.
Set A Good Example
One of the reasons Americans are so easy to judge is because there are not enough Americans traveling to set a good example therefore they’re easier judge or create an image of. Just be yourself and I can guarantee you, their image will change. Since so few of us are on the road, it’s even easier to set a good image.
There are over 300 million Americans, if someone were to judge every single one of them, I’d say they’re quite narrow minded. It’s only happen to me once in a full year of travel that someone told me they did not want to speak to me because I was American. In these cases, if that’s their personality, it’s better off not becoming their friend even if you were Canadian. Take it like they’re doing you a favor by not wanting to talk to you because you don’t want to associate yourself with these types of travelers to begin with. If a debate comes up, restrain from becoming too hostile and try to understand where they are coming from. Media has force fed many peoples way of thinking. Explain to them there’s a difference between what the government does and the people. Some people just want to express how they feel about our government, just listen in on what the other side thinks. You may learn a few things you didn’t even realize. Next thing you know, you’ll be traveling to the next destination together.
[pullquote]A wise traveler never despises his own country. -Carlo Goldoni[/pullquote]
On a another positive note, being an American can bring up some interesting conversations as well. Since we seem to be popular and there isn’t enough of us traveling, people are more interested in who we are. Besides the one instance, I have always been treated the same as everyone else. Interacting with people from other cultures is one of the most important aspects of travel.
If you’re one of those travelers pretending to be Canadian, I say just go home and don’t even bother traveling. You’ve obviously missed the whole point of travel.
Note: So no one gets too sensitive, I love Canada and this has nothing to do with Canada itself.