Even though we might not have the most sterling reputation abroad, no American actually goes overseas with the intention of offending someone … okay, maybe some do, but there are a few of those dopes in every country. For the rest of us, we’re only hoping we can get abroad, see some sites, grab a dollop of culture, and get home without causing an international incident. Unfortunately, recent events have made Americans somewhat unpopular on the world’s stage, which makes it even more difficult to walk the straight and narrow when you’re traveling. If you’re heading abroad in the near future and you want to avoid the “ugly American” stereotype, here are some tips for staying in bounds.
1. Why Should We Learn Your Language When English Is Obviously Superior?
You might be self-conscious about speaking another language poorly, but you’d be surprised how much locals appreciate a traveler who makes an effort to communicate in their native tongue. Just learn a few basic phrases — even if it’s just “please” and “thank you” — and be sure to use them in conversation.