what it inherently means to be an american traveling abroad
Start writing a post

What it Inherently Means to Be an American Traveling Abroad

There are reasons Americans that fly to Europe or Southeast Asia may end up spreading unfavorable images of the uncultured townie, but some of these behaviors could be changed to offset this unintentional and collective dominance, and bring more productive results.

338
What it Inherently Means to Be an American Traveling Abroad

"Your Rich Friend Who Travels All the Time (Hardly Working)" by College Humor

The time has come for a voyage you've anticipated for a long, long time. You've talked it over with family, friends, and you're bound for a semester or gap year overseas.

This begins a new chapter in the story of your life; the foreign lifestyle, among other things, is an assuring concept to ease the humdrum we seem to have here in America. From the almost comical paranoia of a kidnapping occurring on a church mission trip to anyone's equally comical reference to eating escargot in France, the distance and cultural naiveté can be daunting, but what you and your peers have come to know as the pinnacle of happiness through enriching experiences is what you're setting out to accomplish.

Domestically, one could only avoid the unpleasant label of "townie" if they advance their horizons and fly to the other side of the country or venture past the shorelines and confront themselves with newly-acquired tastes, customs, and a potential linguistic barrier that exists in dialects. Without dispute, travel has its hills and valleys, no pun intended, but the greatest goal for this generation is to beat the crippling money situation via the best deal possible, attenuating transportation costs.

Sure, not everyone has the convenience of familial resources in these destinations to entertain the well being, and there are reasons why Zio Giuseppe would refuse offering space and resources in his villa to you, his American niece or nephew. Preparations and accommodations aside, the impressions made in the presence of your family are equally as important, if not more, than the impressions given to natives.

We certainly must progress from the idea that extravagant vacations in the Amalfi Coast, Santorini, or Dublin are elixirs for us so-called "uncultured swine" at the office and at the home in the states. Europe, it seems, is now the preferable land of opportunity. One's history of learning facts about a person, place, or concept by proxy will have to possess more scruple and understanding to appear and be more sensible abroad.

From the foreign native perspective, Anglo and American expedition has a tag-along association with expanding the boundaries of territory, and has irreversibly made itself one of the tyrannical forces of human history in the eyes of many, recollecting a time when conquer, murder, and rape was once a mainstay process of building civilization. Like how the great lizards that roamed the earth evolved into birds, some larger imperialist tendencies of past voyages have survived through inadvertent behaviors and Western propensity.

The paradise paradigm is the drive, and subsequent need, for these recesses from daily life, which we use to our advantage. On vacation, foreigners present behaviors and inflections to the natives, and there's a corresponding exchange from the natives to foreigner. A helpful warning to new travelers in 2018 would be that natives will more than likely brief you on your political beliefs in today's state of affairs, where Donald Trump is the leader of the free world so if you're an honest person and these habits are with you on your trip, brace up.

Politics aside, Europe has become a beacon for high school graduates going to college in Europe, which entails considerable world class education, and select schools throughout the continent don't charge for tuition either. Whether for leisure, school, or both, there's almost no question that all public colleges in Scandinavia are essentially free for residents and international students. The semester fee is all that one would pay up for. Many are going out of their way to attract foreigners by offering language programs taught entirely in English.

When they do charge for tuition, the bill is paltry compared to the U.S., which is in the range of $9,000 to $10,000 at public colleges and over $30,000 at private colleges. Some of the highest tuition for international students is in the Netherlands, but it still tends to come out at less than $9,000. Those at public schools end up paying less than an average of $4,000 when scholarships and grants are added in.

Still, that benefit doesn't attract an incoming student's attention like free. Looking in the other direction from these beneficial financial situations, why has there recently been a habit-turned-trend of white travelers attempting to pocket money from locals, by either a guitar or make shift sign, in countries where many must either confront or are subject to poverty?

Preliminary arrangements could go far with avoiding this kind of exploitation of peoples' kindness.feedyeti.com, adventure.com

None of this at all is to say the study abroad/wanderlust ballgame and Americans` attitudes towards customs are repugnant or harmful, but that again, travel is a task that can be done by almost anyone.

Wanderlust, the desire to enrich and improve oneself through exploration, a popularity contest could arise and get rather volatile as this involves both effort and an infectious smile standing in front of an ancient castle. Aside from the hefty price of transportation, it's rather foolish to fly over the Atlantic expecting yourself to be self-sufficient by playing coffeehouse classics on the street depending on the interest of the passersby.

This sort of behavior is what fuels and justifies criticism of white people as a whole. This unwelcome practice of travelers is known as beg-packing. Travel's preliminary condition needs to be, if frugality is the priority, that you have the benefit of family resource, your tuition bill isn't giving you grief, and you have pocket money for basic resources.

These wanderers at hand would be parodying 19th-century frontiersmen lest they come to respect the culture and have the revelation that the perceived accomplishment of travel is only substantial in the first day or two of arriving back home so what's otherwise an easily tenable problem remains a stereotype for privileged Millennials.

This scornful attitude towards young travelers is what the internet comedian Matt Lacey intended to express his viral Gap Yah video series , an apt reflection on the wanderlust trend. Natives, commentators, and quite possibly social critics alike have shared their disdain at the influx in these present-day descendants of the global frontiersman making fool of both themselves and their homeland.

Anywhere in the world, it's at least a principle of mine, there should be no reason to lose your resources. as unexpected charges could come your way diminishing your money count, there could well be services around town for you to be granted some accommodations at the hostels or farm grounds around.

Even then, those kinds of places would offer compensated labor.

This part may be a stray away from the topic at hand, but any non-religious or agnostic readers with an open mind and heart should hang about. Carrying on, there will naturally be slip-ups when speaking one's mind in other cultures. Perhaps, being amongst those of your generation will help a little, right? Do's and don't's for a given country could become white noise if decision-making is dictated by the individual's own principles, and the mistake I made wasn't unexpected.

On my trip to Italy, at a local bar in Pescara, the conversation between my cousin, his girlfriend and I turned to human solidarity, and then somehow to saints. I touched upon Padre Pio's alleged use of carbolic acid to falsify the stigmata, as well as educating the friend on Mother Teresa's alliance with the Duvalier regime of Haiti and the unsanitary conditions of her convents. The friend then became defensive, which is alright, but then began asking where I suppose we derive morality from if not salvation.

This ardent reverence of icons against history wasn't surprising. While Roman Catholicism canonizes its primary good-doers, perhaps it would be a smart thing for modern American Protestants to consider the same for the love and life of Fred Rogers, to compete with the Italians, which would be a downright funny situation. Gradually, the faith of Generation Z around the world has gotten into jeopardy, but in Italy, the chances of invoking offense amongst the youth over religion or icons are rather high. A high percentage of Italians are loyal Roman Catholics, but this majority reinforces the blasphemy laws from the bottom up as livelihoods are wrongfully infringed upon.

I'd reckon that admitting one's secularism is a better candidate for an award than the act of traveling, as certain mindsets will seek. Oh well, at least robust populism is finally encompassing the country.

Perhaps, the ultimate goal is to demonstrate enrichment and enlightenment through disrupting the mundane cycle of things one does in the homeland. It's prone to being a test of integrity traveling to other countries as representative of the self-proclaimed "greatest country on Earth". terrific time and gain experience, and that there will almost certainly be a call back to this home-away-from-home, as every living thing returns to some form of a humble abode.

The contributions in history are a separate element from the condition of the country, despite both being human creations.

Italy is a peninsula with a relatively vast admixture of haplogroups. If the current affairs of Movimento 5 Stelle and the populist-driven campaign against Mattarella genuinely interest the standard high schooler looking into taking a semester off in Italy, I'll sure be damned. My interest is in making sense of the circularity of the statement "you have one life so live it up", often professed by self-proclaimed free spirits, old souls, and so on. I went to stay with family in Italy and the interest to collect video on the migrant crisis instilled me with enthusiasm.

Granted, I failed this documentation as my sphere of exploration was bound by a prearranged itinerary my family members and I referred to. I did receive the question from someone around my age why I'd rather highlight instances of populist upheavals and surges in immigration rather than get photos by the shore? The thinking process, and that very perspective is what I refer to when I besmirch the idea of wanderlust in the First World.

Millennials' perspectives and aspirations have caused America's perspective to change, and it's ideal as a land of opportunity in the younger eyes born into the nation is an ideal in peril, but conditions are only so discernible in Europe.

Youth unemployment, especially predominant in the Mezzogiorno, hasn't dropped under 30% yet, not far from the picturesque scene of the chaparrals of Sicily from The Godfather film buffs could conjure up. In Calabria and Sicily especially, youth are predominantly unemployed at 51% to 56%.

Though these facts don't impact greatly your vacation, it's simply the use of time and resources that account for most things It wouldn't cost a great deal of time for young people to maximize understanding of the motherland, while one still can.

I was thousands of miles from Newark Airport, but there still was one close signal coming from the homeland that had me riveted; it was Donald Glover's "This Is America". Having been entranced by this visual essay on the condition America is in, along with its decaying reputation, heightened the importance of my two-week voyage away from the culture I've grown up knowing. A brief time away in Europe was an escape from the white noise of despondency, forced positivity, looming depression onset by humor about it, identity politics, and memes.

Why does all of this jargon pertain to the world outside of the American paradigm? All the facets in the Western world serve as a status quo to deviate from, to an extent, as one would do with social norms. We're not all dumpy, run-of-the-mill bible thumpers as a gross caricature of Americans, often painting by self-deprecating Millennials, would have us be projected. We have our predictable characters all throughout the country.

A more humanistic safe house from the mundane sphere is a nice way to put it. The natives could regard your vacation as a sordid misuse of time being a mere interloper in the country and amidst its political conditions. Be as it may that the model society of ancient Rome is long departed, the simple pleasures and emotional obligation to the arts. Those who personally espouse Rome as a city before a museum, which could at this point in time apply to all of Italy, who see Romans not as predictably fervid people sustained by carbonara, wine, and the opera, but as people like you and I.

As art historians and enthusiasts alike would agree, Romanticism, throughout its time, had rather ambiguous goals outside artistic worship of the maltreated creative archetype, in which they are to possess wisdom rejected by a cynical and cruel society. The point from that is one is capable of reveling at the antiquity of Europe through any lens they're fixed with, so long as they do it graciously, seeking to both become enriched and enrich the livelihoods of the natives, even if it's just for one moment. The enjoyment and positivity drawn from the vacation isn't what's being thrown under the bus; it's the misguided and fruitless indulgence of being present in another culture while making the experience about yourself.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

626
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

1510

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

Take a look at the articles driving big conversations on Odyssey.

3252
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey
https://www.theodysseyonline.com/video/we-are-rollins-odyssey

At Odyssey, we're on a mission to encourage constructive discourse on the Internet. That's why we created the response button you can find at the bottom of every article.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Holidays With A Small Family

I wouldn't trade what we have for the world.

5492
Matt Johnsn

When I was a kid I always went to my grandparents house whenever we celebrated any sort of holiday. We were a decently sized family and it was always a blessing to be in their house and surrounded by love during the holiday season. However, that all changed when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The family then began to drift apart and life went on, and we ended up all celebrating our own holidays with other family members.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Safe Spaces Or Regressive Spaces?

Turns out shielding yourself from ideas can be detrimental to your ability to learn

4072
www.semipartisansam.com

College is a place for people who want to learn. That is the primary function of any academic institution. Its purpose is not to coddle us, nor should the community always be in agreement with us. We are supposed to surround ourselves with a variety of viewpoints that challenge us to learn, not the same repetitive points of view that make us happy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments