How to Spot an American Abroad

There are certain things that really stand out when we’re traveling or living abroad.  Just thought I’d mention them so we can all be more aware of ourselves.

1. We wear bright colors.

giphy I’m not sure why, but there must be some really good sales for the bright articles of clothing. Maybe we like to stand out? For whatever reason, we wear a lot of colors. Since living in Scotland, my wardrobe has definitely gotten a lot darker and duller.

2. We wear athletic clothes as normal, everyday clothes.

 We wear workout clothes even if we’re not going to work out. I am totally guilty. I would wear yoga pants everyday if I could (and I do). I’ve also noticed that we like to wear mountain-wear when traveling…even though we’re not going to the mountains.

3. We wear athletic shoes (or hiking boots) when traveling.


It makes sense if we’re actually going hiking, but we still wear them even they don’t match out outfits. As an American, I’m all about comfort. I mean, what other type of shoe would I walk around those cobblestoned streets in? However, everybody else wears their cute, casual shoes that actually look good.


4. Our men’s shorts will always cover their thighs.

You know what I’m talking about (basketball shorts and cargo shorts!). Our men must be so modest. You never see American men wear shorts that reveal their thighs. Take a look at professional soccer (football) players. You’ll see a little bit of their thighs.

5. We have straight, white teeth…

Our dentists must be really good!


6. And smile in all of our pictures!

8. We start the day really early… and eat dinner really early.

I used to get to work before 7am (well I still kinda do) and I was always so surprised that none of the coffee shops would be open. Some of them didn’t even open until 9am!! Want to start your day with coffee? You gotta wait another 2+ hours! So many of the coffee shops around us wouldn’t even be open until 9am!!! At home, I wouldn’t even get a seat on BART even if I got there at 6am…


Also, dinner at 9pm? Many of the restaurants (in Italy and Greece) won’t even be open for dinner until 7pm.
giphy3 I can’t last that long. I have to eat a pre-dinner to hold me over to eat dinner past 7:30!

9. We walk around with our coffee in our hands.


So this may be more of New York/East Coast thing, but people actually sit down and drink their coffee/tea in a real cup on a table everywhere else. Now, when it’s freezing, I am a firm believer in my coffee/hot chocolate/tea in my hands. If I have to go outside, this is the best way for my hands to keep warm.


10. We walk around with money belts and neck pouches underneath our clothing.

tumblr_mt7zdsipum1rqfhi2o1_500 Those things are supposed to hide the fact that we’re easy targets for theft. You think people can’t see that we are walking around with an unnatural lump inside of our clothes?

11. We’re really loud.

 We talk really loudly and we always have to make a comment about something.

tenor12. Actually, we just talk A LOT.

tumblr_o21tznkudx1v47dgko2_250 And we talk to EVERYONE, especially strangers.

89249f979ad019a65a94ec90294a9c50418dc293a6993e31cfd000fd06f66b78.gif I’m pretty sure Americans are pretty good with small talk (I’ve definitely listened to long conversations of strangers about travel, college, career, and life on airplanes –and they’re always started with Americans).

I guess we can work on blending in…


But we won’t.


2 thoughts on “How to Spot an American Abroad

  1. Haha I love this article. I think this should be a public service article that all American travellers see 😂 Some of these similarities I see in us brits too. I’ve always wondered why us men wear such long shorts, I don’t get it 😂 Sorry, but the loud thing is kinda accurate 😂 always very friendly though!


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