Monday, March 5, 2012


A new survey has placed Americans on the top of the list of "world's worst tourists," handily reinforcing the stereotype of the fat, stupid and ugly American in the minds of the world.

We shouldn't be surprised.  Americans take less vacations than other countries.  An average of 16 days per year.  Also, our citizens abhor anything new and have a skewed and unrealistic view of what culture is.  We think the McBaguette Sandwich is fancy.  We have unrealistic expectations.  We don't understand why portions are so small in European countries because we're used to super sizing everything.

We're set in our ways.  We want everyone to adapt to our way of life, even when we are in a completely foreign country.  Thankfully, it's when we travel that we expand our worldview to include other cultures, their values and their ideals.  We become more tolerant.  If we don't, then our rare travel abroad will reveal the worst about our flaws.

It should be noted that Americans also chose Americans as the worst tourists in the world.  I wonder what that says about us?  We really need to get out more.  We need to see how others live and eat by doing more than going down that weird aisle at the Trader Joe's.