Flight Path

6 Things Americans Did While Traveling That Were a Culture Shock to Locals

While traveling abroad, it’s essential to respect the customs of the local culture. But sometimes, no matter how much you prepare before your trip, you miss something minor you didn’t even consider.

A popular online travel forum user asks what other travelers have done that is a culture shock to the locals. Travelers reply in the thread with their answers.

While smiling at strangers on the street is common in many parts of the U.S., it isn’t as welcome in other places, like Russia. “On my first trip to Russia, I was asked why Americans smile all the time,” writes one commenter.

1. Smile

It’s common to see people in short shorts and sleeveless tops in the U.S., but in other parts of the world, dressing more modestly is appreciated. If you plan on visiting religious attractions like monasteries or temples on your trip abroad, cover up even if it’s stiflingly hot outside.

2. Wear Shorts

Many people from foreign countries believe being quiet in public is more respectful, so the booming voices of excited tourists stand out. “I didn’t realize how loud I was until I went to Asia, and my girlfriend kept shushing me,” notes one commenter.

3. Talk Loudly

While using a knife to cut meats is easiest, I often cut softer things like ravioli or tender chicken with my fork so I don’t have to pick up another utensil. But apparently, that’s uncommon in other places worldwide, like Dubai.

4. Using a Fork To Cut Food

Walking down the sidewalk, I zoom past almost everyone in the U.S., so when I visit foreign cities, I’m the speediest one around, and everyone notices. A woman who studied abroad in England says, “My British friends could point out other Americans based on how quickly we walked.”

5. Walking Fast

We love ice-cold beverages in the U.S. But that sentiment isn’t shared in many places abroad. “Asking for ice water was a big no-no,” claims one respondent. “According to the locals in the country I visited, ice water is bad for your health.”

6. Drinking Ice Water

Swipe Up  to Read More!