20 April 2011

Dressing for Travel

Hi kids.
I'm back. I've been super busy with work and planning various things -- travels, showers, parties -- and haven't had much time to update (or think about updating).

But, in planning this upcoming trip, I've been doing quite a bit of research...and one thing I found myself looking up was what type of shoes to wear so that I wouldn't stand out. this lead me down many rounds of, "you will look like an American if...X, Y, Z." After about the 10th thread of this, I realized...that is dumb.

Why? Because no matter what we wear, we'll look like a tourist. And if that's the worst thing in the world, well, our lives are pretty good.

I live in a heavily-touristed city. I can usually spot a tourist from a mile away, especially if they are of the non-American variety. None of the ones I see are particularly concerned with looking like an American. So why are we so concerned with looking non-American when we go abroad?

The old belief that being an American abroad means being treated poorly just doesn't hold true, and hasn't since I first started traveling (if not earlier). Fact is, there are @ssholes everywhere who will treat any tourist poorly, regardless of where they may be from. The bigger deal we make out of it, the bigger the opportunity to push your buttons. No one cares if you are a tourist. Most people embrace tourists, as it keeps the local economy going (and, if they don't, please see: @ssholes everywhere).

That said, there is no need to be dressed head-to-toe in the stars and stripes... ever.


Pernilla said...

Hmm. I even get confused for an American sometimes. You eed to keep your mouth shut, that will do it. ;)
I know the problem. I never want to look like a tourist either but of course I always do.

annie said...

I think anyone who speaks English in a non-English country gets first called American. (when we all know it is the Aussies that are the real loudmouths...and the Germans)