If you pay much attention to the “fake news” mainstream media, you might be reluctant to venture abroad. After all, with the way the rest of the world views us, we should all be ashamed to be Americans, right?
You’ve probably heard the “Ugly American” stereotype too. That we Americans are loud and proud—and wear shorts in public with socks and sandals.
But hold on a minute. While the prime-time MSNBC anchors might be ashamed to be America—the writers and readers of Proud American Traveler are NOT.
And there are plenty of countries that love the United States and embrace her visitors with a warm welcome.
Now, we’re not saying you should pack your carry-on bag full of your very best camouflage attire and “Make America Great Again” hats when you go abroad…
…but we have scouted out five countries where a respectful, curious American traveler will find grateful and enthusiastic hosts who can’t wait to show you their history, art, beauty, and culture that you’ll carry in your heart for a lifetime.
The Irish love Americans. After all, most of them have family and friends in the United States.
There are 35 million Americans who claim Irish ancestry. That is seven times the entire current population of Ireland.
Robbed of their land and starved out by the English in the 19th century, millions of desperate Irish made the treacherous journey across the Atlantic to find a new life – and a means of survival – in the Land of the Free.
When descendants of Irish immigrants return to their homeland to trace their roots, take in the island’s stunning beauty, or to simply savor a frothy Guinness fresh from the source, they are welcomed with open arms.
Of course you don’t have to be of Irish descent to be greeted with céad míle fáilte, the traditional Gaelic greeting of “a hundred thousand welcomes.”
Strike up a conversation and share a pint with any Irishman in the dark nook of a pub and you’ll likely get an evening full of tall tales – and a lifetime of memories.
The Irish have a way with words, of course. We can’t guarantee if any of their stories will hold up to the American fake news “Fact Checkers” but…we really don’t care.
American travelers will find Poland a warm, homogenous, conservative population that is 87% Catholic.
“Poland is the most pro-American country in the world—including the United States,” Michael Mandelbaum, a foreign policy expert from John Hopkins, famously said shortly after the end of the Cold War.
Several generations of Poles looked to the United States as staunch allies and protectors against Soviet aggression.
Even today, the youth of Poland sport t-shirts featuring American slogans and iconic brands, while other parts of Europe flaunt fashionable anti-Americanism.
If you visit Nowa Huta, the Soviet “model” city in Krakow, you’ll find the newly-named “Ronald Reagan Square” in the center of town. While there, be sure to take a tour of the abandoned steel works from the 1950’s – or maybe 1960’s (it’s hard to tell as they really never changed) – Soviet Zil automobile. One Proud American Traveler was able to convince the tour operator to let him drive!
Another Proud American Traveler correspondent was struck by the lack of police presence. In fact, Poland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, so you can leave your money belt at home.
But make sure you leave a few notches to loosen your real belt. Kielbasa, pierogis, and sour rye soup are not to be missed. And all of it washes down beautifully with a dark, roasty Polish Baltic Porter brewed fresh in the heart of Central Europe’s “Beer Belt.”
Despite all the hand-wringing from the mainstream media, the motives of the radical Islamist terrorists really aren’t that hard to figure out. Every time one of them tries to blow us up, they tell us pretty explicitly why: they are on a mission from Allah to kill as many Americans as possible.
But are ALL Muslims really out to kill us? Actually, no. There is one Muslim country that actually LOVES Americans.
Albania is easily the most pro-American Muslim country in the world.
The United States stepped in after World War I to save Albania from being carved up by its neighbors Greece, Serbia, and Italy – and stepped in again to save ethnic Albanians from genocide in Kosovo during the 1990s.
Albanians haven’t forgotten that and welcome the small but growing stream of adventurous American tourists looking to explore this remote corner of Europe.
From the turquoise waters of beautiful Adriatic beaches to stunning snowcapped peaks, there are plenty of ways to relax and recharge surrounded by Albania’s beautiful scenery.
And just think how culturally enlightened you will sound at your next dinner party when you have Albanian travel adventures to share that no one else can top!
The image of the “Ugly American” tourist gets a bad rap around the world. But much of that image results from one issue: the language barrier.
Let’s face it. Linguistics scholars may relish a full immersion into a foreign culture where they can practice the native tongue.
But for 99% of American travelers, the only Spanish phrase they’ve ever learned is, “Habla usted Inglés?”
“Do you speak English?”
And maybe the obligatory, “Una mas cerveza por favor, senorita,” said to the bikini-clad cabana girl delivering drinks to your beach chair.
So you’ve got to know that Belize—the one English speaking country in the Caribbean with pristine beaches and awe-inspiring Mayan ruins—has got to make this list.
The former British colony has seen a surge in visitors from the United States over the past decade. Americans cherish an exotic tropical destination that doesn’t take them too far outside their English-speaking comfort zone.
So go ahead. Order your beer in English. Nobody’s judging you in Belize.
Italians hold the most favorable view of the United States in all of Western Europe.
Despite the fact that U.S. troops bombed and invaded their country during World War II when Dictator Benito Mussolini sided with Adolf Hitler, American troops were generally welcomed as liberators from the unpopular Fascist regime.
Three quarters of a century later, an invasion of American tourists is welcomed with open arms as well. Over 1/8th of Italy’s Gross Domestic Product is derived from tourists visiting the country’s iconic monuments, museums and ancient ruins.
Unlike other Mediterranean countries in Europe, Italians cater to tourists with efficiency and courtesy that meets and exceeds American expectations. Waiters are prompt, hotel rooms are clean, and trains run on time (except when the unions go on strike).
One look at the helmetless Kamikaze scooter riders weaving in and out of head-on traffic on the congested streets of Rome and you’ll realize that the nanny-state intrusions on individual liberty so common in the rest of Europe has thankfully not crept its way into the Italian Peninsula.
Italian authorities pretty much let Italians, as well as American tourists, live – and die – as they please.