Americans are known for the “ugly tourist” stereotype. It’s relatively pervasive. The loudness, the complaining, the lack of cultural understanding…that’s what we’re known for. But it is not always that way. There are plenty of Americans who have learned to adapt to their surroundings. They walk the walk and talk the talk. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even know they were American unless you stopped them. This list is for those of you who want to be like that…traveling ninjas. You blend into every environment and nobody would know where you’re from unless they saw your passport. Of course, you’ll probably have to learn some other languages, but if you’re dedicated then that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Get ready to check out some American customs that may be offensive in other countries.
To better clarify, don’t take this list as an assault on American culture. It’s fine, as long as it’s in America. Other cultures do things differently. Sometimes “better”, sometimes “worse”. That doesn’t matter as much though. What matters is that you try to understand it. That’s the secret. So, whether you are about to leave on a trip or you are still in the planning stages, these are 25 American customs that may be offensive in other countries.
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Blowing your nose in public
This is a big no-no in Japan.
Putting your legs up
In Arabic countries, you should be very wary of exposing the bottoms of your feet.
Asking someone you just met what they do for a living
In the US, this is normal. In many countries, it’s equivalent to asking about someone’s salary.
Handing someone the bill at a restaurant before they've asked for it
In Europe, this means you want that customer out of your pub…now.
Asking people how they are doing
The typical American greeting of “How are you?” is taken quite literally in most countries. It may be ok to ask every now and then, but be prepared for an honest answer. And if you ask too much, people will think you are just faking it.