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Old 21-07-2016, 13:23   #1
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Safety for Americans abroad

Well, Ive done it. I spent too much time today reading comments from world citizens about the American political situation. I know, I was reading the most inflammatory stuff. I shouldnt do that.
But Trump's latest comments on Nato and not protecting our allies really seem to have quite a few people worried.

Years ago when I travelled as a young woman I was advised to tell others I was Canadian. I never did but there was a wide held belief that being American would make me a target for hatred. I did not expereince that but being a young female traveling alone probably stopped a lot of political discussion.

Anyway, Ive never been more embarrassed to be American than I am right now. I am ashamed of Trump and his supporters but I worry that I will be lumped in with them just because we come from the same country.

Its usually my policy to avoid discussions of religion, politics and money. Basically keep my opions to myself. But I wonder if thats enough with the polical climate?

I believe most folk treat others well with and respect. Thats how I try to treat others too. But as we get out there, to places we have not been before, is there cause for concern just because we are American?
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Old 21-07-2016, 13:40   #2
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
Well, Ive done it. I spent too much time today reading comments from world citizens about the American political situation. I know, I was reading the most inflammatory stuff. I shouldnt do that.
But Trump's latest comments on Nato and not protecting our allies really seem to have quite a few people worried.

Years ago when I travelled as a young woman I was advised to tell others I was Canadian. I never did but there was a wide held belief that being American would make me a target for hatred. I did not expereince that but being a young female traveling alone probably stopped a lot of political discussion.

Anyway, Ive never been more embarrassed to be American than I am right now. I am ashamed of Trump and his supporters but I worry that I will be lumped in with them just because we come from the same country.

Its usually my policy to avoid discussions of religion, politics and money. Basically keep my opions to myself. But I wonder if thats enough with the polical climate?

I believe most folk treat others well with and respect. Thats how I try to treat others too. But as we get out there, to places we have not been before, is there cause for concern just because we are American?
You'll have no issues as long as you act like a normal person respecting the fact that you are a visitor to the other country or Island you are at. I can't tell you how many times I've been embarrassed by a fellow American's attitude. Acting as if they weren't there spending their dollars that the country they are in would go broke. Wanting service NOW. and being demanding, as well as other disrespectful American traits. Funny that you bring up Trump, because nobody else cares that he's an idiot. They don't care about Clinton being a liar or a disgusting excuse of a human being either. They just laugh. Leave your American attitude at home and enjoy your time outside in the real world for a change. Most people love it. BTW, remember to greet people when you meet them, and have patience. Nothing happens fast outside of the US.
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Old 21-07-2016, 13:44   #3
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

If you think Clinton is going to make you safer, you...well, never mind.

Americans will be targets as long as Americans have money. Americans make easy targets because they tend to be easily identifiable and are often ignorant of their surroundings.

NATO is a military agreement. If NATO is unsupported, or disbands, will it make a difference in most cases? Will Ukraine become more or less safe for Americans? How will the Tongans feel? Will non-Muslim UK citizens suddenly start attacking Americans?

The only time I've been targeted as an American is by drunks- typically German or European drunks. I've been targeted as having money in Central and South America, and Cambodia but not as an American.

You don't have to worry about problems abroad anymore. They're here in USA now. But don't worry, the politicians will take care of you.
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Old 21-07-2016, 13:54   #4
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

I think the old advice is still valid. Don't wear fancy clothes, carry expensive camaras, jewelry. don't get sucked into political debates,
and situational awareness gets better with experience. A market street you shy away from as a newbie becomes no big deal after a while.
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Old 21-07-2016, 14:06   #5
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post

Anyway, Ive never been more embarrassed to be American than I am right now. I am ashamed of Trump and his supporters but I worry that I will be lumped in with them just because we come from the same country.
The biggest critics of America, bigger than ISIS, bigger than Al Quada, bigger than all the fundimentalists the world over, the BIGGEST critic of America is AMERICANS!!!



Why the hell does the usa pay more than its fair share of NATO?
Because ither countries are bludging off you.



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Old 21-07-2016, 14:10   #6
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

As if Trump and his comments has anything to do with how you will be treated. Americans lack common sense and class and expect everyone to adhere to our rules when abroad and that is not how it works, sorry. The greatest compliment I have received when traveling is people think I am a local and are shocked to find out I am not.

And if anyone really thinks a politician of any party affiliation cares one bit about you or I then you are sadly nave.
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Old 21-07-2016, 14:29   #7
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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As if Trump and his comments has anything to do with how you will be treated. Americans lack common sense and class and expect everyone to adhere to our rules when abroad and that is not how it works, sorry. The greatest compliment I have received when traveling is people think I am a local and are shocked to find out I am not.

And if anyone really thinks a politician of any party affiliation cares one bit about you or I then you are sadly nave.
Surb, I have to take issue with your claim that Americans lack common sense and class, implying most or all Americans fall into that category. Certainly some are that way, but generally found in the big cruise liners, a mass tourist destinations and even then the majority of the travelers I've encountered were at least reasonably respectful of the country and culture they were visiting.

To Sea Dreaming, my experience traveling around the Caribbean, Latin American and all over Europe, I was treated based on how I acted with no concern at all about who was president back home. I traveled a lot around Europe when W was president and going to war in the middle east, which was very unpopular in a number of countries. Not a single person called me to task over the issue. Yes we did occasionally talk politics but it was always civilized and quite interesting to hear the point of view from people in a very different culture.

There are places and countries where you would be at risk regardless of who's president in the US. Some places just because you're USA but most because you're a rich tourist. Even if you dress down, don't carry or wear expensive items, it's still obvious to the locals that you are spending more in a week than they earn in a year. But still helps if you don't flaunt it.

Best advise, research the places you plan to visit. The information is out there. Then choose wisely where you go.
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Old 21-07-2016, 14:35   #8
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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I think the old advice is still valid. Don't wear fancy clothes, carry expensive camaras, jewelry. don't get sucked into political debates,
and situational awareness gets better with experience. A market street you shy away from as a newbie becomes no big deal after a while.
Thank you. Thats more on point.
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Old 21-07-2016, 15:29   #9
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Surb, I have to take issue with your claim that Americans lack common sense and class, implying most or all Americans fall into that category. Certainly some are that way, but generally found in the big cruise liners, a mass tourist destinations and even then the majority of the travelers I've encountered were at least reasonably respectful of the country and culture they were visiting.

To Sea Dreaming, my experience traveling around the Caribbean, Latin American and all over Europe, I was treated based on how I acted with no concern at all about who was president back home. I traveled a lot around Europe when W was president and going to war in the middle east, which was very unpopular in a number of countries. Not a single person called me to task over the issue. Yes we did occasionally talk politics but it was always civilized and quite interesting to hear the point of view from people in a very different culture.

There are places and countries where you would be at risk regardless of who's president in the US. Some places just because you're USA but most because you're a rich tourist. Even if you dress down, don't carry or wear expensive items, it's still obvious to the locals that you are spending more in a week than they earn in a year. But still helps if you don't flaunt it.

Best advise, research the places you plan to visit. The information is out there. Then choose wisely where you go.
Thank you Skipmac. I appreciate the comments.

Though Im sorry I started this thread.
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Old 21-07-2016, 15:39   #10
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Thank you Skipmac. I appreciate the comments.

Though Im sorry I started this thread.

Thank you. But don't be sorry, it is a valid concern and certainly worth discussing. If you have not had the experience traveling in new and different places, especially if traveling as a single woman, then I think it would be foolish to not ask this kind of question.

As others have commented, crime can happen everywhere. If you get boarded on your boat and robbed it's piracy but it's not really much different than if you get car jacked or mugged on the street. Basically some thug threatens you and takes your stuff, hopefully no worse.

I've been the victim of crime boating and traveling in the US than anywhere else. Of course I have avoided most of the very high risk areas for boating but still, the only time my dinghy was ever stolen was in Ft Lauderdale.
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Old 21-07-2016, 16:18   #11
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

Funny, but as a Canadian I was sorely tempted to claim American status during the years Canada was governed by our right wing party (Stephen Harper).

As others have said, you'll be treated as you treat others. Go in with bombastic "the world is here to serve me, and why isn't everything like it is back in the USA" attitude, and you'll have trouble. Approach new lands and new people with respect and a desire to learn, and you'll be treated well.


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Old 21-07-2016, 16:30   #12
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

The single most important thing to remember when experiencing the "hate"

Trump will not put up with the USA being walked all over by other countries. I have lived in Europe for a long time and the bottom line with many of me European friends is they won't have wimp to kick around anymore.

O'Bama is an ongoing joke among the Europeans. Would you hate a Trump possibility if you had been dealing with a patsy for 8 years ?
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Old 21-07-2016, 16:32   #13
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

I understand by American you mean a US citizen.

But nobody knows you are a US American before you announce it.

And while it is a standard first questions in some parts of the world (e.g. in Sweden), to hear 'where are you from' as an opener is completely unnatural and rare otherwise.

So just do not jump ahead of yourself (doh, this alone would betray you ;-) and proudly claim "I am American" where you think such a declaration of your patriotism could fire back.

Americans are hated or disliked in a number of places but these are not the kind of places you will normally visit in a cruising boat. So again, little to worry about, unless you are the truly adventurous one.

To wrap it up, read CIA guidelines and stop worrying. Yes, Americans are not safe in some places of the planet but you are not likely to ever be in those places. Elsewhere, it is just as safe/unsafe for you as it is for me.

Cheers,
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Old 21-07-2016, 16:33   #14
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

I lived in Northern Germany during the Reagan era -- Pershing missiles and all that. Hundreds of thousands of German youth (people my age, on average) turned out to protest all over the country. Had beers with some after.

I think it's much the same the world over in that people tend to disdain politics and politicians they disagree with, but mostly to judge each other on their merits.

I was an Americaner, even military, but I wasn't the one who commanded those missiles into Germany. I was just a regular guy who liked frauleins and fine beer, and that made me OK.

If you're an ass, it won't matter who the next president is, you'll be treated like an ass. It won't matter who the next president is if you're just "a guy who likes frauleins and fine beer," metaphorically speaking, because you'll be treated like one of the good guys.

Of course, some people will still rage on about politics and politicians.

Don't be an ass.

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Old 21-07-2016, 16:38   #15
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Re: Safety for Americans abroad

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Funny, but as a Canadian I was sorely tempted to claim American status during the years Canada was governed by our right wing party (Stephen Harper).

As others have said, you'll be treated as you treat others. Go in with bombastic "the world is here to serve me, and why isn't everything like it is back in the USA" attitude, and you'll have trouble. Approach new lands and new people with respect and a desire to learn, and you'll be treated well.


Why go fast, when you can go slow
Funny, As a Canadian I feel that way now! We just came of 8 fantastic years of federal govt where we were the envy of the world! we weathered the financial crisis better that just about everyone, only to have the population do an about face and plunge us into debt over spending and just plain stupid policy! oh well at least I'll be able to legally smoke and forget about it!
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