When I tell people that I was just in Nicaragua and Guatemala, they often look at me with an are you nuts? expression on their faces. I recently talked to a Japanese friend who just got back from a road trip in Canada. He said it was becoming easier for him to travel because he didn’t look Caucasian. I told him that on our Panama Canal cruise many of the passengers on our cruise ship were from Canada, and many assumed we were also from Canada. Often, I was tempted to not correct them. Ruth and I have been in situations in foreign countries when locals have asked where we’re from. When I say, “The United States”, they sometimes react negatively to the news. Americans are clearly not welcomed is some places. We’ve experienced anti-American vibes in Turkey, Hungary, Poland, etc.
I got to thinking about where we are still accepted and googled countries that welcome Americans. The results were surprising on theculturetrip.com. According to this website, there are 11 countries where local citizens are generally glad to see us–India, Georgia, Australia, Cuba, Japan, Russia, Canada, Thailand, Ireland, Belize, and The UK. Cuba? Russia? I was uncomfortable in both places. We cancelled a trip that included Georgia last year partially because of anti-American sentiment in that part of the world. I had a good friend who was murdered in Belize. I would not have gone to Guatemala on my own in 2018 because my friend was killed by Guatemalans. hmmmmmmmmm
247wallstreet.com reported through John Harrington and Samuel Stebbins that a record number of Americans plan to travel to other countries this year, and that in 2017 38.3 Americans left the United States at some point during the year. Harrington and Stebbins wisely recommend that it’s in every citizen’s best interest to check the US State Department’s website for travel advisories before foreign travel. Parts of Mexico are no longer safe, and the article says that there are 29 countries that the US Government doesn’t want its citizens to go to. The 29 include expected places like Afghanistan, Chad, and Iran. But the list also includes Russia, Turkey, and Nicaragua. Haiti, a destination for many Americans who want to help other cultures, is also on this list.
I suspect that this list of 29 will increase in 2019 and hope that I’m wrong.