Of almost everything you do you naturally have expectations beforehand. No matter if it’s a new restaurant you try, the result of your new hairstyle after your hairdresser’s appointment or a country you visit for the very first time. You have so many expectations and influences from your surroundings that it’s very easy to get disappointed when the reality looks completely different or on the other hand it can be a blessing if somethings is better than expected. Works both ways.
I teamed up with Lisa from Travellana to show some of our expectations of the USA that were different from the reality. On her blog we discussed all the expectations that actually came true when we visited the country.
I’m Lisa from Travellana and I have been fascinated by the United States of America since I can remember. In the summer of 2015, my biggest dream came true: I did an internship in sunny San Diego and fell in love with the Southern Californian lifestyle.
1. It won’t make much of a difference where you are within the USA
Although a lot of people think of the United States as a huge country with a homogenous culture and mentality, this is definitely not the case in real life. The USA are a country of huge dimensions and therefore, it’s obvious that there are cultural differences depending in where you are. Traveling through the United States, you will soon notice the differences between the coastal regions and some remote places in the Midwest. The southern states have an entirely different culture than the the Great Lakes States have. And the famous battle of East Coast and West Coast is not just a fantasy of hip hop music.
2. Entering the United States is super complicated and you hardly get a visa
Let me put it like this: For most nationalities obtaining a visa isn’t that difficult. When I applied for my visa, I had read dozens of horror stories about the application process and the final immigration after arriving at the airport. Of course, I was super nervous and thought that at any moment someone would just say ”No, we don’t want you.”. And guess what: Everyone – from the woman at the embassy to the man at the immigration in Chicago – was very friendly and helpful. It’s true that applying for a visa is complicated but you’ll get help if you ask for it.
3. The United States don’t have a culture
The sad truth is that a lot of people don’t acknowledge American culture as a real culture. Instead, they claim that Americans just stole bits from other cultures and that they have then mixed them in order to create ther own culture. In my opinion, this is definitely not true! Being a country of immigrants it’s inevitable that different cultures intermingle and that’s the point: The American ”melting pot” culture is just as much a culture as it’s components are. The melting pot has created a fusion culture that is ever changing.
I could name at least 20 things which were different in reality than what I expected them to be, but nailing it down to my top three in this post. What are expectations that haven’t come true in reality. Let us know in the comments below 🙂
1. Everyone is fat and only eats fast food
This is what most people think of the Americans but it’s so far away from the truth! I mean yes, they have a large variety of fast food chains and I cannot say that I didn’t gain some weight living there but I had to try everything so I guess that was that. Especially in the suburbs everyone is working out a lot and I saw a lot of women pushing strollers while jogging. Also in the city center the majority of people I saw was super skinny, so where are all those fat people?! I think that’s just a bad myth.
2. New York is the best city of the States
Often when you ask someone where they would wanna visit in the States they say ‘NEW YORK CITY’. I think the city is just very over promoted and this resolves in too high expectations for the city. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s an great place to visit but I don’t refer it to the best city of all of th US. It’s dirty and full of tourists. You hardly ever meet any people on the street that actually live there. I love NYC because it is extremly vibrant and esciting but there are other cities I like better, like Chicago, San Fransisco or anywhere in Alaska.
3. Everything is better in the USA
It is known as the land of endless opportunities, apparently everything is possible and there is no better place. But take Japan for example, that country has probably the biggest technological progress. Germany has a way better health system than the US. The illusion that eveyerthign is simply better in America is wrong, it’s a country with advantages and disadvantages like every other country as well. There are many things that are great about the US and I love the country, but there are also many things that could be improved.