30 Non-Americans Explain What They Like Best About The United States And Their Answers Go Viral Interview With Author
It’s way too easy to focus on the negatives, instead of the positives in life. For example, the United States has been the focus of a lot of gloomy news recently since the coronavirus pandemic is resurging in some states. Whatever your personal thoughts about the US and how it’s handling the healthcare crisis, we shouldn’t forget that the country has plenty of positive sides, too.
Reddit user Imsosadsoveryverysad knows that it’s easy to judge the US but they wanted non-American redditors to share the positives of America that they see. After all, the country isn’t all gray and dreary. There’s lots of good in the US, too, you just have to see it.
Lots of people took up the redditor’s challenge and shared their opinions about what makes America great: from how friendly people are to the amazing entertainment the nation creates. Scroll down, upvote your fave US pros, and let us know in the comments what you think the biggest upsides of America are, dear Pandas. Be sure to read on for Bored Panda's in-depth interview about the US with redditor Imsosadsoveryverysad. Trust us, it's worth it.
As an American who left 10 years ago because I was fed up with America's s**t, I can honestly say that it took me leaving America to see the good in it. One thing I have come to appreciate about the United States, even though it doesn't apply to me, specifically, is that anyone can become an American. I've lived in a few different places in my time abroad and no matter how fluent I get in language and culture I am eternally the "foreigner". Especially here in Japan. The official word to refer to us is "outsider". I could live here 30 years, naturalize, forsake my American citizenship, have a Japanese baby and I would never be Japanese. But you, Japanese friend, can be American, as much of an American as I am. And I think that's really cool.
Hospitality and kindness.
On my travels in America I found the majority of Americans to be kind, keen to help and lovely to spend time with.
Obviously there will be some wankers (there are wankers everywhere) but I associate America with a cheerful, upbeat people who will smile and be pleased to meet a new person.
Imsosadsoveryverysad told Bored Panda about what inspired them to create the thread in the first place. "I have found it real frustrating and depressing to be in America lately. Between Trump’s botched handling of the pandemic, and the racism, hatred, police brutality, etc., it has just been weighing on me."
The redditor continued: "The willful ignorance of many Americans who refuse to wear masks or deny that systemic racism exists, when you don’t even have to look very hard to find it, has just been upsetting me a lot lately. I actually kinda needed to be reminded about the good that America brings, because we’ve seen so much bad lately. I figured asking non-Americans, potentially anti-Americans, what they thought was good, could give me a more unbiased look at the positives of our country."
Imsosadsoveryverysad said that they did not expect the thread to get so much attention. "I have posted things on Sundays randomly before that took off. I knew I could get some eyes on it, but really I was just hoping for enough responses to create what I considered to be a solid sample size (for me). It’s nice that it got bigger than I hoped just get more feedback."
How accommodating many places are to disabled people, especially for people in wheelchairs. There are often ramps and large disabled parking spaces not to mention that there is an entire amusement park for people in wheelchairs in San Antonio!
The country has everything! You want mountains, you got it! You want forest, you got it! You want beaches, you got it! You want huge cities, you got it!
In Europe, you have to go from country to country to achieve this.
Also the food portions are HUGE!
You are allowed to publicly criticise your government and leader.
According to the redditor, the most surprising positive about the US that came up multiple times was free refills and ice for drinks. However, when it came to the most eye-opening responses, it was all about how convenient many people said the US is.
"I have actually considered it pretty inconvenient compared to European setups that allow you to walk everywhere or walk to a train quickly to get places farther away. But the commenters helped me see that things I take completely for granted, like stores and restaurants being open late, quick shopping for online orders, being able to buy a car on the lot and not having to wait weeks for it to be shipped to you etc. It helped me see there are more ways to measure convenience than I have been."
Bored Panda was also interested to get Imsosadsoveryverysad's take on why some people tend to forget about the positives of the US, especially during times of crisis. "It’s easy for media to grab the low hanging fruit and project it to the country and the world. Right now, the low hanging fruit is coronavirus numbers and the tension in our country. Are these topics important? Hell yes. Do they need to be reported on? Absolutely, they do, people need to be informed. Could we search out better stories to break up the monotony every now and then? Probably."
How cheerful and nice you guys are. People had been complimenting me out of nowhere in the streets, a lady noticed I was lost and offered me a drive to my hotel while I didn't even ask anything, a taxi driver showed me nice touristic attractions for free, a guy helped me chose between 2 shirts in a store, and the list just keeps going!
I was just blown away. At first, it surprised me. Here in France and Swizterland (I live at the border), peoples aren't that easy going and not necesseraly nice with tourists. We're kind of cold.
I had some prejudices before coming to the US honestly. But your folks proved me wrong
You guys invest alot in entertainment. The shows in my country suck.
They continued: "But I have a neighbor who has been trying to fight an insurance company to get her house rebuilt after it got struck by lightening. It’s been over a year. The media outlets she’s gone too specifically told her they wouldn’t run her story because they only want coronavirus stories right now. So with that attitude, we’re doing it to ourselves."
The redditor told us that they tried to reply to every single person who commented on their thread to start a dialogue with as many people as they could. "Unfortunately, it just became impossible. I remember having about 700 unread messages in my inbox, replying to 100, refreshing, and having over 700 again. It happened multiple times. For those I missed, I’m sorry," Imsosadsoveryverysad said.
"Finally, I’m just thankful for all the replies. Like I said, it’s been a frustrating and depressing couple months. Most commenters really helped me appreciate certain aspects of the country again. I’ve gotten multiple DMs from other users, as well as comments on the main thread that have said the same thing. We are all thankful for the kind words of the users who took a couple minutes out of their day to comment."
The best food I have seen in 35 different countries visited. The food diversity in the US is phenomenal, and Americans have improved and perfected many cuisines. In Europe there’s way too much attention to being authentic, and in the US it really feels like the melting pot and “bastardization” of cuisines has elevated food to a whole new level.
America has some of the very best museums in the world. I spent a week going through the Smithsonian in Washington and it was amazing.
- You have some of the most stunningly beautiful nature in the world
- Living in a metropolis like New York or LA is insanely expensive, but it must be wonderful to have so many diverse activities, cuisines, and experiences at one's fingertips.
- You have some of the world's greatest museums and universities
Imsosadsoveryverysad’s Reddit thread got over 4.5k comments and some of the positives that people share were very unexpected and eye-opening. Everyone has an opinion about the United States and we could all argue about the various subtleties and politics through the night.
Opinions about America can be very patriotic but it’s important to do some fact-checking. Some claim that the US has the best social mobility, better than any other country, though the data doesn’t back that opinion up. While others joke that small things like the invention of sliced bread, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and landing on the Moon make it ‘the best in the history of the world.’
In terms of cold hard facts, the US dominates several fields worldwide. America spends more than any other country on its military; it’s also the world’s biggest exporter of arms. However, it’s not just waging war that the US is good at.
It also dominates the field of medical research (it spent 543 billion dollars on medical research and development in 2017). The US also spends more money on healthcare than any other country, though you can’t deny that the system has some flaws. You also can’t deny the United States is a behemoth in the realm of technological innovation.
I went to America in February, just before Corona became a real threat in Europe and America and people there are really nice and talkative. Here you don't ask where tourist are from or begin a conversation just randomly while in a grocery store. Was a bit confused by you guys saying 'how are you?' as a greeting tho, I knew you did but still it caught me off guard.
You have access to almost every possible climate and never have to leave the country.
The diversity is wonderful, both in the people, culture, food, architecture and nature.
Also a European accent works wonders on American girls haha, I will always appreciate that.
Women rights. Compared to country where women needs permission even to breathe.
Better education system
I'm from Russia, you can always see dog poop here, I like that in America people clean up after their dogs
They make a lot of great music, I'm sort of a metal head and my country don't have any rock bands.
There’s a lot of events in America. You guys have basically every event/convention that a person could ask for.
Big living spaces in most of the USA. I live in Hong Kong and our average flat sizes are around 300 to 500 square feet. If you are in a flat that's over 1000 square feet that's considered super luxurious.
You have a robust arts industry including movies, tv, videogames, etc.
Here in Australia our government routinely undermines are fledgling videogames industry, most of our tv shows lack any of the polish of yours, and with our movies... Let’s just say we literally tried to get people to pay to see a film version of a TV show that was canceled due to lack of viewership on FREE tv.
The food. The sheer availability and diversity of green leafy salads in the supermarkets. The stuff that gets sold at state fares. Also as many people have said. The space!
Optimism. TBH I hate seeing american optimism in the works, I come from a culture that complains a lot and is quite cynical. When I first started studying in the US it was always oft-putting (and fake) that people were so positive about so many things. But hey, it works. When me and my american friend crashed out of about 20-30 job interviews, I was the one crippled by depression and self-doubt while he simply looked ahead, said there are tons of other good things out there anyway. I simply gave up, while he continued applying and planning. I think americans have a very good attitude towards failure.
Air Conditioning, and also lots of national parks. More than any other country I think
Had relatives come in from Norway and they thought highways with 3 lanes where huge. Then they saw a 6 lane highway.
I love the innovation in America! SpaceX for example. Literally excites people around the world.
some sort of optimistic mindset, which i consider a very good trait.
Safety in rural areas. Our dream is to buy a farm and live peacefully but where I live, it's so dangerous it's unreal. When I see movies or programs about people living on ranches or farms in some town in the US, it look amazing. We could never
Edit: I live in a rural area in my country and hearing gunshots doesn't phase us and house alarms go off every night and you're like Oh okay, as long as it's not ours. Not a fun way to live
The overall availability of services for people with special needs.
You need to get everywhere in a wheelchair? ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) has you covered as it is required that all public spaces be accessible to all (there are waivers for historic properties). You have a kid with processing, learning, emotional, or another disability that impacts their ability to do well in school? IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) has you covered and requires that they be given the level of services that they as an individual need to be able to learn successfully. For adults, there are group homes and other public services in place to help ensure individuals with disabilities can live life as independently and successfully as possible.
The effectiveness of these services varies based on where you are, but overall the US ensures an amazing level of access and equity for people with disabilities.
My partner is from Mexico but moved here when she was little, and she says her favorite part is about America the musicians we have. Her favorite artist is Marilyn Manson, she loves to wear the shirt I got when I saw him live with Slipknot.
Cheaper housing for huge houses, we could get a villa in Florida for the same price as a semi detached three bed house in uk
You have a large, well educated population, a dynamic economy, a professional civil service, and arguably the most favorable geographic position among all countries today. You also have a culture of liberty which, although facing challenges, is a potent inoculation against totalitarians.
Innovation. Americans think of really cool stuff and make it happen, from Disneyland to iPhones.
There is a very individualist philosophy, which is a good thing in many ways.
That attitude of I do what I want because I want to and nobody can tell me what to do or how to live my life.
In a way it is very freeing.
That you guys don't have tribal wars on sports events like big games. You even applaude the rivaling team when they had a good play. So how to behave watching sports; i.e. sports culture is definitely something the rest of the world can learn from the US of A. (and Canada).
The fact that high school and college sport is so organised. When I was younger, I honestly thought it was a made up TV/movie thing. Then I got older and actually met a few Americans who all backed it. I was genuinely shocked
It would’ve been cool to have a sense of school/college spirit in sport. I definitely feel like I missed out on that
Friendly people! I believe that when you go outside, people are more likely to come toward you than another country