I suppose it’s typically “American” in spirit that as we arrived at customs at Newark Airport the first thing the guy stamping our passports asked was, “Why did you visit all those countries?” even after we’d explained to him that it was our honeymoon and that SE Asia is actually quite inexpensive, he wasn’t satisfied.
And simply put, this may be one small part of why there are nut jobs throwing rocks through public officials’ windows now that everyone in the US is guaranteed access to private health care (yes, private health care!). During our travels we saw at most a handful of other Americans (but hundreds of Danes, Germans, Aussies, Brits, etc.) and I realize there really is nothing you can say.
There are pair of Swedish films made in the late 60’s (‘I Am Curious (Yellow)’ and ‘I Am Curious (Blue)’) and the young protagonist of the ‘Yellow’ film is scolded by an elder conservative Swedish gentleman of the upper-class after asking him too many questions, he says “Why are you so damn curious all the time?!” and that’s exactly it.
Even if you were to explain to thousands of American’s that most places in this world are cheaper to live and travel to than say the Midwestern States, it wouldn’t make a difference. And somewhat ironically, speaking English is an asset in and of itself. In many places you’re guaranteed food, housing and a stipend just for speaking the only language America officially recognizes.
But those thirty percent of Americans with passports have already self selected as being at least mildly curious and of those you’d need to find the ones that have flexible jobs, savings, travel planning ability and a bit of wanderlust. God bless all of them I say. I’m never leaving this country ever again.