Look, there are plenty of good reasons to visit the United States. Places like New York City and Los Angeles are super cool, and there are incredibly breathtaking national parks to visit where you can commune directly with nature…
But, there are also some reasons you may wish to avoid the United States entirely. While there are things to be enjoyed about the country, there are other things that could be massive turn-offs for a foreigner paying America his or her first visit.
Below, we’re going to look at the 18 main reasons you may wish to avoid the United States. These reasons may or may not dissuade you from visiting the country. If you do visit, though, knowing these reasons will allow you to approach your trip with eyes wide open.
1. Tourist Traps Galore
No matter where you go in the United States, places are replete with tourist traps. The big ones like Times Square and Hollywood Boulevard are obvious, but those are just the largest. Even in small towns, you’re sure to find places that advertise themselves as the first this or the best at that. If you go, maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.
2. You’d Better Speak English
Learning multiple languages, which is common in most countries not just in the developed world but broadly, isn’t that important to Americans. Generally speaking, most Americans can only speak English. Not truly a big deal on its face, but there are definitely some in the population who gravely resent having to communicate with someone that doesn’t speak English well, let alone at all.
3. Skepticism of Foreigners
And that really gets to the point. While many Americans are certainly both tolerant of and welcome foreigners, there are a sizeable number who look upon foreigners with a high degree of skepticism. Those traveling from Middle Eastern countries in particular should be prepared to receive a few unwelcome glances from such skeptical Americans.
4. Rapidly Aging Infrastructure
In a great many technological things, the United States leads the world. However, when it comes to taking care of their own backyard, the United States lags seriously behind. Due to the effects of highly partisan politics in the country, a not-insignificant part of America’s infrastructure has begun to decay. For example, government studies warn that many bridges might be on the verge of collapse.
5. You’ll Need a Car
The United States is a large country, so you’re definitely going to need a car if you want to get around. This may not be true in many of the major urban centers like New York City, but there are exceptions. For example, the Los Angeles public transportation system is woefully inadequate for the population of the city; if you’re going there, you’ll need a car for sure.
6. About That Traffic
And speaking of needing a car in Los Angeles, here’s another thing you’ll need to keep in mind if you rent one. The traffic in many places across the country, like Los Angeles, can be atrocious. For example, Interstate-95 which connects New England with Florida can become a parking lot in places during the summer months.
7. Aggressive Drivers
With all the traffic, you’d think that American drivers had learned how to take a chill pill… But, nope! While every American will point to drivers from other states as the worst, the truth is that all American drivers stink. Even when stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, they will make aggressive and risky maneuvers to try and save fractions of a second of their travel times.
8. The Vast Expanses of Nothingness
Of course, there are places where you’re not going to encounter lots of traffic — places like the Midwest. After you get west of the Mississippi River, the land gets a lot flatter and a lot more desolate. There are some places to see in the Midwest, for sure, but there’s no denying that the vast majority of this region is cornfields as far as the eye can see.
9. Big City Syndrome
That’s why the majority of United States tourism is centered around the big cities – New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, etc. Each of these cities is unique, and their denizens have their own particular foibles. For example, be prepared to take your life into your own hands if you cut off a New York City cab during rush hour…
10. The Heroin Epidemic
When one thinks of drug problems in the United States, you likely think of drug dealers and pushers, selling their wares on the city streets. In fact, the drug problem is much more pervasive than that. Many small towns throughout the country are currently caught up in a heroin epidemic, which was caused by the over-prescription of opioid painkillers over the past several decades.
11. Baseball is So Boring
And what of that great American pastime, baseball? Do you want to be taken out to the ballgame? Do you want to be taken out to the crowd? If so, good luck. Baseball games are as boring as boring can get, often stretching on for over three and a half hours. Plus, you’ll be paying an arm and a leg for those Crackerjacks; the markups are obscene!
12. Football Season
Baseball isn’t as near and dear to the heart of the average American as it once was. Instead, the NFL and football season have taken over the American sports calendar. During the late summer, fall and winter, bars become jam-packed with jersey-wearing partisans, each ready to tell you why their team is great and why yours sucks.
13. Don’t Get Injured or Sick
Aside from infrastructure, another way in which the United States lags behind the rest of the developed world is in healthcare. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but healthcare is obscenely expensive in the United States, and the government doesn’t provide access to it gratis. If you get sick while there, you might shudder when you see the bill.