It’s only when you actually visit other countries that you see how different people really are. I’ve recently been to the states again and this time I brought more than just my holiday photos home with me.
At the end of 2017 I was lucky enough to finally get to New York City, somewhere I’ve dreamed of visiting for years. As part of our honeymoon we stayed in NYC for 3 nights before boarding a Royal Caribbean cruise ship for a 12 night trip.
I’ll tell you more about the holiday another time but today I want to share why I’m going to try and be more American.
So, we’re on a cruise liner with around 4 and a half thousand people. The majority of whom are American. We get into the lift (elevator) and stand in complete silence in true English style. On the next floor a couple get in and immediately say good morning to us. Not only do they break the ice they even go as far as asking how our day has been?!
Now, usually we English would reply with a simple ‘yeah good thanks’ and that would be the end of that. But there, they genuinely are interested in what you’ve been up to.
The next floor and another family get in, they are loud and happy, ask everyone how they are, commence conversation about something and start to rearrange everyone in the lift so that those getting in and out can do so easily. It was way more pleasant than pushing your way through a small crowd of emotionless statues in the same situation back home.
If you walked down the deck of the ship you would have people smile at you and say good afternoon, and if you’ve ever been to the states you will know that they never say goodbye without telling you to ‘Have a great day now’ (said in my best American accent)!
We would be sitting at a table with spare chairs and people would come over and ask to join us. Now in England that’s proper awkward right? But there, it’s the norm, and there’s no need to sit feeling like you can’t speak to the person you’re with because no doubt that American who just came to join you will have prompted conversation already!
You say thank you, they say You’re Welcome. Every. Single. Time. So polite.
It’s formal night, so you make an effort with your hair, makeup or outfit, you head to the bar where you wait amongst a crowd of people waiting to be served. You’re usually so focused on keeping your personal space whilst muscling your way through to get served in some sort of rugby style way, but not in America…. There, you get so carried away talking to the American stood next to you who just randomly told you your hair looks awesome or that they love your dress, you forget to even order your drink!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve met a few rude Americans on my travels but honestly I think they are the minority (and there are rude people in every country!). Everywhere you go to eat or drink across the pond no doubt you will get great service, and with a smile too.
We don’t often meet people on holiday and certainly have never kept in touch with them once home, but there we met really friendly people from New York, DC, Minisota & Pennsylvania. Everyone one of them proud of their roots. So proud in fact that when their national anthem played in the grand theatre they stood up, while us English sat humbly through ours.
So when I came home I vowed to be as friendly as they are. To smile at strangers more, and say hello to people I find myself in a lift with! I’ll ask how someone’s day went, compliment my friends more and tell people when they look great. I’ll be more interested in others and make more effort to pass on some kindness. I’ll be English, but I’ll add a bit of American too.
Have you ever been to the states? What did you think of the American people? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Don’t me a comment below.
Thanks for popping by, Hayley x
Oh, and those Pennsylvanian people we met… Well, we’ll keep in touch with those too.