Travelers from certain countries usually carry some stereotypes. Some deserved and others not. For instance, any backpacker will say Israeli travelers are notorious for being arrogant, cheap, and traveling in packs. Of course there are many possible reasons for this such as English being a non-native language or most of them just finished military service.
Well I have some observations of my own to add to the list of stereotypes. This time about American backpackers. To start off I have met very few fat American backpackers in South America if it makes any difference. Australia
is now most obese country anyways! But what I do encounter often are what I like to call “experts“.
Within minutes of meeting or just observing an American backpacker I already know the most important fact about him or her without even having to ask. In comparison its pretty rare that I know much about any other foreigner. In just one night at a hostel in Bogota, Colombia, I encountered three different Americans. For reference, I did not talk to either of these three for more than one minute at the most.
The first was an American-Asian from California obsessed with his military tours to Iraq who explained the ins and outs of each gun he has used. I also know how many people he killed. Three.
The second was a Jewish guy from New York who was passionate for bashing every aspect the United States and mentioning his religion at every opportunity. He encouraged others to make jokes about him being Jewish at every opportunity.
The third American was a middle aged guy obsessed with traveling to dangerous countries. He took pride in explaining how Colombia is such a dangerous place or the time he visited Pakistan. He was also the obnoxious type who liked to brag about visiting certain countries before they were touristy. He did not stop talking.
What these three American travelers have in common is that the minute a stranger was to offer any of their own insight about the topic they would be quick to correct them. While I only provided three examples this type of attitude is all to common. There are many more!