Hi Billy and Akaisha,
I just love your stories.
My wife and I are working towards financial freedom now and you guys are one magnificent motivation to figure that out. Once in a while your stories trigger me to write and ask a question.
Reading your recent story about Belize and travels through Guatemala, I could not help wondering if you guys have any harrowing stories about trouble the locals may make when they encounter to Americans that don’t speak the language well and seem to be ‘adventuring’ through their country. Have you felt any prejudice against Americans increase over the last 5 years? Do you have any interesting stories to tell about ‘near misses’ that you can share? Seems your stories are always very positive. Any dirt to share?
Again, thanks for being an inspiration to those of us still stuck on the gerbil wheel!
Thank you for your patience in waiting for my reply, and thank you for your kind words about us being a motivation for you. That makes us feel very happy!
As far as having any “dirt” to share, or having harrowing experiences with locals and bad attitudes towards Americans, mostly all we have to report is positive.
We make sure that we are under the radar in how we dress and our approach to the locals is always friendly, conversational, and respectful.
I would recommend that you read our response to one Reader who asked how to Identify Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing, as I go into more detail there about fear, taking precautionary action, and violence.
That being said, in the countries where we have visited it is our experience that there is not the blatant and shame-inducing hatred of Americans that is portrayed by the media so often. We as Americans are not hated. In fact, it seems everywhere we go the locals of any country are proud to be from that country and we find that to be healthy. We are proud to be from the U.S.A. and we show that by our smiles, our humor and by treating the local population with equality and esteem.
On occasion we will see people from other nations who are loud, disrespectful, dirty, condescending or dismissive, and those people, of course, come to find that they have issues in foreign countries. Anyone – American or not – who acts in this manner will find that they will encounter trouble. It only makes sense.
I would say that we are very proud to be Americans but we advance through our travels primarily as human beings. We neither cower nor bang on drums in some proselytizing manner about our beliefs.
If you would like to travel, take the leap. Don’t be afraid to answer that you are from the States, and return any exchange with the humanity that you are.
We wish you all good things, and again, thank you for taking the time to write.