Surprising Things Non-Americans Like About America

The best way to gain an appreciation for something is to step away from it and discover it again for the very first time. If you’re American, you might take a lot of what the country has to offer for granted, simply because you’re used to it.

Reddit user Imsosadsoveryverysad asked non-Americans “what are the positives of America that you see?” and the answers might surprise you.

The Large Living Spaces

American Home
Photo Credit: Digital Marketing Agency / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Digital Marketing Agency / Unsplash

“Big living spaces. I live in Hong Kong, and our average flat sizes are around 300 to 500 square feet. If you are in a flat that’s over 1000 square feet that’s considered super luxurious.” – TheFakeMercy

While not everyone lives in a castle, backyards and front lawns are not hard to find.

The Convenience Of Phone Numbers, Area Codes, And Electrical Outlets

Phone
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt / Unsplash

“Tiny electrical socket outlets so that an adapter for 4 or 5 plugs doesn’t take up almost the whole wall.

“Zip codes have only numbers…easier to remember than postal codes. All telephone numbers throughout the country have exactly the same number of digits.” – john_wb

The Accommodation For Getting Around In Wheelchairs

Wheelchair
Photo Credit: Steven HWG / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Steven HWG / Unsplash

“How accommodating many places are to disabled people, especially for people in wheelchairs. There are often ramps and large disabled parking spaces not to mention that there is an entire amusement park for people in wheelchairs in San Antonio!” – misssplunker

This shouldn’t be a privilege, but it is an important accommodation.

An Optimistic Attitude Towards Success

Graduation
Photo Credit: Md Duran / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Md Duran / Unsplash

“I come from a culture that complains a lot and is quite cynical. When me and my American friend crashed out of about 20–30 job interviews, I was the one crippled by depression and self-doubt while he simply looked ahead, said there are tons of other good things out there anyway.

“I simply gave up, while he continued applying and planning. I think Americans have a very good attitude towards failure.” – tetriscannoli

Traffic Laws That Let You Turn On Red Lights

Red Light
Photo Credit: Roberto Junior / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Roberto Junior / Unsplash

“Right turn on red lights.” – dumbleydore94

In North America, you’re allowed to turn right on red lights as long as there’s no oncoming traffic. This is unheard of in places like Europe, where you’re required to stop at the red lights even if there is no traffic in the area.

Starting Random Small Talk With Strangers

Random Small Talk
Photo Credit: Bewakoof Official / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Bewakoof Official / Unsplash

“People there are really nice and talkative. Here you don’t ask where tourists are from or begin a conversation just randomly while in a grocery store.

“Was a bit confused by you guys saying ‘how are you?’ as a greeting tho, I knew you did but still it caught me off guard” – no_unknown

National Parks And Air Conditioning, But Not At The Same Time

National Park
Photo Credit: Pedro Lastra / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Pedro Lastra / Unsplash

“Air conditioning, and also lots of national parks. More than any other country I think”- FoughtStatue

This response is especially interesting as national parks rely on outdoor weather. No air conditioning in the national parks.

A Thriving, Internationally Recognized Entertainment Industry

Netflix
Photo Credit: Rubi Bill / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Rubi Bill / Unsplash

“You have a robust arts industry including movies, TV, video games, etc. Here in Australia our government routinely undermines our fledgling video game industry, most of our TV shows lack any of the polish of yours, and with our movies…

“Let’s just say we literally tried to get people to pay to see a film version of a TV show that was canceled due to lack of viewership on FREE TV.”- ewton_bus

Safety In Small Communities And Rural Areas

Farm House
Photo Credit: Timothy Eberly / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Timothy Eberly / Unsplash

“Our dream is to buy a farm and live peacefully, but where I live, it’s so dangerous it’s unreal. When I see movies or programs about people living on ranches or farms in some towns in the US, it looks amazing. We could never.” – 2_kids_no_more

There seems to be a sense of solidarity among those who live in small towns. There is almost an unspoken rule that the smaller the town, the safer it might be.

You Don’t Have To “Look American” To Be American

American
Photo Credit: Frank Mcenna / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Frank Mcenna / Unsplash

“As an American who left 10 years ago, I can honestly say that it took me leaving America to see the good in it. One thing I have come to appreciate is that anyone can become an American.

“I’ve lived in a few different places in my time abroad and no matter how fluent I get in language and culture I am eternally the ‘foreigner.’ Especially here in Japan. The official word to refer to us is ‘outsider.’ I could live here 30 years, naturalize, forsake my American citizenship, have a Japanese baby, and I would never be Japanese. But you, Japanese friend, can be American, as much of an American as I am. And I think that’s really cool.” – Seralyn

Every Landscape Your Heart Could Desire

San Fran Bridge
Photo Credit: Maarten Van Den Heuvel / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Maarten Van Den Heuvel / Unsplash

“The country has everything! You want mountains, you got it! You want forest, you got it! You want beaches, you got it! You want huge cities, you got it!

“In Europe, you have to go from country to country to achieve this.” – Theholynun

Friendly Sports Rivalries

Football
Photo Credit: Keith Johnston / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Keith Johnston / Unsplash

“You guys don’t have tribal wars on sports events like big games. You even applaud the rivaling team when they had a good play.

“The sports culture is definitely something the rest of the world can learn from the US.” – ChrisMess

Free Drink Refills At Restaurants

Refills
Photo Credit: Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Artem Beliaikin / Unsplash

“Free refills at restaurants, still amazed.” – mushroomoose

Although it seems like it’s free, the secret is that the price of the syrup used in sodas is very cheap, so they’re still able to make a profit. In fact, the paper cup might actually cost more than the drink.

An Americanized Twist On Every Cuisine

Food
Photo Credit: Natalie Scott / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Natalie Scott / Unsplash

“The best food I have seen in 35 different countries visited. The food diversity in the US is phenomenal, and Americans have improved and perfected many cuisines.

“In Europe, there’s way too much attention to being authentic, and in the US, it really feels like the melting pot and ‘bastardization’ of cuisines has elevated food to a whole new level.” – Bit-Random

Never Too Shy To Compliment A Stranger

Shopping
Photo Credit: Joshua Rawson Harris / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Joshua Rawson Harris / Unsplash

“People had been complimenting me out of nowhere in the streets, a lady noticed I was lost and offered me a drive to my hotel while I didn’t even ask anything, a taxi driver showed me nice touristic attractions for free, a guy helped me choose between 2 shirts in a store, and the list just keeps going!

“Here in France and Swizterland peoples aren’t that easy-going and not necessarily nice with tourists. We’re kind of cold.” – ThatMidget

The Freedom To Politically Criticize

john-bakator-iQOzInmMxEY-unsplash
Photo Credit: John Bakator / Unsplash
Photo Credit: John Bakator / Unsplash

“I am Turkish. There, if you criticize the president, you can go to jail.” – dinoisgrooovin

Not all countries have the freedom to be able to ridicule and speak out against their government and president like most American talk shows, radio hosts, TV shows, etc.

An Abundance Of Events, Concerts, Festivals, And Conventions

Concert
Photo Credit: Aditya Chinchure / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Aditya Chinchure / Unsplash

“There’s a lot of events in America. You guys have basically every event/convention that a Redditor could ask for.” – ThatSylverDude

From country festivals to science conventions, there surely is an event for every taste and every age all year round. They tend to draw an audience from all over the world for that reason.

Cleaning Up After Your Dog

Walking Dog
Photo Credit: Tamara Bellis / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Tamara Bellis / Unsplash

“I’m from Russia, you can always see dog poop here, I like that in America people clean up after their dogs.” – ebukota

In fact, in most of America, there are bylaws in place that forbid leaving dog waste behind.

The Magic Effect Of A European Accent When Flirting

British Accent
Photo Credit: Gregory Hayes / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Gregory Hayes / Unsplash

“A European accent works wonders on American girls haha, I will always appreciate that.” – MallenStreak97

There is just something so elegant and captivating about being flirted with in a British accent.

The Art Of Innovation And Exploration

NASA
Photo Credit: Nasa / Unsplash
Photo Credit: Nasa / Unsplash

“I love the innovation in America! SpaceX, for example. Literally excites people around the world.”- sarope

SpaceX is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company. It was founded to try and reduce space transportation costs and aims to eventually populate Mars.