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

“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

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

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

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

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

“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

“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

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

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

An Optimistic Attitude Towards Success

“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.

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

“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

“Right turn on red lights.” – dumbleydore94

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

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

“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.

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

“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

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

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

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

“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…

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

“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

“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

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

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

“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.

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

“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

“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!

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

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

Friendly Sports Rivalries

“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.

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

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

Free Drink Refills At Restaurants

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

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

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

“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.

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

“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

“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!

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Art Of Innovation And Exploration

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

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

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.