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10 Things That Aren’t Sexy Abroad

#1 Being “That American”

You know that person; he or she is constantly saying close-minded things like: “Well, in America..,” “America’s the greatest country in the world,” and “America, Eff Yeah.”  Here’s a helpful piece of advice: no one cares jerk-face.  By constantly repeating how much BETTER America is than every other country, you’re immediately demeaning every other nation on this planet.  It may be shocking to you, but there are other awesome places that aren’t within the borders of the US of A.  America, get over it. number1

#2 Making Out With Everything That Moves… And I Mean Everything

Everyone should make out with everyone as long as you’re not being a jerk about it.  With that being said, public displays of sex should be kept away from the public eye, animals, and random pieces of art.  Why my phone is filled with multiple photos of drunk people making out with inanimate objects is beyond me. number2

#3 Being That Person That Always “Needs To Borrow Money” 

Traveling can get expensive fast.  Make sure you budget accordingly and learn how to say “no” to things you can’t actually afford.  FOMO (aka the Fear Of Missing Out) is a very real thing while abroad so it will be hard to sit out of certain adventures, but it’ll keep your reputation clean and the social invitations constant.  Don’t alienate your new travel friends by being a burden and making promises you can’t keep. number3

#4 Not Learning The Local Language

Respect the culture and country that you’re in by learning the local language.  This will make your life easier, the surrounding community’s life easier, and ensure that you’ll be able to find the restroom when you so desire.  It’s also just more fun that way! number4

#5 Complaining that “This Isn’t How It Is Back At Home”

Keep in mind that the reason you left home is because you wanted an entirely different experience.  Home will always be there.  When else are you going to get the opportunity to live/travel in a different country with unfamiliar cultures and interesting languages? It’s hard to say.  Own it and relish in the novelty. number5

#6 Talking About “How Weird” The Cultural Differences Are 

Shut up.  YOUR culture is probably the “weird” one.  Who else eats what you eat, talks the way you talk, and is unable to adjust to basic cultural differences.  Weirdo. number7

#7 Being On Your Phone All The Time

Anticipatory memories kill actual experiences.  Relish in the moment and stop trying to record it for Instagram… unless you’re a blogger, like me, so get off my back about it. number6

#8 Being A Stupid Tourist 

Screaming at the top of your lungs, taking pictures of anything and everything that moves, and picking fights with the locals is an obvious no-no.  Go beyond the tourist attractions and really dive into whatever the country has to offer. Try to befriend a few of the locals to get some good tips, hints, and potentially, a kiss good night.  However, avoid making the locals feel uncomfortable at all costs!  You never quite know how someone will react due to a misunderstanding or cultural difference… number8

#9 Making Frenemies

Because most abroad experiences are temporary, don’t feel the need to make “frenemies” just to have friends.  Dump those people like a bad habit.  Enjoy the opportunity to be alone or take this opportunity to meet new people! number9

#10 Constantly Saying “I Wish Everyone Would Just Speak English”

No.  Stop.  #Ican’t. number10

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About Vanessa Elizabeth

Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.

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  • Aditi

    This actually applies to anyone who is out of their hometown and constantly brags about their hometown.. I just feel like telling those people to just go back! Not Luke I need you here!

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  • YES. YES. AND YES!

    Thank you for saying it! We all know “THAT AMERICAN” that falls into every one of these categories. Unfortunately, open-mindedness and good mannerism isn’t an inherent trait.

  • H

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve just moved back to the US after living in China for 6 years and I can’t tell you how many times I heard/experienced all of these things from fellow laowai that I thought were friends. like yeah, being there sucks sometimes but if you take it in stride, it turns out to be wonderful and amazing.

  • Monu

    Spot on Vanessa…we have a mania back where i come…to switch the GPS for home food , for a change fine but i have known tours taking along their own cook….what good is that when French food and drink is as essential as the Louvre!!

  • This is sooo accurate!! Love it 😀

  • Awesome list!!! Some travelers are extremely annoying since all they do is talk about home!

  • Nnedimma

    Thank you so much Vanessa for this post you’ve made. Although I am currently do not study abroad, I still come across many of the international students who do the same exact thing which annoys me because the reason you studied abroad is to learn and adapt to a “different culture”. Yet, they insist and bash us for our “weird” behaviors. No, its not weird, it’s different. I would love to study abroad. I may go to China. Not sure yet.