Ask any American: Living in the United States means you’re going to hear a lot of criticisms. While it’s easy to focus on the negatives, US citizens and foreigners alike took to an online forum to share things that the Land of the Free gets refreshingly right.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Order Up
“Altering your restaurant order” is something the US hands-down gets right, according to an American traveler. They explained that when they visited Spain, they couldn’t find a place that let them substitute or change things about their order. “Wanna replace the ketchup on your burger with the BBQ sauce they serve with the chicken strips? Too bad.”
2: Happy Together
“There’s genuinely nothing quite like American optimism,” one Brit observed. “That’s what really makes the USA special.” They said that America is one of the few countries where hope is alive, and everyone can make a comeback.
3: Listen to the Music
One music buff says Americans take the cake for the best music from the 80s. “I didn’t like 80s music until I heard American 80s music. You guys did the 80s best.”
4: Melting Pot
One person prefaces their notion of what the US does right with, “Y’all are going to hate to hear this.” They go on to say that America’s diversity is one of its crown jewels. It’s called a melting pot for a reason.
5: Nepo Babies
Something the US did right was ensure that the descendants of its founding fathers didn’t get famous. “Can confirm as I am one and I’m a nobody,” one person said. “To be fair, there are millions of Americans that can claim they descend from a recognizable founding father.”
6: American Hospitality
A foreigner said something that stood out to them the most on their month-long backpacking trip in the US was how friendly everyone was. “For all its faults, America and its people made me feel like I was in a second home. I’ll be back one day.”
7: It’s the Little Things
From half-court buzzer beaters to having exact change, one person says a unique aspect of America is our “wandering hype people” who celebrate small and big wins alike. “Americans genuinely love watching someone win, even if there’s no competition. It makes me think we’ve got a shot.”
8: Air It Out
Anyone who’s visited a country that doesn’t have central air conditioning will understand the commenters who said it’s the one thing America gets right. “There is no pleasure, no rapture, no exquisite sin greater…than central air,” one person jokes.
9: Spooky Spirits
A UK resident says they don’t embody the spooky season spirit and celebrate Halloween like Americans, and it’s sad. “You just do not see the houses lit up and pumpkins and Halloween-themed pastries. Just let go and let out your inner child, and wear a silly costume! It’s liberating!”
10: What a Thrill
One Kiwi says even besides Disney and Universal, the American theme parks are fantastic to visit. “There are so many to choose from. Here in New Zealand, we have one theme park with ONE rollercoaster, the Corkscrew (AKA baby’s first rollercoaster).”
11: Smokin’ Hot
Americans take pride in their barbecue, and one Canadian is happier for it. “I’m talking American barbecue. Mess me up with that brisket you’ve been smoking all week, Uncle Sam. Heck, yes.”
12: Building Families
When it comes to keeping kids out of orphanages and foster care systems, the US adopts more children overseas than any other country in the world, and that counts for something.
13: Read All About It
Americans should appreciate their public libraries more, one person says. “In my county alone, we have over ten different libraries with transfers between them, so there’s a vast selection of movies, books, magazines, etc.”
14: Take a Hike
America offers its residents access to public lands, including national parks, forests, and wilderness areas ready to explore. “We may not all be able to afford a cabin in the mountains or a house on the beach, but with a car and a tent, we can all enjoy those places no matter your income.”
15: Love What You’ve Got
One person encourages Americans to stay humble. “The overwhelming majority of you are good people, and you bring a lot of art, media, and creativity all over the world,” they said. “You have a great country; your history is short and grey in places, but it is humble.”
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