Trying Too Hard and the Realisation that Ignorance is Bliss

  I have always tried to understand people. I have also always wanted to be multilingual, have been consistently patient with non-native English speakers, and I had tried to communicate in other languages all while living in the U.S. Then I got my Master’s in Intercultural Relations and became aware of cultural differences. Then I […]

Finding One’s Own Identity Abroad While Uncovering One’s National Identity

  Coming to Italy was a fluke; I had never seen myself moving here nor learning the language. My original idea was to try to move to Spain or France where I could expand and perfect my language skills (in Spanish and/or French). Italy kinda just happened. And, I hated it initially – the language […]

Overcompensating for one’s own culture and missing the other’s

I have always been hyper sensitive about not speaking another language very well and about behaving like a “typical US American.” I try not to perpetuate stereotypes about US Americans. I also try very hard to understand local culture and behaviour so that I can be respectful and not do something stupid; just because something […]

Own your ignorance; tips for the US American tourist

It may seem harsh referring to US American tourists as ignorant. (Remember that “ignorance” means “lack of knowledge.”) But Americans aren’t the only ignorant tourist group. I think anyone going abroad will have varying levels of ignorance, depending on how many times he/she has traveled, with what intention, curiosity about the destination, etc. I write […]