Yes, We Are In Fact Selfish, Dumb Americans

Opening up about my first experience in Europe.

Nicole Kenney
5 min readFeb 18


The author (middle left) with her family in Ajaccio, France.

Last summer, I went on my first vacation in five years with my family. We spent a week cruising around the Mediterranean Sea making stops in Italy, France, and Spain.

I do not come from a lot of money and occasions like this for my family are few and far between. My mom, brother, and I spent many family dinners growing up talking about the distant dream of tasting pasta in Italy, drinking wine in France, and seeing centuries' worth of immersive culture around Europe.

It was a dream of ours we never thought would come true, yet it finally had become a reality and I will forever be grateful for getting the chance to go.

However, I had a very jarring realization about my own country of origin while I was away. The negative stereotypes of Americans are not exactly false.

The reason my family and I were able to see so many cities was that we traveled on a cruise ship. Of the 4000+ guests that stayed aboard with us, about half of them were from the United States. And trust me, you could tell from a mile away who was from the States.

That being said, let me talk about all the aspects of my vacation that feeds into the negative, but true, stereotypes of Americans.

They did everything on their own time.

Throughout the week, my family and I signed up for quite a few excursions at each stop to get the most out of our experience. Primarily, the ones we mainly signed up for were walking tours and different kinds of tastings.

Now here’s the catch: because all of these excursions were on land and required some travel, the buses left at a specific time each morning. I remember the day of our first walking tour, I sprinted down the stairs worried that I would be running late and miss the bus. But by day three, that literally didn’t matter.

The Americans were late every day. It was to the point where they were still calling groups up to 45 minutes after their scheduled departure, solely because the Americans believed everyone else would wait for them.



Nicole Kenney

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