The Land of the Free gets a lot of bad press in Europe these days, but not all of it is justified. The United States of America, for all of its current problems, is one of the most inspiring and exciting destinations in the world.
If you’re currently torn between either spending a summer interrailing through Europe or embarking on the great American road trip, consider these things that the US of A always beats Europe at.
Sure, the Swiss Alps and the Meditteranean coastline are pretty nice, but did you know that the US is one of the most biologically and ecologically diverse nations on the planet? The sheer variety of natural landscapes to explore is staggering and puts Europe to shame. You have the extraterrestrial, moon-like landscape of the Utah Badlands, the sinister swamplands of Louisiana, the sprawling pine forests of Oregon, and the blissful coastline of Southern California. Americans also love to get outdoors as much as possible, with America’s 58 national parks collectively receiving over 100 million visitors a year.
This one is bound to be contentious, but hold your rebuttals for a moment. While culture vultures are quick to argue that the delicately honed cuisines of France or Italy make them the global capitals of food, it’s America’s variety, abundance, and diversity which makes it the real winner here. Even in smaller cities, you can enjoy quality cuisine from every corner of the globe at a fraction of the price you’d pay in many European capitals. Meanwhile, American cuisine such as Tomato soup and the New York pizza, are worthwhile gastronomic experiences in their own right.
Sure, Europe has football, but the US has a sporting culture that dwarfs anything you can find on the other side of the Atlantic. There are cultural titans such as the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, as well as highly original, quintessentially American creations such as UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). The fact that the UFC instantly sells out tickets and broadcast licenses every time they do an event in Europe tells you all you need to know. Fans outside of the US can at least take part in the active sports betting culture around UFC, which is one of the most vibrant in the world, all for free thanks to betting bonuses. While there is always a limitation with bonuses, the fact that UFC fans from dozens of countries bet on their favorites shows how powerful America’s sporting legacy is.
This final one is just a no-brainer. Who would you rather be stuck in an elevator with? The famously moody denizens of Paris, Berlin, and London, or the notoriously friendly inhabitants of San Diego or Miami? It’s no surprise that America regularly tops the rankings of the friendliest nations in the world. Their sunny disposition and almost unnerving extroversion make every trip to the US an absolute delight, while trips to Europe often require you to steel yourself against the inevitable rudeness and dismissiveness you’re bound to have thrown at you by the locals. If you want a trip that leaves you feeling welcome, warm, and wanted, the USA is always to place to go.
Europe has its merits as a destination, and comparing a continent to a nation is never a fair exercise. Both are great places to visit, but these are the areas in which America truly reigns supreme.