Trump, Hollywood and fast food are probably among the first associations that spring to mind for any non-American when they think of the United States.

But breaking down the stereotypes, travellers from around the world have revealed their surprising discoveries of what life in the States is actually like.

From drive-thru strip clubs to the unnerving friendliness of locals who seem to have a particular a fondness for Australians, international visitors have shared their holiday experiences.

Travellers who were flabbergasted at the size of the country and that they had been pulled over for driving too slowly took to Reddit to share their stories.


Reddit users were asked "Non-Americans who have been to the US: What is the weirdest thing about America that Americans don't realise is weird?"

While common answers discussed mouth-wateringly large food portion sizes including Canadian Phalty's discovery of "raptor sized turkey legs" and Palawan sharing that "everything tastes sweeter", visitors found that local wildlife also shared an appreciation for American cuisine.

Forget bears and snakes, holidaymakers revealed the species to be wary of on a trip to the States is the squirrel and some are "terrifyingly bold", warned user crazy_pants_wolf.
Indeed, Reddit poster LessLikeYou said: "In NYC they are pretty fearless. I've seen one eating a burger in a park. I couldn't tell if it was actually eating the meat because it caught me staring and gave me the finger."

Other users including Iced 1776 agreed that the Madison Square Park squirrels are "absolutely fearless with the number of tourists that feed them, I've had one dive into my lunch bag sitting literally a foot away from me."

While the local critters can be terrifying, conversely many international contributors to the forum found the friendliness of Americans highly suspicious and in some cases unnerving.

British tourist Calthis said: "Someone smiled at me on the light rail the other day and I had a mini panic attack."

TheMediumPanda added: "Americans are extremely friendly, almost to an uncomfortable degree for some. When my parents got slightly lost and had to ask for directions, after 5 minutes, 20 people with huge smiles were surrounding them, trying their utmost to help. Several offering rides back to their hotel."

Dubayet, an American living abroad, agreed that many people he encountered overseas expressed concern that American friendliness might be fake but he defended it as a cultural misunderstanding.

Dubayet explained: "They are just being nice, and this is something Americans are used to and accept as normal. No one thinks the guy behind them in line who strikes up a conversation wants to be your BFF, but I think this confuses people not used to that kind of culture."

Highlighting this further, user oOOOOOO was surprised to note: "If you walk into a busy bar and shout USA WHOOOOOOOO!!!!! 99% of the time someone somewhere in the bar will repeat it back."

Tourists added that the kindness of strangers was an unexpected yet heatwarming experience in the States.

Cheddarfever said: "I was having a bad day a couple weeks ago and was crying at the bus stop. A random person stopped and asked if I was okay and if I needed to use his phone to call anyone."

Novelties shared by non-Americans included a driver who was pulled over for travelling at a leisurely pace.

Granpa_Strange said: "Everytime I go to Louisiana, I get pulled over for NOT speeding. I don't understand why, but if I'm doing the speed limit I'm not going fast enough."

And all the more disappointing for any holidaymaker hoping to embark on an epic roadtrip across the States is the sheer scale of the country. Toykolunchboxes revealed a common visitor mistake: "It took me a while before I realized that a person cannot drive from New York City to the Grand Canyon in one day."

However, a driving holiday is still appreciated by tourists who were in awe of "drive-thru everything". One reddit poster KatCole7 surmised: "Drive-thru car wash strip club, thanks North Carolina."

If you thought Americans were the most fond of their British cousins think again, several Australian travellers shared their bizarre realisation that many in the States are "infatuated" with Antipodean visitors.

Bullti explained how he was pulled over for speeding by a disgruntled police officer in Pensacola.

"He comes back over to me and goes "So you're an Aussie huh?" and I said something along the lines of "Yeah mate, bloody oath, no idea where I'm going, lost, I'm really sorry, I didn't realise it was a school zone etc". He gives me back my license and says "Have you been to Hooters?" I say no. (I had, but I said no to humour him). He says "Well head down this road, turn left and there is a Hooters on the corner. You will love it, man." He slaps his hand on the top of my car as if it was a horse, in order to say, get outta here."

- Daily Mail