The Risks of Making America Great Again

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Our country is divided into a rift so vast that it feels as if finding common ground is impossible. Regardless of where your loyalties lie or who you are in support of, the political decisions and stances of late are setting off grand repercussions throughout the world. Here are my thoughts and advice as you set off for your adventures abroad.

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People will ask about your stance on Trump, the Paris Agreement, Immigration and why.

In Italy, the percentage of citizens that physically go and vote is staggering compared to the United States. In our last election we had approximately 49{6a79f8b483379a07c99b49f3ac110091f25498c816895d3835c84435c153d1be} of our population abstain for whatever reason, with 50{6a79f8b483379a07c99b49f3ac110091f25498c816895d3835c84435c153d1be} being the average at previous elections. The last voting turnout across Italy was 75{6a79f8b483379a07c99b49f3ac110091f25498c816895d3835c84435c153d1be} with past years averaging 80-90{6a79f8b483379a07c99b49f3ac110091f25498c816895d3835c84435c153d1be}. Italians are deeply invested and involved in politics.

Italians know their history and they also know yours. The average Italian out and about on the streets can recite historical details with a passion that will make your head spin. We Americans have trouble remembering significant events, let along foreign events. Italians love to talk about history and debate politics, so be prepared for questioning. If this makes you feel bad, don’t take it personally. Italians are curious, the want to know more about WHY you believe a certain way. The US has such a different mindset than the rest of the world that we spark interest and questions.

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Making America Great Again in a World Gone Global is a Mystery

Everything and everyone changes and evolves, this is a fact of life as certain and death and taxes. How we chose to react to change defines us a people and in a grander sense as a country.

My husband once sold Yellow Pages; as in the big fat telephone book. Believe it or not, this was a real job and he made incredible money. The world began to change and the phone book went the way of the dinosaurs. Unlike many of his colleagues, he left before the situation became dire and started his own company. A company focused on website design and internet marketing. He chose to evolve with and not against the changes in his industry.

The world has gone global and will never go back. Ever. Making America great by shutting the world out and trying recreate the past is an absolute mystery. No one in the world can comprehend this and Italians will want to talk about it. They are curious and they are confused. Americas political policies are very unpopular around the world which is a stark contrast to the America that was revered in years past. Many of them are also angry because what happens in our country does effect them and they are utterly powerless to influence any outcome.

Again, be prepared for questions and don’t take this as an aggressive action. You might get grilled about your political opinions at one moment and then be embraced with kisses to the cheek the next.

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Keep Widening Your World Views with Travel

While we all have our own story and beliefs, nothing helps to shrink rifts and open the mind than travel. A trip to Italy probably won’t make you change political parties but it could shed light on issues like European style healthcare. I recently had a client need emergency treatment for a severe allergic reaction in Rome and when discharged they were shocked to find the balance on the hospital bill was zero.

Politics is often not genuinely reflective of the people as a whole. Prove that as you travel. With the recent withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and our leaders stance on immigration we have put ourselves in an us against the world corner. This couldn’t be more evident than the symbolic vote by the EU to require a visa for travel by US citizens. While this may or may not come to fruition, the vote clearly shows that the United States is no longer Cinderella and will need to start playing by global rules.

Hearing personal stories from others will make you reflect on your own. Being challenged with questions may force you to dig deeper into your beliefs and come up with a more solid fact based why. Travel and the conversations we have with others challenge us, pushes us out of our comfort zones and makes us pause to reflect on beliefs we may have been taking for granted. Travel is the best antidote to fear and predisposed opinions.

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