Looking like the Locals

12-Jan-2022 • San Francisco, California United States

I just finished watching a video of a young American who recently traveled to 28 cities in 17 countries in Europe.  He decided to upload a vlog advising people what to wear when they travel to Europe so they won't look American when they visit the old continent.  Actually, he's not the only person I've seen or heard giving similar advice.  I have heard of countless others from many parts of the world advising fellow travelers to try their best to look like the locals of the countries they visit.

Frankly, I think it is silly.  First of all, how can a white or black person visiting Asia ever look like the people of say Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, China, or Japan?  Likewise, how can Asians ever blend in Northern Europe where people are tall, blond, and blue eyed?   As an Asian traveling around Asia, yes, I can easily blend in without much effort.  In fact, I am often mistaken for Chinese every where I go.  However, once I open my mouth, fellow Asians right away know where I am from because of my accent.  The same goes for my partner who is Caucasian.  In Europe, he easily passes for a European.  Once on a driving trip in Italy, we passed by a gasoline station to gas up and someone asked him if he was Italian.   

Once people travel to continents populated by a different race however, blending in becomes difficult if not entirely impossible.  Anyway, that's my take on the matter.