Every now and then, while out there traveling, I end up in a conversation in which someone asks me “What do you like best about your home country?” The first couple of times it happened, I actually had to think real hard to come up with an answer, simply because I spend so much time focusing on international travel and all of these foreign destinations that I rarely paid much attention to what I enjoy about the USA.
However, the more I traveled, the more the answer to such a question eventually did become quite clear. It became quite clear because I realized that every time I returned to the USA, the exact same thing happened.
My flight lands. I get off the airplane and I walk through the airport. I stand in the immigration line and then, I just look around me. Before long, I feel goosebumps forming on my skin. I proceed through the immigration inspection, grab my backpack, pass through the customs check and walk into the airport terminal. And the goosebumps intensify.
Then, for the duration of my stay in my home country, whether I’m in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Florida, or just about anywhere else, the feeling remains, the feeling that I am surrounded by something that doesn’t really exist anywhere else on the planet.
What I am surrounded by, and what has become my answer to the question “What do I like best about the USA?”, is…’incredible diversity‘.
Where else can you find such a diverse collection of people living together? Just on my walk this morning from my friend’s apartment to the small cafe in Brooklyn where I am writing this post, I passed by businesses that are owned by Yemenis, Thais, Chinese, Italians, Mexicans, Ethiopians, French and Indians. That was in a span of just three blocks.
And while New York City offers diversity to the extreme, and I realize that such diversity is not present in every single town in this country and that everyone is not living together in perfect harmony all of the time, it is impossible not to notice, and appreciate, the level of diversity that does exist in so many parts of the USA. After spending so much time overseas, I certainly notice the impressive diversity here instantly and I certainly feel lucky to have grown up among it and to now be able to experience it several times per year.
Life is just so much more interesting and fulfilling when you get to interact with so many different kinds of people every day!
Now I pass it over to you as I ask…
What do you like best about your own country?