United States of America

Quick Facts

Government

Type: Federal Democratic Republic

President: Donald Trump

Religion

Christianity

≈74%

Language

English

≈95%

Currency

Dollar

$10.00 = €8.45

Location

North America

Bordered by Canada and Mexico

Bordering The Atlantic & The Pacficic

Food

Apple Pie

Hamburgers

Climate

Overall temperate

Varies greatly by region

Cost

Beer ≈ $4.00

Cheeseburger = $4.50

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Not-So-Quick Facts

Present Day Snapshot

A deep division: In 2020 The United States is a divided country both politically and ideologically. The election of Donald Trump in 2016 was a disaster for the country. Not only was a minority permitted to elect an incompetent leader, but the leader they elected promoted hate, backwards thinking, violence, homophobia, racism, and misogyny.

The MAGA followers of Trump can be likened to a cult. They believe those who do not support Trump are part of a massive conspiracy and that it is us against them.

The president encourages this line-drawing thinking and has seeded hate throughout his years in the office.

Police violence is high in The U.S. Hundreds of people are shot and killed at the hands of police officers annually, often these people are of color and often they are unarmed.

Blacks are five times more likely to go to jail than whites, often for drug crimes that are more often committed by whites.

Women’s rights and LGBTQ rights are being threatened.

We have a lot of work to do.

Follow Laws

Identification: Police are not allowed to randomly stop civilians on the streets and ask for ID unless the people are within 100 miles of a foreign border or have committed a crime.

Drugs: Marijuana is slowly being legalized or decriminalized across the country, laws vary from state to state. Check this map. Any other hard drugs are outlawed and possession or selling can result in persecution and imprisonment.

Alcohol: 21 is the legal drinking age in The U.S.. There are only a few cities that allow on-street drinking.

LGBTQ: Same-sex relationships are legal across the United States. Unfortunately, many conservative “Trumpian” areas of the country are less than friendly towards LGBTQ people and these areas should be visited with caution.

Stay Safe

Generally speaking, The United States is a very safe country for travelers.

In larger cities travelers may be victim to petty theft on the streets. Bags should be watched in crowded tourists areas like Hollywood or Times Square. Cars should be locked when left and no valuables should be left in plain sight.

There are parts of the country, namely the conservative south, which are not friendly to anyone who is “different.” This could mean anyone who is not white, anyone who speaks a foreign language or English with an accent, or LBTQ people. These areas of the country should be visited with caution as hate crimes do occur.

Tourists are often concerned with the prevalence of guns in The U.S. While gun violence does occur, tourists have statistically low chances of being a victim of such crimes.

Historical Snapshot

Founding: The United States of America as we know it today dates back to 1776.

Origins: Though inhabited for thousands of years, the land which we now refer to as The United States of America was conquered by English settlers in the early 1600’s.

Recent History: With victories in the first and second world wars, The USA became a world superpower throughout the early 20th century. The United States has for its existence been a battleground for civil and women’s rights campaigns, progress, and missteps. The 1960’s and 70’s saw the U.S. engage in the disastrous Vietnam War and transition away from a factory focused economy.

Clothing Rules

There are no laws regarding dress anywhere in The United States.

The fashion police though, will say you should not wear white after Labor Day (a holiday in early September).

American English

Remote Control: Clicker in the Northeast

Water fountain: Bubbler in Wisconsin

Soft serve ice cream: Creeme in Vermont

Soda: Pop in the midwest, Coke in the south

A lot/many: Mad in New York/New Jersey

two women sitting on a fence on UCLA campus in sumer
Los Angeles
red barn next to two silos against blue sky
Vermont
pier leading out into ice cold blue water ocean
Massachusetts

My Time in The USA

California

I worked for a summer on The UCLA campus. I was excited to see L.A. but was confused about where the public transportation was.

Florida

From the time I was born I have had family in Florida. My grandmother was in Delray Beach and my uncle still lives in West Palm Beach.

Maryland

I went to college in Baltimore county. The school I went to is called Goucher and is in a wealthy suburb, so I was not in The Wire.

New York

New York is often where I 'go back to' when returning to The U.S. I lived in the city off and on and also lived upstate in Ithaca working on a congressional campaign.

Pennsylvania

The summer after my sophomore year in college I lived, worked, and rode on a horse farm in Pennsylvania.

Vermont

Born and raised, I am a product of "The 802." I grew up in The Mad River Valley and have never lived anywhere else in Vermont - though I've certainly visited.

Washington

I spent several weeks just outside of Seattle when I house and dog sat for a wonderful couple with two dogs.

row of brown buildings
Seattle
blue sky with woman in middle looking back at camera
Denver
fullsizeoutput_20bb
New York City

Additional Resources

LGBTQ

 

 

BIPOC

 

 

Accessibility

 

 

Locals

 

 

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Michigan
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Chicago
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Portland

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