USA vs South America

by | May 7, 2019 | Videos | 2 comments

To my American travelers out there, what are your favorite parts about being back in the U.S.A.? These are a few of mine that have stood out since I've been back. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.

I'm back in the USA for about 4 months, which will be longest amount of time I've spent in this country in years. Because as you know from watching my videos, I've spent most of the past 5 years in Central and South America, which I love! Our neighbor countries to the south have become a second home for me. Which makes being back in the USA give me a bit of reverse culture shock. But, there are a few things I love about being back, like for example…

  • I can leave the house with only a debit card and buy anything I need. A lot of places I visited in South America still exclusively use good old fashioned CASH. Good luck leaving the house without any!
  • I can watch The Office on Netflix. Which is like 90% of the reason to subscribe to Netflix in the first place.
  • American name brand candy, Double Stuf Oreos, Pepperidge Farm… I swear I've put on like 15 pounds since I've been back, but worth it. Speaking of food…
  • Chick Fil A. It's not just their pleasure, it's mine too!
  • Fountain drinks in restaurants. It's like South Americans have never heard of the concept of a free refill! All drinks are sold in bottles and cans.
  • Throwing my toilet paper in the toilet. That's no joke! In many parts of South America, you dispose of your toilet paper in a little stinky waste basket next to the toilet. I made a whole video about it called How To Poop In South America.
  • Drinking tap water. There were only a few cities I visited in South America where it was safe to drink unfiltered water straight from the tap. It's a convenience that I took for granted in the U.S.A.
  • Having 20 million options of peanut butter, barbeque sauce, and every other type of food you can imagine. Sometimes it's TOO many options, but rather than complain about that, let's just get better at making decisions.
  • Good service in restaurants. This isn't to say that I've NEVER had good service in South America, because that's not true, but it's definitely an aspect of dining out that is emphasized more in U.S.A. than anywhere I traveled in South America.
  • Cashback when paying with a debit card. I use a PayPal debit card and there are no PayPal ATMs. I can use other banks' ATMS but there's often a fee, so cashback is the primary way that I get cash when I'm in the U.S.A. However, I've never seen it offered anywhere in South America.
  • Drivers that follow the rules of the road. I mean, they do for the most part in U.S.A.. Drivers still suck everywhere, but people definitely follow the rules of the road a lot more here in U.S.A. than anywhere in South America that I've ever driven.
  • The Internet here is so fast! Y'all don't know how well you have it when your local coffee shop offers 100 Mbps speeds. In Baños Ecuador I was struggling to find a place with 2 Mbps. It sometimes took me HOURS to upload videos. (Although I do love Baños! Watch my videos from there about Neighbors Who Bathe Together and The Swing at the End of the World

No country is perfect, but I don't want to focus on the negative today. And although it seems that a lot of my favorite parts about being back in USA have to do with eating junk food, I do love my country for a lot more reasons than that! These are just the ones that have stood out the most since I've been back.

To all you American travelers out there, what are your favorite parts about being back in the USA? What would you add to this list? Drop a comment below and let me know.

If you like it then you should've put a Pin on it!

Love this video and want to share it to your favorite travel boards? Use my special Pinterest friendly graphics below.

United States vs South AmericaLiving in USA vs South AmericaUSA vs South America


  1. Elizabeth

    I have been in South America now and I am really missing some American snacks like Cheez-Its! Definitely miss the free,clean tap water too!

    • Paul @ Travel is Life

      Where are you Elizabeth?

      btw – Medellin was the only city I can recall I’d visited in South America where you can drink the tap water.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Paul @ Travel is Life

Paul @ Travel is Life

Hey it's Paul Drecksler the founder of Travel is Life. Thank you for being here (wherever you are). Be sure to join my Friends List for some exciting things coming soon on this website. If you're a travel blogger, vlogger, or photographer, join our Travel is Life Creators community. Happy travels!