I stumbled across this on Quora so I thought I’d pass it along:
Two years ago I traveled with my girlfriend all over the USA. We started our journey in New York and arrived in Los Angeles by bus. Travelling by a bus allowed us to take a closer look at America. On the way we stopped in Indianapolis, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix. USA turned out to be much bigger than we expected. There everything was big, overwhelming. In the stores there was a huge selection of goods, which have no equivalents in Europe. The USA was a strange experience for us because on the one hand we knew this country from the movies and that’s why we had more ideas about it than about some unknown country and at the same time this country was completely different than the image we had in our mind. In the province people are very open, very curious about the world and at the same time do not know the world. When we said that we live in France, we were asked strange questions such as whether there are cats in France….The USA is a country of extraordinary diversity of landscape, huge spaces, full of colors. I really admired the American province, small towns. The biggest disappointment was Los Angeles.There are a lot of people with guns in Texas. I’ve been thinking about why they go in public with these guns all this time….Do they feel safe because of this or are the streets in Texas so dangerous?
I first became aware of this decades ago when a Brit friend spoke blithely about driving from Atlanta to Chicago. Just because you can go by train or car from London to Bristol or Manchester in a couple of hours doesn’t mean the same is true of the U. S. Most visitors stay in the big cities which also gives them a distorted view of the U. S.
Heck, the problem extends to Americans as well. IMO people from the Northeast would do well to take a driving trip across the U. S. Stay off the interstates. It might give you a different view of the country.