With the presidential election fast approaching, many of us — myself included — can’t help but worry that the seemingly impossible might actually happen: Donald Trump could become president.
That scares the shit out of me and takes me back to traveling in the Bush era. A time when admitting I was American would launch foreigners into a criticism of what a terrible president the U.S. had, and how I should be ashamed to have voted in a president like that (never mind that I was too young to vote during both elections).
Then, something beautiful happened. While I was living in Malta in 2008, Obama became president. All of the sudden people in other countries were actually excited to hear that I was American. In Morocco, they gave me high fives and yelled “Obama!” In Malta, they shrugged and said “Huh, I didn’t think you guys would actually do it.” The world was excited about Obama. International sentiments towards the U.S. improved, and travel over the past 8 years has involved absolutely zero lies about my nationality.
If Trump becomes president, though, we international travelers might have to revert to the bygone days of hiding our nationality while abroad (“Yeah, uh, I’m from, uh, Vancouver…”). No more high fives from excited Moroccans. No more thumbs ups or nods of approval.
Just in case Trump becomes president, below are 6 countries you should visit before it happens:
Of course you knew this would be at the top of the list. Trump led his campaign with promises to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and — surprise, surprise — it hasn’t exactly done much to win approval in our southern neighbor.
If Trump is to become president and builds that wall (regardless of who funds it), the time in which we can amicably visit Mexico may be short.
Trump’s foreign policy proposals have left many fearful that a Trump presidency could seriously damage our relationship with Iran and upset the peace and stability currently in the region.
Fox News quotes Trump as saying “We will totally dismantle Iran’s global terror network,”… “Believe me.”
In response, a senior diplomat told The Guardian, “My big concern is that he has said he will tear up the nuclear deal with Iran. That would be catastrophic,”…“It was the biggest step forward in decades towards peace and stability in the Middle East and in counter-proliferation.”
Currently, you can travel to Iran and, from what I’ve heard from Iranian friends, it’s a beautiful country. In fact, luxury adventure travel company, GeoEx, is one of the few tour operators to run trips there if you’re not comfortable going it solo.
German newspaper, Spiegel, ran an article last February declaring Trump “The most dangerous man in the world,” in which they pointed out fascist characteristics and potential for inflaming global tensions.
However, they’re also quick to point out that this Trump sensation is made possible by the part of our population who have bought into his rhetoric.
Fair point, Germany, and I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to make it more difficult for radical, anti-everyone-else, Americans to visit.
4. The UK
Criticism of Trump is high in the UK. From cartoons on the front of magazines to pithy articles giving Trump emergency hair advice; it’s safe to say that Trump isn’t highly regarded in the UK.
Further, there’s real fear that his foreign policies could damage our relationship with this long-time ally. As a recent video posted by The Guardian states, “If Trump actually makes it to the White House… there’ll be a surge of what people will call anti-American-ism. People will mock the nation as dumb, vulgar, and aggressive. It’ll be like it was in the George W. Bush years, only much, much worse.”
Oh crap. London, here I come… because who knows when I’ll next be able to visit without being shamed for my passport?
5. Japan & South Korea
A Trump presidency could bring an end to the military support the U.S. provides for Japan and, as a result, instability in the region. As Van Jackson said in the Diplomat last year, “Trump’s stance toward allies like Japan and South Korea would not simply wreck those alliances, but destabilize Northeast Asia’s precarious balance.”
For travelers, I guess that means we’ll have to get our ramen and bibimbap fill in sooner than later.
Countries you should visit if Trump becomes president
On the flip-side, you might want to hold off on any trips to Australia or Canada. If Trump becomes president, both countries have been quoted saying they’ll happily take in American refugees fleeing a Trump presidency (and Jeff Cook will sell your home).
I hear Melbourne is quite lovely…
This article originally appeared on On Your Terms and is republished here with permission.