Americans have a reputation for being ignorant of world history, and perhaps with good reason. When your country is the most powerful and wealthy in the world you expect other people to learn about you.
But when you’re a traveler that tendency tends to hamper your understanding of foreign cultures. US culture is unique in that it places relatively little importance on history. It can be a bit of a shock to discover that people around the world still care very deeply about events that transpired hundreds of years ago.
Learning the history of the country you’re visiting enriches your experience and helps you connect with people more easily. You endear yourself to others when they can see you’ve taken time to learn about their culture before visiting. It’s a sign of respect.
Here are five ways you can give yourself a crash course in foreign history.