One of the more pervasive beliefs about traveling as an American is that you can expect judgment from locals and other travelers. There is a certain expectation that our divisiveness at home will follow us abroad; that when you tell your restaurant waiter where you’re from, you won’t get a “Cool, what state?” and a genuine smile, but instead a look that says, “I’m sorry,” and maybe a snarky comment about Trump.
While this may not stop you from traveling, it sometimes makes you hesitate, even for a microsecond, when you get the “where are you from” question. I wish I had known all along what I know now: No one will judge you on your passport unless you give them a reason. Other countries have their own problems, which loom much larger and closer.