What Foreigners Really Think Of Australians
The Secret Traveller
By The Secret Traveller
Relax: everyone likes us. Well maybe not everyone, but the vast majority of the people you meet overseas only have good things to say about Australians.
They think we’re relaxed, they think we’re funny, and they think our political system is kind of bonkers (“Wait… You guys have another Prime Minister? Or was he the old one?”).
But we’ve also developed something of a reputation over time. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. Here’s what the world really thinks about the humble Aussie.
It’s always nice to find that across the globe, Aussie workers are in demand – whether that’s at accounting firms in London or at ski resorts in Canada. Australians have a reputation for being hard workers, for getting our heads down and just getting the job done with a minimum of fuss. We drink a lot, we joke around, but we also know when it’s time to get serious.
You can probably thank Crocodile Dundee for this one. The iconic, laconic Aussie has spawned a worldwide reputation for not taking anything too seriously. People across the globe still think of Australians as being laidback – we’ll make a joke out of anything; nothing seems to faze us. And we wrestle crocodiles.
This is a reputation brought on by ourselves, by the busloads of antipodean travellers drinking their way around Europe, by the hordes of backpackers boozing it up in South-East Asia, and by the drunks doing nude runs around North American ski resorts on Australia Day. Everyone knows that Australians like a drink.
We’re from England. Or New Zealand. Or Austria
When you go overseas you realise that, while we might think we’re a big player on the world stage, no one really knows too much about Australia. Most people hear our accents and think we’re English. Some might confuse us with our Kiwi neighbours – or not even know that we’re separate countries. Others still will be convinced we’re from a small country in Western Europe and just speak English really well.
Put pretty much any nationality together in a large group and send them overseas and they’ll become painfully obnoxious. That’s what happens with Australians too, often the big busloads getting around Europe, or the groups in Bali. We can be just as loud and demanding as Americans are supposed to be. And don’t get me started on “Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie”…
We Have Great Accents
Americans, in particular, love an Aussie accent. You might think the novelty would wear off at some point, but you’d be wrong. Go into almost any bar in the US and order a drink and someone within earshot will comment on what a great accent you have. And you’ve made a new friend. About the only people who seem to be over it are the English.
“Oh my God, isn’t it really dangerous there?” So say most people you meet who’ve never been to Australia and picture it as a land overrun with deadly snakes and poisonous spiders and drop bears and hoop snakes and anything else you can think of that’s out to kill you. People think we’re hardcore just for living in a country like that. Shh… Why ruin the perception?
You know it, I know it, and everyone else knows it. Wherever you go in the world, from London to Lagos, Cape Town to Kathmandu, you’re bound to run into another Aussie traveller. We love hitting the road – it’s part of our culture, it’s in our blood. We go for a short time, we go for a long time. We go near and we go far. But we always go. And the rest of the world knows it.
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