Having just been on a cruise in the Caribbean, with the majority of passengers being either American or Canadian, you get to learn a little bit of their way of life, their personalities, and how they interact with others. And I can tell you now, even though we’re a far older country than they both are, we have a lot to learn from them!

Speaking to them on the ship, they come across as far more open and positive with people. Never afraid to start a conversation with people in the lifts (elevators!), always joking and seeing the best of a bad situation. For example; we got held up in a tropical storm outside the port terminal for two hours due to a suspected hand grenade found in someones luggage (it later turned out to be a belt buckle which was the same size and appearance of a grenade!). Yet while we were stuck out there in the horrible weather, they were all joking, making conversation with us, not letting the situation ruin the start of the holiday. I know that if something like that happened here, the response would be far less friendly, far more agitated and far less reasonable.

When I look at our country, our demeanor and the way we go about our business, it makes us look so uptight, miserable, depressing and pessimistic. I think our country could benefit by being a bit more open, embracing and generally more cheerful, even in the face of all the negative news we’re having to face up.

We need to learn from these other countries and how they embrace life. A personality change for the country might even be able to turn things around in a positive way. Spending time with these people and those places has just reinforced my idea that I want to leave this country to move to America.