This Is How People Around The World Feel About Traveling To The US Now
"I want to visit a country that’s at its peak, to experience the best of the best. Right now, the US isn’t at its peak."
We heard from close to 2,000 people. While obviously we can't include all the responses, here are some that represent the diverse range of perspectives people shared.
1. "I cancelled my plans after the election result because being brown I am not sure how safe I will be."
2. "Now that Trump is president, I still want to go there — but it definitely has changed my perspective."
I always wanted to go to the US because it is a fascinating country to me. The culture there has influenced my daily life so much. I watch American TV shows, movies, I read American books, I eat American food.
Now that Trump is president, I still want to go to there — but it definitely has changed my perspective. I am worried about what is still to come under his presidency, and the recent events (like the Muslim ban) are very alarming. However, I don't think this should discourage people from going and discovering the US, despite President Trump. If his actions get even more discriminatory and non-tolerable in the future, I can imagine not going there in solidarity.
—Laura, 22, Austria
3. "I feel zero difference."
I've been to the US twice: a four-month international exchange program in 2011 (as a student you can go to the US for a summer and work as a waitress, cashier, housekeeper etc.) and then I took a vacation trip in 2014.
I feel zero difference. The election did not affect my take on traveling to the US by any means. As long as I can get a visa and am able to travel overseas financially, I'm OK.
—Yana, 24, Russia
4. "I was considering moving to the US to do a postgraduate degree ... I applied to Canada instead."
5. "I don't know if it's changed since the election... It sort of feels like it's been building up since long before then."
Obviously I'm a bit apprehensive about it. There's generally a bad vibe towards foreigners, it would seem. I mean, I'm from Africa, and even though I'm way down south in Zimbabwe, I could be thought to have some terrorist affiliation with Boko Haram all the way up north or something like that. The ignorance is the problem, and I wonder if it's not better for me to stay here.
But, c'mon, it's America! It's supposed to be the promised land and all that; I want to go to college there, work there, experience the cultures, although that might not really be possible with how things currently are. I don't know if it's changed since the election... It sort of feels like it's been building up since long before then. There's no smoke without fire, and the fire didn't just flare up immediately as the election results came in. Collectively as a nation, there's a deep problem in the US, I feel.
—Rufaro, 18, Zimbabwe
6. "I'm white and have a clean police record."
I would love to visit America. The country hasn't changed overnight...and besides, I'm white and have a clean police record. I'd be 100% fine. People make such a big deal about it.
—Greg, 17, Australia
7. "I'm not going to put myself or my family at risk ... just because I want to buy a cute top or a guitar that I can buy here in my country."
8. "I'm 15 and will be traveling internationally by myself for the first time. I was excited at first, but since Trump's been elected president, I'm worried."
In August I got into a Parsons intensive summer program. I'm 15 and will be traveling internationally by myself for the first time. I was very excited at first, but since Trump's been elected president, I'm worried that I may not be safe or that I may get held up at immigration.
I was nervous to go as it is, but considering the fact that I've never had to go through immigration alone before, this just adds to the pressure. I'm even having to rethink college options for when the time comes.
—Bhavana, 15, India
9. "One man does not represent the whole nation."
One man does not represent the whole nation (especially one who did not win the popular vote)! The people and the country are fundamentally the same. However much I disagree with what Trump is doing, I am still going to be traveling to the US this year.
—Will, 18, UK
10. "I have had poor experiences with TSA already ... and I am confident that this will only get worse."
11. "I always feel welcome."
I've come to New York at a tourist very year since 2001. My feelings about coming to the US haven't changed. I'm not impacted by the travel ban. I always feel welcome, even in interaction with the USCIS staff at the border.
—Matt, 25, New Zealand
12. "I just don't feel safe knowing that Trump has such strong opinions about the Chinese, and he's very unpredictable."
I'm more wary of traveling to the US even though I have a US passport (my dad was a US citizen). I just don't feel safe knowing that Trump has such strong opinions about the Chinese and he's very unpredictable — so who knows what can happen. Since Trump is so confident being a racist, racism just becomes a bigger deal. I've come to the US almost every year for summer school, to visit my sister at university in LA (okay, fine, I was there for Disneyland), and to visit my grandma in San Francisco. So thanks to Trump, I'm reconsidering my entire future.
—Gabi, 16, Hong Kong
13. "I feel like I shouldn't speak Hebrew aloud there for my own safety."
14. "I don't think it's about religion."
I've been to the US before to visit family and friends. I don't feel any different about traveling there now. Lots of other Muslim-majority countries were not on the travel ban list, so I don't think it's about religion. As a person of color and a religious minority (but not Muslim), I still think I would have a similar experience in the US compared to before.
15. "We had [a wall] in Germany if y'all remember — and no one liked it."
I am going to graduate next year and wanted to take a gap year before I start university. A couple of friends and I had plans to do a road trip around America because of its beautiful nature. But we don't feel welcomed anymore.
My friends and I are all immigrants or daughters/sons of immigrants from eastern countries (I am originally from Turkey). Even though I am not affected by the travel ban, I don't want to travel to a country that decides to ban people to enter because of their heritage. America is a country of immigrants and yet it's planning on building walls. (We had one in Germany if y'all remember — and no one liked it.)
I am Muslim and after hearing all the terrible things Trump and his supporters say about us and hearing about the hate crimes against Muslims, I don't feel safe. I don't think I will travel to the US during Trump's presidency.
—Pakize, 18, Germany
16. "I still think that your country is bigger than him."
17. "There are far too many other wonderful places in the world."
I definitely feel a bit wary of visiting the US now. The rhetoric coming out seems to be quite hostile towards foreigners. I remember thinking the other day that maybe I wouldn't have a bad experience ’cause I don't look Arab/Muslim and then questioning why on earth that should matter. I don't want to spend my money or vacation days in a place that's becoming more and more hostile to people based entirely on race or religion. There are far too many other wonderful places in the world.
18. "A country isn't about one man — it's about its culture, its people, its landscape."
I still dream about traveling to the US, even if I'm not happy with Trump being president. A country isn't about one man — it's about its culture, its people, its landscape, etc. So if I can, I will definitely come to the USA!
—Cindy, 28, France
19. "It makes me feel a lot more at ease seeing all of these positive examples of involvement and knowing that the majority of Americans aren't on board with President Trump's policies."
20. "Being foreign and doing geoscience in the USA with this administration seems like a bad idea."
I'm in the US now, finishing my PhD this spring. I have a Russian wife and a daughter born in the US, and I'm looking for a job: my #1 priority is not in Russia, #2 not in the US. Speaking about work — being foreign and doing geoscience in the USA with this administration seems like a bad idea.
For travels I don't think there will appear any problems, but ... without any urgent needs, I would prefer not to travel simply to avoid risks. So no travels here for a year or two, until impeachment.
21. "I don't want to support any place that would put this idiot in charge, but would also like to see a bit more of the country before the eventual apocalypse."
My wife and I booked flights to San Francisco a few weeks ago, but I'm still pretty uncomfortable about the whole thing. I don't want to support any place that would put this idiot in charge, but would also like to see a bit more of the country before the eventual apocalypse.
To be perfectly honest, we're both white, so I don't really expect any issues. I feel terrible saying that, but it is what it is.
—Reid, 39, Australia
22. "I'm scared to get refused at the border because of my name, which is Arabic."
23. "Why should we visit a country where half my family would be discriminated against for the color of their skin or their sexual orientation?"
The main reason I would travel to the USA is for tourism and I refuse to contribute in any way, shape, or form to Trump's economy. Schadenfreude, I suppose — let his boasts of improving the economy crash and burn in a fiery ball of despair and disaster (hopefully without affecting those already under threat during his term).
I have a multicultural, blended family — is their safety and inclusivity assured? My mother is gay — for how long are her civil rights going to remain protected under that utter waste of oxygen? Why should we visit a country where half my family would be discriminated against for the color of their skin or their sexual orientation? Once there is a leader back in office who is somewhat sane, not pathologically self-serving or paranoid and who values the inclusivity of all citizens, I would love to visit — until then, there are several other countries to explore.
—Jessica, 24, South Africa
24. "Trump is targeting all immigrants, not just illegal immigrants."
I've gone to the US every year since I was 10 months old, for vacation and to study. Now I feel anxious about traveling there. Trump is targeting all immigrants, not just illegal immigrants. It doesn't even matter your education level. He may not be targeting my country or region now, but based on his rhetoric it seems inevitable.
—Ann, 28, Bahamas
25. "I've been held in detention centers for hours, subjected to incredibly intrusive and humiliating screening."
26. "As a black African Muslim woman, I'm everything Trump seems to find scary."
I've been to the US for conferences, to visit family and work interviews. I also traveled in November to experience the elections.
As a black African Muslim woman, I'm everything Trump seems to find scary. Additionally, another engineer was held up at customs and made to prove himself. I would honestly think thrice about returning to the US anytime soon. I would rather avoid the indignity of being returned at the border and deported.
—Zee, 32, Nigeria
27. "It would be the worst sort of insult to just stop going."
I've been to the US before for work. I'd still travel there and I'll still continue to travel there regardless of who is currently president (even if I really disagree with him). My boyfriend lives there, is willing — and just might — die for the place. It would be the worst sort of insult to just stop going solely due to a president that some people find less than desirable. Heck, I'd live there, even under Trump's dominion.
—Natalia, 21, Belarus
28. "People in Malaysia keep saying that maybe we'll get put on the Muslim ban list."
29. "I've heard stories about [issues on entry into the US] for the past 10–15 years, and I doubt it's gotten easier."
I'm worried. I am Swedish but of Turkish origin, with a very un-Western name, from a Muslim family. Beyond that, I've studied English for 20 years and while white-ish in skin tone I still do look like I'm from the Middle East/North Africa, which I've heard from several friends who look relatively similar to me causes issues upon entry into the US. I've heard stories about this for the past 10–15 years, and I doubt it's gotten easier or more lenient post-election.
—Özgür, 27, Sweden
30. "I hope our trip will be without any racial discrimination and that we will make more friends than enemies."
Honestly speaking, I'm still excited to visit America. My trip is planned for April, and I will be traveling with my niece and best friend. Although there will be three of us, I am somewhat scared because we are of Indian descent and with the recent shooting and killing of Indians ... it has made things more apprehensive. But all in all, I hope our trip will be without any racial discrimination and that we will make more friends than enemies.
—Nishita, 27, Fiji
31. "I want to visit a country that's at its peak, to experience the best of the best. Right now, the US isn't at its peak."
32. "I am petrified."
I am petrified. I am planning to go the States for my undergrad study this August, and this past month I saw a Facebook post where some college students had written "Go back to your country #Trump" outside the door of a Nepalese student's room. The recent ... hate crimes against immigrants in public settings (especially against Latinos — many people thought my family and I were Latinos during our last visit) makes me worry for my family's safety during our next visit.
33. "I think what Trump is doing is what heaps of countries have already been doing for a while."
I live in Australia and nobody can stay illegally here; it's much worse than in the US. I think what Trump is doing is what heaps of countries already have been doing for a while. It didn't change anything for me because I only go for vacation and recreation. But I do love that place — hope he's not as crazy as he sounds sometimes. Anyway, God bless America :)
—Luiz, 26, Brazil
34. "We are protesting with our wallet."
35. "Boycotting the US may sound like a good idea, but I can tell from experience that a country really suffers when tourism is low."
I still really want to go to the US, especially New York, and though the idea that Trump is president makes me want to barf and cry at the same time, I have learned, as a Parisian, that the beauty and the interesting parts of a country should not be affected too much by what is actually happening there.
Boycotting the US may sound like a good idea, but I can tell from experience that a country really suffers when tourism is low, and I want to respect the numerous people who voted against the Pumpkin. I send you a lot of love and courage — never let fear take you down!
—Leah, 20, France
36. "I'm more scared of legal weapons."
I feel a bit awkward because I think he's like our Berlusconi, but I think he won't affect tourism, at least not for me or my country. I don't share his racist ideals and I believe it was the worst choice America could have in this election, but I'll surely visit the US someday. I'm more scared of legal weapons.
—Martina, 27, Italy
37. "They fear us for being 'potential terrorists,' but we're the ones being terrorized here."
38. "I'm putting my American dream on hold indefinitely."
I'd booked my return tickets to NYC for March this year way before the election. Even if I hadn't, I doubt the election results would've changed my mind about traveling to the US. However, the results did change my mind about wanting to work in the US — at least within the next five years.
It has been my lifelong dream to work and live in the US, because I believed the narrative of the American dream, where anyone from anywhere can find a place to call home in the land of the free. So of course this decision breaks my heart.
But recent events following Trump's election made me realize I had been buying into a caricature of the American ideal. There are many parts of American culture I have yet to viscerally understand, including inherent racism which will inevitably affect me since I'm not white, and are far too complex for me to want to spend my energy on at this period in my life. I will be better off putting that energy into furthering my career in another country.
I'm putting my American dream on hold indefinitely, because I don't want to be a second-class citizen and constantly worry about getting deported. Everything is a compromise, and no country is perfect. But it would be hilariously sad and ironic if I were to lose that basic degree of freedom in a country whose very foundation is the value of freedom itself.
—Grace, 26, Singapore
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.