July 13, 2024

Bo Rapko

Family Gathering

17 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Love Living in the USA (written by a Canadian living in

17 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Love Living in the USA (written by a Canadian living in


Americans are a proud people. We’re proud of our country, our culture, and our language. One thing that might not be so obvious is how much we love living here. I’ve talked with many Americans who move to Canada and they have no idea what to do with themselves because they have no responsibilities or purpose in life (again, I’m looking at you Saskatchewan). To combat this problem, many Americans move immediately back into society as soon as possible by volunteering or helping others out however they can. It’s nice to see that our friendly nature extends beyond our own borders! I hope this helps demystify some things about living in America for foreigners like me!

17 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Love Living in the USA (written by a Canadian living in

You can’t order a coffee to go.

  • You can’t order a coffee to go.
  • You have to drink your coffee in a cup at the store and then throw it out when you’re done, because there’s no such thing as “to-go cups” in America.
  • Even if you live near an area where they do sell paper cups for coffee, they won’t be Starbucks branded ones–they’ll just be generic white or brown ones with no logo on them (if even that).
  • The only way this changes is if you’re buying from Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds; then you can get a Styrofoam cup with their logo printed on it (but still not one of those fancy plastic ones).

You just had your first snow of the season and are waiting for it to stop so you can go outside and shovel.

You’re just waiting for the snow to melt so you can go outside and shovel your driveway.

In Canada, we don’t have to worry about this. We just wait until spring when it will all melt on its own!

You’re really excited about putting on your Christmas lights, but you won’t get to do it until after Thanksgiving.

I’m sorry, but Christmas lights are not allowed to be put up until after Thanksgiving. That’s right, Americans have a national holiday that falls on the fourth Thursday of November every year and is celebrated by family and friends eating turkey together while watching football games.

If you’ve never had your entire city lit up with Christmas lights before (or if this is something that only happens in Canada), then consider yourself lucky because it will be one of the most magical moments of your life!

The best part of moving somewhere new is that you get to make all the rules up as you go along.

The best part of moving somewhere new is that you get to make all the rules up as you go along.

You’re not tied down by your past or your old culture, so you can create whatever kind of life makes sense for you. You can create your own customs and traditions, like eating peanut butter and jelly on white bread every day (it’s delicious). You can create your own language, like saying “y’all” instead of “you guys.” You can even create new music genres from scratch!

Everyone assumes that the smell at baseball games comes from the hotdogs and popcorn, but we know better.

The smell at baseball games is not just hotdogs and popcorn. It’s also the inside of a locker room, the inside of a shoe that hasn’t been cleaned in months, and even the inside of your car after you leave it in the sun all day. It’s like being stuck on a bus with a bunch of sweaty people who haven’t showered in weeks–and they’re all wearing deodorant!

It’s honestly one of those things that makes me miss Canada so much; I’ve never smelled anything like this anywhere else before or since I moved here four years ago (except maybe when I got off that school bus full of stinky soccer players). And it doesn’t just happen at baseball games either: every time I go grocery shopping or take public transport, there will inevitably be someone nearby whose BO is so strong that my eyes start watering from across the aisle!

Even with all the stereotypes about Canadians being polite and friendly

In Canada, we’ll wave at you when you’re in our car and you wave at us. In the US, it’s not as common to see people waving back at other drivers. If a Canadian sees another car with someone driving and waving at them, they’ll usually wave back as well. We don’t know what kind of person wouldn’t return the gesture–maybe they have something in their hand or are too busy looking at their phone? Who knows!

The stereotypes about Canadians being polite and friendly aren’t false; however there are exceptions to every rule…

When Americans move to Canada

There are a lot of things that Americans do that Canadians don’t get–and vice versa. As a Canadian living in the USA, I’ve noticed some things about American culture that may seem strange to you if you’ve never been here before. Here are some examples:

  • Americans love to talk about how friendly they are! They always want to make new friends and are always willing to help out their neighbors when they need it (even though sometimes this can be annoying).
  • Americans love volunteering! There’s no shortage of opportunities for people who want an excuse not only give back but also build their resume at the same time! If someone needs something done around town then there will always be someone willing to lend a hand without expecting anything in return because they’re just such nice people… except when they’re not being nice because then we call them “scam artists” or “psychopaths”.


I hope this has been an enlightening read for you. If there’s anything else you want to know about America, let me know in the comments below!