The US sometimes get’s a bit of a bad rap from the rest of the world, but when you spend a bit of time here as a foreigner, you might find it’s not all that bad.

1. Fireworks

As an Aussie coming to the US from Down Under, where fireworks are banned (except in the Territory for 1 day of the year), I was so excited to find so many fireworks shops. When I first arrived here, it was a month after the 4th of July. We were in South Carolina and drove past a massive fireworks store. I had to go in. I got a couple of Roman Candles and some other crackers. 

I am like a little kid when it comes to letting fireworks! I light them and then I run like I’ve never run before.

My wife finds it quite entertaining (the running part, not the fireworks). Nothing brings quite as much joy as the flash, bang and explosion of colour as a mortar goes off overhead. It’s the sound of freedom!

2. Milkshakes

I’ve always loved thick shakes in Australia, I never wasted my time with milkshakes. I would get so frustrated when I asked if a place had thick shakes and they said, “I can put an extra scoop of ice cream in your milkshake.” No! That does not make it a thick shake! 

Red Velvet Milkshake

When I first got to America, I realized they didn’t have thick shakes! Why? How was I going to survive? Then I realized that their milkshakes are thick shakes! This after all is the land of extra sides and up sizes, they are not going to waste their time with some flavored milk. Thank you America for making milkshakes great again.

3. Free Refills

I’ve never been a drinker but I do like my soft drinks. And I know this is something that we have in Australia with Hungry Jacks, but in the US you get free refills just about everywhere! Not just at fast food places, but actual sit down restaurants. They will just keep on refilling that cup. It’s not till later on that evening when you keep going to the bathroom that you think, “How many cups of sweet tea did I actually drink?”

4. Tums

In most civilized countries around the world, we’ve realized that there are certain things that we just shouldn’t eat. They make us feel bad the next day or even that night. They give us indigestion.

But not in America! They invented this awesome pharmaceutical innovation called Tums. Now you can go out, eat like there’s no tomorrow, then when that stomach storm starts to stir, just pop a couple of Tums and you are good to go! Take that pepperoni pizza – you’re no match for Tums. The best part is that they taste like candy, so you can keep popping them all night.

I had some friends visit me in Florida for a couple days, so I took them to the Cheesecake Factory to sample all that’s good in this world. Afterwards, when they were feeling not so great – You know, lying on the floor clutching their belly kind of situation – I said, “Not to worry!” I gave them some Tums and they were right as rain in no time!

5. Cheap Gas (Petrol)

OK, I know this one’s not gonna go down with all that that’s going on about climate change at the moment. I completely get that in most countries they’re actually trying to increase the price of fuel, but it is so nice to be able to drive without having to worry how much it’s going to cost. In Australia we will fly long distances, but in America it is cheaper to drive. 

I’ve been able to drive on trips from South Florida to the Panhandle, Chattanooga Tennessee, and even as far is Greenville, South Carolina. I barely ever did any driving trips like that in Australia.

I nearly fell over when I first filled up my tank and it cost me just $25US.

Of course, there is a bunch of other more meaningful great things about America like the people (and the fact that my wife came from here) – but that’s for another post.

So while the US takes a few punches on the world stage, there is plenty to like about America. What are your favourite things about this great Nation?