Those planning a trip to America might not know what to expect. The United States encompass a very large area, so it’s much more complex than what comes across on television. A good piece of US travel advice is to divide up the country by region. Two of the more complex and dynamic areas are those known simply as the north and the south. These areas have maintained a rivalry for hundreds of years, and can offer very different experiences to potential adventurers looking into North America travel.
While the American accent is fairly standard across the country, the starkest differences in speech exist between the north and the south, and this may surprise some visitors. In the north, people speak in a manner more similar to trained television personalities. There are, however, a few very distinct accents in New York City and Boston.
One of the strongest and most recognizable accents in all of America is the southern accent. Sometimes, this accent is so strong that it is difficult for those unaccustomed to hearing it to understand. It may sound surprising, but many people say that the southern accent has many similarities to some British accents.
Another piece of American travel advice: northerners use a very different vocabulary than their southern counterparts. One notable difference is in their names for carbonated beverages. In the north, it is generally referred to as pop, while in the south, it’s known as soda. This is just one example of the varying vocabulary between the north and south.
There are also some differences in standard manners. Anyone with America travel advice will say that southerners are renowned for their hospitality. This is not to say that northerners are rude; rather, southerners have held on to their traditions and are sometimes more formal. This means that strangers are addressed as “sir” or “ma’am”, and “Mister” or “Miss” is used before the first name of an acquaintance. While this level of formality might be off-putting to some northerners, it is meant to be respectful.
Southern gentlemen in particular are known for their manners. They still open doors for women as well as carry heavy items for them. Their intent is not to patronize in any way; rather, they mean to show respect for women and they consider this their duty. These acts are not as common up north, but that does not mean that northern gentlemen are rude, nor does it mean that a northern lady does not appreciate kind gestures.
As the southern states generally make up the area known as the “Bible Belt”, they are a little more conservative. Christianity is the predominant religion, and fundamentalists Christians are not rare. It is less common here than in other areas to see unmarried couples living together, for instance, and southerners may have stricter views of alcohol and gambling.
One notable difference between the north and the south today has to do with race relations. While the civil rights movement made great strides in America, blacks and whites still tend to keep to themselves in the south. Social clubs and societies are not always mixed, due to unwritten and sometimes written rules. In the north, one can usually find a more extensive mix of cultures and heritages from around the world.
Although they are both within America, the southern states and northern states can feel like entirely different countries. They have different ways of speaking, different customs, and different traditions. However, each area is full of friendly people and rewarding opportunities, making them enjoyable destinations for any traveler.