3 ways the US has changed, according to a couple that has spent the last 2 years travelling

Courtesy Great Big GlobeMatt and Alana Elderbrook in Spain.

The INSIDER Summary:

• Matt and Alana Elderbrook spent two years travelling the world before returning to the US.
• They noticed changes in America’s political climate and eating habits.
• They also realised how busy people are in the US.

In the two years that Matt and Alana Elderbrook spent travelling around the world and blogging for Great Big Globe, they encountered other cultures, sampled global cuisine, and learned a lot about themselves.

When they returned to the US after their journey, having only come back once for the holidays nine months into their trip, they saw their own culture, cuisine, and values through fresh eyes.

They noted three major changes:

1. American politics are a hot mess.

Without reliable access to news sources on the road, the Elderbrooks experienced a rude awakening when they were thrust back into the election news cycle.

“It felt like from a political standpoint the US had gotten — it almost felt enraged,” Matt told INSIDER. “Each side, left or right, is 100% all the way. It felt like there was no common ground… Witnessing what has taken shape over the course of two years was really kind of shocking.”

2. Healthy eating is more mainstream.

When it comes to grass-fed meat and organic produce, “If you’re not doing it, you’re abnormal, almost,” said Matt. “We tried to eat healthy on the road when we could, but coming back it’s actually been a lot easier. Before it might have been really expensive to eat that way, and now there’s just a lot more options.”

3. Americans have fallen into the ‘busy trap.’

Settling back into their old group of friends, Matt and Alana have noticed that everyone always seems rushed, and focused more on work than their own enjoyment.

“People brag about how much they work and how busy they are,” Alana said. “I hope that in 30 years from now they don’t regret it. I was one of those people before and I don’t think I ever realised it.”

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