When I lived in Sweden for study abroad, I met a Kurdish man. A Swedish young woman translated to me what he had to say -- that because I was an American and because of the way Americans acted in the part of U.S. foreign policy that was relevant to him, he expressed a high opinion of Americans and, by extension, me.
I am trying to imagine this Kurdish man's opinion of Americans now, especially in light of what President Trump did to the Kurds who were fighting alongside the Americans in Syria. Thinking about this man, I feel really sad.
U.S. foreign policy strongly affects how American travelers and visitors are seen throughout the world. Somehow, when Americans travel abroad, we carry with us the policies and actions that U.S. leaders have implemented and are seen as the representatives of those leaders. However, these are not normal times. I hope that people abroad can see that everyday Americans are not necessarily aligned with the President's policies.