From 1983 to 2002, I have been in the UK, Ireland and many countries in Western Europe, Australia and NZ
. I never recall a significant problem or being scared from being an American. BUT I try to keep my appearance low key, no flags or pins or clothing that clearly said "I AM AN
AMERICAN". I try to use some of local language, beheave responsibably (only getting drunk once in a while
), try to see things not the hot spots for Ugly American tourists, say in simple lodgings (inexpensive motels, youth hostels), use local transit and trains, get good info from tourist info offices and studied before I left. I often talked about politics and culture of the USA at the time and leared a lot from those in the Country I was visiting in. Yes, today it may be a little different due to the policies of the Bush II
administration. One shouldn't be ashamed of being an American or have to use a cover of being Canadian. Probably if your a blantent Red State Republican without a well rounded education or much of an open mind, then stick to Florida rather than France.