During my travels I’ve got my own stereotypes redefined and have been faced with some pretty awkward moments. Having a Mexican checking my armpits for hair (stereotype: European girls don’t shave), or explaining my Italian roommate that polar bears and igloos are not normal sights in Norway. Greeting a German with “Heil Hitler” is not the best way to make new friends either (anyone had this one outside of Europe?)..

What about mapping all of these stereotypes? A couple of weeks ago I read an article about the graphic designer slash visual artist Yanko Tsvetkov who is doing exactly this. The London based Bulgarian artist is Mapping Stereotypes focusing on important political issues while making you laugh. These are a few of my favorite maps, and the artist is promising more maps coming up soon.

Where I live:

Europe according to USA:

Europe according to France:

Europe according to Germany:

Europe according to Italy:

Europe according to Britain:

Europe according to gay men:

To see more of his work check out his website. I’m hoping he finds a publisher for his stereotypes atlas, so that it can land under my Christmas tree..

Do you recognize your own imagined stereotypes or your own country in these maps? Which stereotype are you faced with the most?


Kathrine Opshaug Bakke Kathrine Opshaug Bakke, editor at Travelettes from 2009 to 2013, wrote this post. Originating from Norway, she has been living in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stockholm the past 6 years.

She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.

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