I’m currently writing to you from a wonderful McDonald’s in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil… Brazil is the 50th country that I’ve consumed McDonald’s around the world.
(UPDATE – now I’m at 57 countries)
Here is a recap of my day on Snapchat:
The 57 countries are:
USA, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Finland, France, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Germany, UK, Serbia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Georgia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Egypt, UAE, Macau, Qatar, Costa Rica, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Malta, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and counting!
I have proof of the majority of them via Snapchat stories, photos and receipts that I’ve saved over the years. Here is a Snapchat collage of me eating at a few recent McDonald’s:
Before I explain why I enjoy eating at McDonald’s so much, let’s look at some McCrazy facts:
35,000 – The number of locations around the world, second to only Subway for the most restaurants on earth.
118 – The number of countries that you can find the Golden Arches.
68 million – The amount of people that eat McDonald’s everyday
1.7 million – The number of employees worldwide
75 – The number of hamburgers McDonald’s sells every SECOND
BUT WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU EAT THAT FAST FOOD WHEN YOU’RE TRAVELING? YOU ARE CRAZY!
Haha.. Please let me explain.
Along with meeting local people from around the world, eating local foods is my favorite part about traveling. I shouldn’t have to explain why, because I’m certain that just about everyone reading this as obsessed with eating local foods as I am.
But when you travel full-time, and live out of a 40 liter backpack for 6 months nonstop, you’re only able to eat local foods for so long… In India, I could only stand curry for a few weeks before I got sick of it. In Korea, kimchi and rice is only good for so many consecutive days.
I eat local foods 95% of the time, but when I get sick of it, I resort to McDonald’s. And every time, it hits the spot.
For the remainder of this post, I will leave you with “10 Grand Reasons Why I Love Eating at McDonalds Around the World:”
1. Cultural Experience
The experience inside of a McDonald’s varies from country to country, and I find it fascinating. In some countries, like Korea for example, you’ll often see entire families out to dinner inside of a fancy McDonald’s restaurant. Yes, fancy – I’m talking about 60 inch Samsung TV screens, multi-level, lounges, and games for kids.
In the USA, it’s very rare to see entire families eating at McDonald’s – it’d be an embarrassment to be seen eating McDees in public.
In other countries, I’ve seen McDonald’s be the “hang out” spot for 20-somethings. And believe me or not, I’ve seen amazingly attractive employees in some McDonald’s (hello Japan, Serbia & Romania).
You just never know what you’re gonna get.
2. Free Wifi
Sometimes, I’ll go to McDonald’s just for the free wifi. I’ve never been to a McDonald’s without it, and for me, having wifi is essential because I work online.
Many countries don’t have a lot of free public wifi, and other countries have extremely slow signal speeds. McDonald’s solves both of those problems.
You can almost think of it like a café. Just grab some food (or just coffee), and bust out some work.
3. Different Menu Items
Almost each country has it’s own unique menu item(s) — catering to the taste buds of the local people.
Did you know that McDonald’s are vegetarian restaurants in India? I didn’t either, until I went and saw myself.
Some of my favorites local menu items that I’ve tried were:
– Bulgogi Burger in Korea
– Durian Smoothie in Singapore
– McSpaghetti in The Philippines
– McFalafel in Israel
– Samurai Pork Burger – Thailand
– Tartar balls – Romania (shown in photo below)
4. Clean Bathrooms
This one is a life saver. When I was traveling around India in 2015 and using squatter-toilets 75% of the time, I always saw McDonald’s as an opportunity to use a nice bathroom. They are always clean and maintained.
5. Save Money
If you’re a budget traveler like myself, then you’ll know how much money you can save by eating cheaply. Yes, it might not be the healthiest options, but there are alternatives to keep yourself healthy (hit the gym!).
I rarely spend more than $8USD on any meal, and you can pretty find anything on a McDonald’s menu for less than $8 (unless you’re in Norway, Switzerland or Finland…).
6. Good A/C
Tired of sweating your butt off after walking 5 miles around the city in the baking hot sun? You can be sure that there is A/C in every McDonald’s!
When I was in Cairo, I was sweating an entire layer through my shirt and it was completely stuck to my body. I couldn’t find A/C anywhere (including my hotel and taxis). I only saw it in high end restaurants and of course, McDonald’s.
I literally sat inside a McDonald’s in Cairo for 1 hour just to cool off. I remember doing this in Singapore as well. So necessary.
7. Taste of Home
McDonald’s is such a familiar taste to me, and somehow it satisfies my body.
You’re going to think I’m crazy for saying this, but sometimes when my stomach is upset or not feeling well , I will eat at McDonald’s to help me feel better. And it works. Maybe it’s just my subconscious, but I think the familiarity of my stomach has something to do with it.
8. Unique McFlurries
In Japan, try a Kit-Kat & Strawberry Mcflurry. Or how about a Pistachio in Italy? Almost every country has their own unique blend.
9. It’s Comfortable Inside
McDonald’s is a great place to relax after your body is exhausted from touring around a city. Most of them have TV’s or some kind of entertainment in the form of games.
I will often go to McDonald’s just to get a coffee and hang out to get some work done. What’s wrong with that?
10. The McDelivery
Did you know that you can order McDonald’s on the phone in 18 countries and they will deliver it straight to your door? I did this a few times in Korea and it was awesome.
And last but not least — It’s good
Yeah, I actually enjoy eating a Big Mac and fries. And not everything on the menu is so unhealthy – look into the chicken wraps or salads. Those are tasty too!
I hope after reading this article you can understand the reasoning behind why I love to eat at McDonald’s around the world.
I’m Lovin’ It.
Please comment with your thoughts and opinions!
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