Good question! Ray is from San Fransisco and currently living in Prague where he is going to school to teach English.
He keeps us posted regularly in his own section called (oddly enough) "Ray in Prague".
He is excellent with answering any questions that you can post for him in "Questions for Ray" and is our own personal tour guide for anyone heading to Prague! If you are heading that way, get in contact with him!
Chances are, the minute you open your mouth people will be able to tell anyway. If that doesn't give it away, the mammoth pack on your back will! So don't worry about it, it's not a big deal. You will find people are proud of their countries, like you are of yours, and have no problem with the fact that you want to experience it.
Things not to do however are; talk very loud and call attention to yourself, compare your country to the country you're in when others can hear, or flash your money or valuables around.
On a less serious note, you want to be discreet - this will draw less attention to yourself and potentially save you from a thief picking off the unsuspecting tourist.
Carry small maps or the book form of a map rather than the fold out kind where everyone in a miles range can see that you are not from that city.
If you feel you could be in an uncomfortable position or area, keep the talking to a minimum to avoid everyone hearing you speaking English.
Keep valuables hidden - cameras and that sort of thing, keep locked in your daypack when not using them.
Most of all, try to experience where you are. Try and speak the local language, even if it's just a few words. Doesn't matter if they understand, they will appreciate you making the effort.
In the end, smiling and a friendly personality go a long way. Be open to new experiences.. just go with the flow.
Q: Should I be nervous traveling alone or to Europe as this is my first time and am not sure what to expect?
Of course you should be nervous, it's a big deal!
Should you let it turn you off of doing it? Of course not. Trust me on this one thing, the minute you land in Europe and your adventure begins, the nerves completely go away. It's very normal to feel nervous, anxious and overwhelmed - a week before we left on our big trip, I remember thinking "What the hell have I done? I've quit my job and am going to backpack around Europe?!" Needless to say, it was the best thing I ever did.
As far as travelling alone, I can also reassure you there as I've travelled alone. If you are staying in hostels and in dorm rooms, you will have no problem meeting people. Hostels are very social, so avoid hotels if you are going it alone and are wanting to meet people. Hanging out in the common rooms or in the bar/pub at the hostel is a good way to meet people, and for some reason, the kitchen is always an easy place to strike up conversation.