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Old 03-08-2012, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,860 posts, read 7,809,283 times
Reputation: 9487

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
For some people it's a choice. I've known plenty of people who were more interested in nicer houses, more expensive cars, and the latest electronic gadgets than travelling outside the country. But for a lot of people it's not a matter of priorities, it's a matter of the money and time simply not being there. You can be the most practical person in the world in regards to owning "stuff", but if you still only make enough to barely scrape by, no amount of frugality will help you make that trip to Europe that you want so badly. Another poster mentioned managing to take trips despite only making $55,000 per year. To a lot of people, $55,000 is practically rich. In fact, a lot of people I know are lucky to make half that much, many others not even a third.
You missed my point. It is not that travel is a choice. It is that all of life is a choice. People choose to apply themselves in school, study and complete their homework (or not). People choose to get married (or not). People choose to have children (or not). People choose to go the doctor or emergency room when they experience symptoms of illness (or not). People choose to smoke, drink, and eat fatty food (or not). People choose to exercise (or not). People choose what they watch on TV and whether they read (or not). People choose how they apportion their income (regardless of amount) to living accommodations, transportation, child rearing, insurance, clothing, entertainment, food, education, savings, "toys" and yes, even travel. While there are indeed many things out of our control (e.g., IQ, our parents, whether we are genetically programmed for illness, a poor economy, to name but a few), even then we have a choice as to how we view and handle the cards life has dealt. This just a small sampling of the choices we all have - get my drift?

I have made and continue to make all those choices and many more. So has every poster here. And as a result, we are each living with the consequences of those choices. Some of these consequences are that some people may not have as much time and money to spend on things such as travel as they would if they had made different choices in life. We all must also live with the consequences of how we choose to prioritize and apportion our income, regardless of amount. While you and others are free to differ with me, I consider anyone who claims otherwise is embracing their victimhood.

Last edited by Pine to Vine; 03-08-2012 at 04:55 PM..
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:14 PM
 
Location: NY
269 posts, read 335,915 times
Reputation: 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Exactly, Americans are over-extended and our buying power is still mired in the mid-1990s due to little salary increase and increased cost of living (for those currently working).
America! ****....... yeah?

In 2010, 93 percent of income gains went to the top 1 percent - The Washington Post
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:41 PM
 
195 posts, read 560,032 times
Reputation: 326
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
Who the hell am I judging? I simply said that despite the bad economy, there's still people in this country with the means to spend on vacations as indicated by the fact that while tourist traffic is down, I still find plenty of crowds at domestic travel destinations. Not all of them are rich(and not all of them are from foreign countries) for example, people I know in fairly blue collar/middle class jobs still take their families on vacations. I never said they should take their families to a foreign country instead--I'm saying that I personally would rather travel internationally on occasion and can do so for a similar cost. As far as people saving up for trips, I'm sure many do, just as I've done in my life.



Well if anything this thread is better than the usual CityData threads where a bunch of Republicans show up claiming to be self-made multi-millionaires who've succeeded without help from anyone ever. Yes, we are all well aware of the realities of the economy right now.. I've got plenty of family members out of work. I'm not rich, I barely make over 55,000 a year. All I've been saying--and I'm not sure why this is so upsetting to some people--is that if you so desire, it's not that difficult for some of us to travel internationally on a budget given you have time off from work. That's it.

I understand that the economy is rough right now. Even when the economy was better however, Americans still traveled less than other nationalities. I've been in places in Latin America(prior to the recession) where I'd meet plenty of Canadians, Australians, and Europeans who would wonder why Americans--with so much wealth and so close by--weren't there in droves. It's simply a different culture and attitude here. And honestly I don't care about how Americans spend their money or if they have no desire to travel. I understand, it's just not something a lot of people want to do or not everyone has the means to do so. But don't try to make me look like an a**hole, because I choose to travel with a portion of my disposable income. I'm not insulting anyone on here, unlike your bitter posts. I don't feel guilty because I choose a profession I can fairly easily find work in and can find a employer who provides vacation time... Stop trying to turn this into some class-warfare thread.
I'm not turning it into a class warfare thing at all, there's been no quoting of Che Guevara in any of my posts.

What I'm saying that there's a ton of things OTHER than will that contribute to Americans not being the globetrotters that the Europeans are.

A great example is Michael Moore's "Sicko", where he goes to other countries and shows all the things that the British, French, etc. . . don't have to obsess about in their daily lives that we Americans do. They even get a ton of maternity leave when they have children and doctors who come to their houses when they're sick.

In general, most Americans don't have that security. I wish we did. We in general live in fear of losing everything, especially if we're not completely self-made.

If we had the type of security in our lives where our lives were SOLELY about quality of live vs. having to overwork for basic needs like health care, you'd see Americans have a totally different mentality about everything, including travel.

I agree that some people chose to buy things they couldn't afford back when the economy was good, but the thing is. . . they couldn't afford those things. That's why they got everything on credit. It's not like they could afford the "McMansions", cars, TV's, etc. . . They couldn't afford that stuff either, but the banks gave them loans for them so that they could "possess" stuff they couldn't actually afford to buy.

So, it's not like they could have eschewed the houses, cars, etc. . . for trips to Europe. They NEVER actually had the money to begin with. At least with houses and cars, they could PRETEND that they had the money and keep up appearances, but it's not like they could ask Chase Manhattan for a subprime loan to go to Sweden or something.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
When I encounter histrionics on CD, I typically tune out. There are just a few gems I'll pick up and comment on before saying farewell:

Life is about choices. You've made yours. I've made mine. There are consequences. It's not my problem that they way you've elected to lead your life and allocate resources precludes you from feeling you can travel extensively. Nor is this anyone else's problem. Deal with it and move on.

I don't have to. Take a gander:

If you are not familiar with the quote "Methinks thou doth protest too much," google it.

Finally, about your excessive "name-calling": When a poster resorts to name-caliing, it is at that point where I typically elect to disengage, as the poster is showing they have little if any to say of further substance or interest. Of course, please feel free to continue with further tirades. Although I am through with your nonsense, perhaps others will engage with you.

Bye
Guy you know NOTHING about choices. Plenty of people grow up poor, go to bad schools, have to take care of family at an early age, get trapped in jobs they hate because of that reason, and never get to do what THEY want in this life because they have too many responsibilities.

My parents never went on a vacation ANYWHERE, not even within the U.S. until they were in their late 50s, for that reason.

And once again, you're quoting me out of context. I listed about TEN things that make traveling a hassle. When you have a limited schedule and children you have to worry about and limited funds. You want a GUARANTEE that you're going to enjoy yourself and everything is going to go smoothly, not be some thrill seeker in some random country.

There's plenty of American college students and people in their 20s who backpack all over Europe. They're American's aren't they? They just don't have responsibilities and families to take care of. And that's generally the time you do all that globetrotting.
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,191,779 times
Reputation: 14796
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
You missed my point. It is not that travel is a choice. It is that all of life is a choice. People choose to apply themselves in school, study and complete their homework (or not). People choose to get married (or not). People choose to have children (or not). People choose to go the doctor or emergency room when they experience symptoms of illness (or not). People choose to smoke, drink, and eat fatty food (or not). People choose to exercise (or not). People choose what they watch on TV and whether they read (or not). People choose how they apportion their income (regardless of amount) to living accommodations, transportation, child rearing, insurance, clothing, entertainment, food, education, savings, "toys" and yes, even travel. While there are indeed many things out of our control (e.g., IQ, our parents, whether we are genetically programmed for illness, a poor economy, to name but a few), even then we have a choice as to how we view and handle the cards life has dealt. This just a small sampling of the choices we all have - get my drift?

I have made and continue to make all those choices and many more. So has every poster here. And as a result, we are each living with the consequences of those choices. Some of these consequences are that some people may not have as much time and money to spend on things such as travel as they would if they had made different choices in life. We all must also live with the consequences of how we choose to prioritize and apportion our income, regardless of amount. While you and others are free to differ with me, I consider anyone who claims otherwise is embracing their victimhood.
Perhaps I did miss your point, because you mention something I can't understand. You're saying that many of our choices affect many other things in our lives, I get that. That's a given, and of course I understand that. But the part in bold are things that are not choices, just, for lack of a better term, bad luck. Some people aren't capable of getting into college, obtaining a degree, and then landing a decent job that allows them to choose how they spend their money. Yes, some people are capable and simply make poor choices, preventing them from earning a decent living, but there are people who just cannot make it in college, assuming they can even get in. That may very well doom a person to working whatever job he/she can get just to pay the bills, even if it's a job that provides no extra money for anything besides food and shelter. That has nothing to do with choice, as far as I can tell. Viewing such a situation with a positive attitude is nice, but it's not going to help that person earn any more money. You seem to be saying that any reason a person may not be able to afford travelling is solely that person's fault for not prioritizing travelling ahead of everything else, even when it's due to "bad luck".

Edit: And I'm not trying to criticize what you're saying, just trying to understand it.

Last edited by Lamplight; 03-08-2012 at 07:29 PM..
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,047,678 times
Reputation: 1230
It depends on where you live. In Chapel Hill (NC), almost everyone I know, seemingly everyone in town has been abroad somewhere, sometime. I know people who have been to the 6 populated continents, many of them multiple times. I've been to Venezuela, Bermuda and a couple Caribbean islands.

In my extended family, I have folks who have, at some point, been to South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Russia, The Netherlands, South Africa, Ghana, Lebanon, Greece, Jamaica, and that's just what I know about, and NO - we are not a wealthy family.

I think it's just a mix of where you live, the social milieu of where you live, education (which holds more value than wealth - inexpensive travel is far from impossible (you just need to plan), and opportunity. Having two international airports in the state, one two hours away, and the other 15 miles, also helps.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Center City
6,860 posts, read 7,809,283 times
Reputation: 9487
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lamplight View Post
Perhaps I did miss your point, because you mention something I can't understand. You're saying that many of our choices affect many other things in our lives, I get that. That's a given, and of course I understand that. But the part in bold are things that are not choices, just, for lack of a better term, bad luck. Some people aren't capable of getting into college, obtaining a degree, and then landing a decent job that allows them to choose how they spend their money. Yes, some people are capable and simply make poor choices, preventing them from earning a decent living, but there are people who just cannot make it in college, assuming they can even get in. That may very well doom a person to working whatever job he/she can get just to pay the bills, even if it's a job that provides no extra money for anything besides food and shelter. That has nothing to do with choice, as far as I can tell. Viewing such a situation with a positive attitude is nice, but it's not going to help that person earn any more money. You seem to be saying that any reason a person may not be able to afford travelling is solely that person's fault for not prioritizing travelling ahead of everything else, even when it's due to "bad luck".

Edit: And I'm not trying to criticize what you're saying, just trying to understand it.
Fair questions. Travel is almost a side issue here, but lets look at it.

First, college is not the only route to a solid income. Have you paid a plumber or auto mechanic lately? There are folks who did not have the intellectual capacity to finish high school, but have the technical intelligence to earn quite lucrative incomes. So let's say Person A graduated from college, married his sweetheart, had 4 kids and leveraged himself to buy a McMansion, leaving him no money for travel. And let's say Person B became a plumber, built her client base, has a boyfriend and doesn't want children because she prefers material things. She has funds to take two trips overseas every year. I am not saying one person has made "better" choices than the other, nor that one is happier than the other. I am simply saying these different outcomes are a result of the choices each person made.

Next, let's look at two high school drop-outs who lost their minimum-wage jobs and receive government assistance of, lets say, $22K/year. Person A smokes, has a live-in girlfriend and has fathered two children under three years of age. Person B moves into a small room in his sister's basement and attends a community-sponsored technical training program during the day. Each has made a choice as to how they allocate their time and money. I am not saying either has money to travel (likely not), but I am saying that their choices have leave them with different options. For example, Person B might actually be able to accompany his sister to the shore for an occasional day trip. More importantly, Person B would seem to have a better chance of improving his income down the road, which will provide more opportunities over time - be they travel or other priorities.

Our choices open some doors and close others.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:34 AM
 
261 posts, read 305,184 times
Reputation: 387
I don't know if the OP is still hanging in there but to answer your original question, we don't travel for two reasons, not enough time off work and money.

We haven't been on any vaca for three years due to money. And then we could only afford a 3K vaca.

Furthermore, my husband only gets two weeks off a year. That is total time for everything, sick, personal, anything that comes up. So we have to plan very carefully. He takes 5 days off a year and saves the rest in case something comes up. I would love to go to Europe or Australia or some other place but we simply can't. Maybe when we retire. I have a list in the order in which we will visit these places.

So for us it is not a lack of desire to visit and know other places, its a lack of possibility. I think that is true for most of Americans.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:14 AM
 
686 posts, read 958,584 times
Reputation: 283
overseas travel is important to social and cultural development. but the US is huge and allows all climates without border crossing.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:04 AM
 
4,247 posts, read 9,721,195 times
Reputation: 3788
Maybe Americans are afraid of the metric system and manual transmission in a rental car (or possibly driving on the left), among issues not mentioned yet.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,191,779 times
Reputation: 14796
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm02 View Post
Fair questions. Travel is almost a side issue here, but lets look at it.

First, college is not the only route to a solid income. Have you paid a plumber or auto mechanic lately? There are folks who did not have the intellectual capacity to finish high school, but have the technical intelligence to earn quite lucrative incomes. So let's say Person A graduated from college, married his sweetheart, had 4 kids and leveraged himself to buy a McMansion, leaving him no money for travel. And let's say Person B became a plumber, built her client base, has a boyfriend and doesn't want children because she prefers material things. She has funds to take two trips overseas every year. I am not saying one person has made "better" choices than the other, nor that one is happier than the other. I am simply saying these different outcomes are a result of the choices each person made.

Next, let's look at two high school drop-outs who lost their minimum-wage jobs and receive government assistance of, lets say, $22K/year. Person A smokes, has a live-in girlfriend and has fathered two children under three years of age. Person B moves into a small room in his sister's basement and attends a community-sponsored technical training program during the day. Each has made a choice as to how they allocate their time and money. I am not saying either has money to travel (likely not), but I am saying that their choices have leave them with different options. For example, Person B might actually be able to accompany his sister to the shore for an occasional day trip. More importantly, Person B would seem to have a better chance of improving his income down the road, which will provide more opportunities over time - be they travel or other priorities.

Our choices open some doors and close others.
Okay, I understand what you mean, I was just under the impression earlier that you were saying anyone should be able to travel, regardless of their situation. But the part in bold shows me that you weren't speaking of travel specifically, and I agree with you.
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