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Old 03-06-2013, 04:30 PM
 
5,819 posts, read 5,183,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
I just don't have the money to travel anywhere else except for North America and the Caribbean. I'd love to travel to Europe and Africa. But the flights are typically over $1000. I'm sure many Americans are in the same situation I'm in.
Yep, I'm sure money is the major issue for most of us. The last time I was able to go to Europe was during a college program, when my parents paid for part of the trip (to be bluntly honest).

Some other reasons: It seems as though many people in many other countries hate Americans. Why go someplace to experience hate? And I'd love to go exploring off the beaten path in some less developed countries, but have a genuine fear of some kind of violence occuring.

As soon as I've saved up enough $ I'm off to Australia/NZ.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Seattle
6,954 posts, read 9,051,070 times
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Do Americans need a visa to visit Australia and NZ?
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Center City
6,854 posts, read 7,801,051 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
It seems as though many people in many other countries hate Americans. Why go someplace to experience hate?
I have traveled to over 40 countries on 5 continents. I never encountered "hate" because I was an American. I find it so fascinating that two people could have such opposite experiences.
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:36 AM
 
487 posts, read 691,494 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I travel overseas fairly frequently. I try to go to a place I've never been at least once a year. It's part of my lifestyle and interests, and I highly recommend it for anyone.

I really don't understand why more Americans don't travel overseas. Perhaps, its because of a lack of interest or imagination, or perhaps it's because they feel intimidated.

In any case, if you can afford to buy a car or a house, then you can afford traveling overseas. It's as simple as that. You just have to get out there and do it.
Well, then you are fortunate. Have you read all the posts? I've went to Europe many years ago when the
American dollar was strong. The bottom line is cost. To say that owning a home and having a car should
qualify someone to afford a trip abroad is an absurd statement. If you do own a home & car, BCD, there
are expenses that many people have a hard time have difficulties keeping up with. Remember, the
middle class in this country is disappearing. When the middle class is struggling they cannot afford
to fulfill their interests.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
44,758 posts, read 36,160,327 times
Reputation: 63402
Quote:
Originally Posted by key4lp View Post
Well, then you are fortunate. Have you read all the posts? I've went to Europe many years ago when the
American dollar was strong. The bottom line is cost. To say that owning a home and having a car should
qualify someone to afford a trip abroad is an absurd statement. If you do own a home & car, BCD, there
are expenses that many people have a hard time have difficulties keeping up with. Remember, the
middle class in this country is disappearing. When the middle class is struggling they cannot afford
to fulfill their interests.
Your post made me think of another difference between Americans and Europeans.

Generally speaking, a higher percentage of Americans own their own homes than Europeans - in fact, the most affluent, productive countries in Europe actually have the lower percentage of home ownership.

List of countries by home ownership rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Generally speaking, Americans tend to invest more in their own homes than in international travel. It's a matter of priorities. Many Americans in fact use some of their vacation time each year to do home improvements rather than travel - in part because we can take shorter trips over a long weekend to get our vacation time "in." And as others have mentioned, terrain, weather, and culture vary widely between states. For instance, my husband and I can drive seven hours and go from a definitely Texas atmosphere to New Orleans, Louisiana - which is like visiting a completely different country! Or we can drive seven hours in a different direction and be in South Texas, which feels and looks completely different from where we live in northeast Texas now. Or we can drive seven hours north and be in "Indian country" in Oklahoma. Seven hours east will take us to Alabama and the Deep South.

We can hop on a plane and be on the East Coast in under five hours (anywhere from Maryland to Florida) or we can go west and be in Portland, Oregon or San Francisco, California in the same time frame. The cultural differences between those places are amazing - they're just as different as, say, Switzerland and Belgium.

My husband and I have been blessed to be able to travel extensively. We have both lived in Europe off and on over our lifetimes, so we have many European friends, predominately from Scotland, Germany, and Belgium. We enjoy traveling to Europe from the US about once every other year or so. We took a long vacation and enjoyed traveling leisurely through five European countries two years ago and are currently planning a trip to the UK in a few months.

We enjoy international travel but it's very expensive. I can see that it would be out of reach of many American families. The dollar is pretty weak right now so that makes it even more challenging.

I do NOT believe that it's a matter of a lack of curiosity on the part of Americans as it is that we have a wide variety of "vacation and cultural experiences" within close proximity - when we'd rather be traveling than refinishing our hardwood floors in the 2000+ square foot house on 1/2 an acre that we bought last year for under $200,000 - a feat that would be beyond the reach of many Europeans due to a lack of affordable housing.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: The South
5,223 posts, read 3,633,703 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eiserneBerlin View Post
To be honest, Americans are actually much less xenophobic towards visitors and immigrants than Europeans are.
I didn't know what xenophobic actually means.
Dictionary definitions of xenophobia include: deep-rooted, irrational hatred towards foreigners (Oxford English Dictionary; OED), unreasonable fear or hatred of the unfamiliar.(Webster's)[

I have felt this around some Europeans. That would be my reason.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:40 PM
 
10,558 posts, read 13,116,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Interesting observation from a European's point of view. I think maybe a lot of people overseas who have never been to American don't realize this. Not the OP of course but many who have not been here and are not aware of how different the states can be from one another from climate to customs.
Except it's not true. There are of course regional difference, but it's not like Kansas vs. Arizona is like Italy vs. Greece.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,664,674 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreams View Post
I travel overseas fairly frequently. I try to go to a place I've never been at least once a year. It's part of my lifestyle and interests, and I highly recommend it for anyone.

I really don't understand why more Americans don't travel overseas. Perhaps, its because of a lack of interest or imagination, or perhaps it's because they feel intimidated.

In any case, if you can afford to buy a car or a house, then you can afford traveling overseas. It's as simple as that. You just have to get out there and do it.
You don't understand?? Really???

Anyway, if you are not understanding the reasons, they have been given but apparently you missed them so please allow me to reiterate.

If someone is paying for a house and a car, chances are they cannot afford to also travel overseas.

Most Americans just don't have that kind of money. Traveling in one's own country is less expensive and traveling from state to state or city to city often similar to traveling from one country to another in Europe.

Many who travel regularly overseas either live very simply and rent and use every penny to frequently travel overseas or in a very few situations have a lot of money are are able to afford a house and travel as well. But most fall into the first category.

Europeans get more vacation time than Americans.

There are those in the US who make frequent trips to Mexico and Canada not to mention Caribbean Islands which are foreign countries. They are not overseas but they are not the US either.

I wonder if anyone has compared how many Europeans cross the pond to come to the US? It's as easy for them to travel to foreign countries outside their own borders as it is for Americans to travel from state to state as has been mentioned over and over again.

I don't believe for a minute that Americans don't travel overseas because of your suggestions of "a lack of interest or imagination, or perhaps it's because they feel intimidated." I believe it's because of the many other reasons given here but we are all entitiled to our opinions.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:05 AM
 
2,493 posts, read 2,194,181 times
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I find this topic interesting. A few reasons not yet listed.

-The US is very auto-centric, more so than Europe. We drive 3 ton vehicles to get a quart of milk. As noted we are the king of the road trip. We are more likely use a car for our vacation than train, plane or bus. Some friends were discussing their upcoming Europe vacation and they were saying it was hard to rent full size cars in Europe. My first question is why would you rent a car for Europe? Also hear about tourist from Europe who think they can see the USA by train. Well you can see a very small slice of the US by train.

-The US is the largest owners of "second homes", vacation homes, time shares etc. Many people spend a lot of money to go the same place every year for their vacation time.

-We also own a lot of adult toys (boats, ATVs, RVs, snowmobiles etc). So use of our expensive toys takes priority for vacation time.

-We also have these huge "amusement parks" designed to capture all of our vacation money such as Disneyland and Los Vegas.

-And we can't overlook the attitude of American Exceptionalism, we are the Center of the Universe.

For me personally, I did a lot of overseas travel both in my 20's (before kids and mortgage) and again in my
later 40s as the kids were old enough to understand foreign cultures. Those in between years were spent visiting family and exploring/camping the American west. The last 10 years, with kids gone, my vacation has been dominated by active recreation in Colorado and the West, climbing, biking, skiing, whitewater and seeing all the back roads I have missed.

As I approach retirement, I'm faced with the reality that the economy has not been my friend and the grand European vacations might not fit the budget. There is also the reality that time is finite and I am not going to see the whole world before I check out. There are still huge sections of the US and Canada that I have never seen and those are going to be my priority for the near future.

P.S. I've never been to Disneyland or Los Vegas and never owned a timeshare or ATV etc and I would love to travel by train.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,664,674 times
Reputation: 35449
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddyline View Post
I find this topic interesting. A few reasons not yet listed.

-The US is very auto-centric, more so than Europe. We drive 3 ton vehicles to get a quart of milk. As noted we are the king of the road trip. We are more likely use a car for our vacation than train, plane or bus. Some friends were discussing their upcoming Europe vacation and they were saying it was hard to rent full size cars in Europe. My first question is why would you rent a car for Europe? Also hear about tourist from Europe who think they can see the USA by train. Well you can see a very small slice of the US by train.

Trains were developed before air travel. It only makes sense they would have train travel before air. Our streets can accomodate larger vehicles better than theirs and our gas prices are less expensive. It is cheaper for us to travel by car, it is cheaper for them to travel by train. There is really no moral or ethical issue here. It's simply one of practicality. And from what I saw when I was in Europe, they seem to tend towards expensive sports cars more than Americans so preferences are just different.

-The US is the largest owners of "second homes", vacation homes, time shares etc. Many people spend a lot of money to go the same place every year for their vacation time.

It is quite common for the well to do to own second homes in warm climates in Europe. Have you ever heard of dachas in Russia? Or vacation cottages by the sea in the Mediterranean? Or the South of France? I have a middle class friend in the UK who owns several properties one being a summer cottage at the beach.

-We also own a lot of adult toys (boats, ATVs, RVs, snowmobiles etc). So use of our expensive toys takes priority for vacation time.

Yachats owned by wealthy Greek shipping magnates and Italian industrialists are not uncommon. Perhaps the differences are that more of the average citizens in America can afford these things than the average European citizen.

-We also have these huge "amusement parks" designed to capture all of our vacation money such as Disneyland and Los Vegas.

Euro-Disney?

-And we can't overlook the attitude of American Exceptionalism, we are the Center of the Universe.

Have you been to France?

For me personally, I did a lot of overseas travel both in my 20's (before kids and mortgage) and again in my later 40s as the kids were old enough to understand foreign cultures. Those in between years were spent visiting family and exploring/camping the American west. The last 10 years, with kids gone, my vacation has been dominated by active recreation in Colorado and the West, climbing, biking, skiing, whitewater and seeing all the back roads I have missed.

As I approach retirement, I'm faced with the reality that the economy has not been my friend and the grand European vacations might not fit the budget. There is also the reality that time is finite and I am not going to see the whole world before I check out. There are still huge sections of the US and Canada that I have never seen and those are going to be my priority for the near future.

P.S. I've never been to Disneyland or Los Vegas and never owned a timeshare or ATV etc and I would love to travel by train.
My only visit there was to Vegas to visit a friend but so what? What's the point? And I have traveled in the US by train but again so what?

I am not trying really to dispute what you are saying, I am trying to point out the similarities between Europeans and Americans because I believe that when you get down to it, people are people and they tend to strive for the same things when given similar opportunities. Also, people will use whatever opportunities are most available to them. It doesn't make any better than any others, just more convenient.
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