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Old 03-04-2012, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Florida
398 posts, read 621,692 times
Reputation: 261

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeagleLady View Post
Some people care about living AWAY from a major metro more than we care about flying overseas.

There are places in the world I would love to see. Like it or not, money and time are real issues. I get 3 weeks vacation a year, which is more than I have ever received at any of my other jobs. I wouldn't take 2 or 3 weeks at a time. I am someone who needs to get away periodically so working nonstop all year just to have a 3 week chunk off doesn't work for me. All of my family and friends are 500+ miles away. I'd rather spend my time off visiting them and/or places I haven't seen in the US, and there are many.
Yes...indeed.

Which goes back to my original point, when people ask how I have traveled so much... the answer is easy, it isn't a money thing, I don't live like most people. People spend more money on shorter vacations than they do if they were to take a longer vacation. You are able to get better deals traveling in off seasons, spending more time to scout out deals instead of working, staying in more run down places, staying on peoples couches. If you get a month rate on a hostel or an apartment it is *much* cheaper per day than a 3 week vacation on Memorial Day for instance.

And to the further point, as many people are making, it will take an adjustment in lifestyle and a bit of sacrifice. Most people are not willing to give up these things... But other than that, there isn't much stopping them. If you want to see the world, you can do it, I've been able to do it on a shoestring budget and I know MANY people who have done way more than me, traveling for over a year at a time, or going overseas to teach english or volunteer, etc. etc.

Travel is my FAVORITE thing to do by far, so I have setup my life around it, which means for me, no I'm not going to have a big house, car payments, gym memberships, cell phone plans, or take a normal 9-5.

If you are average american, which I consider myself, of reasonable intelligence, etc. etc... Yes it can be done, yes you might have to give up other things... but if travel is your goal, there is no reason that you should be sitting around. If you don't care that much about it and are fine with a week vacation to bahamas or going on a cruise... both my idea of a horrible vacation, than so be it.

People on this thread keep saying America has everything... Uhh, no... it doesn't. It is missing this thing called cultural immersion in another country. Different history, different outlooks, different laws, etc. etc.

Last edited by Lizz0rd; 03-04-2012 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:08 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,219 posts, read 17,954,379 times
Reputation: 14655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
...travelling doesn't always make you more aware of the world.
I agree with this. If you're only traveling to gamble, lay on a beach at a resort, or partake in debaucheries that are illegal at home, then your international experience is worth no more than the ink that stamped your passport.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:48 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,612,674 times
Reputation: 9193
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizz0rd View Post
Yes...indeed.

Which goes back to my original point, when people ask how I have traveled so much... the answer is easy, it isn't a money thing, I don't live like most people. People spend more money on shorter vacations than they do if they were to take a longer vacation. You are able to get better deals traveling in off seasons, spending more time to scout out deals instead of working, staying in more run down places, staying on peoples couches. If you get a month rate on a hostel or an apartment it is *much* cheaper per day than a 3 week vacation on Memorial Day for instance.

And to the further point, as many people are making, it will take an adjustment in lifestyle and a bit of sacrifice. Most people are not willing to give up these things... But other than that, there isn't much stopping them. If you want to see the world, you can do it, I've been able to do it on a shoestring budget and I know MANY people who have done way more than me, traveling for over a year at a time, or going overseas to teach english or volunteer, etc. etc.

Travel is my FAVORITE thing to do by far, so I have setup my life around it, which means for me, no I'm not going to have a big house, car payments, gym memberships, cell phone plans, or take a normal 9-5.

If you are average american, which I consider myself, of reasonable intelligence, etc. etc... Yes it can be done, yes you might have to give up other things... but if travel is your goal, there is no reason that you should be sitting around. If you don't care that much about it and are fine with a week vacation to bahamas or going on a cruise... both my idea of a horrible vacation, than so be it.

People on this thread keep saying America has everything... Uhh, no... it doesn't. It is missing this thing called cultural immersion in another country. Different history, different outlooks, different laws, etc. etc.
I travel a lot too, and I consider it to be one of the things in life that I look forward to the most. It's not that difficult, but many people would rather spend money on cars, home electronics, home improvement, and so on... I've had managers who take the same trip with their family to the Oregon Coast every year(or maybe a trip to Vegas), but are bewildered that I'm some how able to fly to Morocco, Chile, Panama, Japan, etc on a relatively modest salary. It's not that hard and to a lot of destinations while you might have the shell out a $1500 or more on a plane ticket, once you get to Southeast Asia or much of Latin America it's much cheaper than anywhere in the US by far.

Ironically I know people who consider international travel too expensive and then end up spending several thousand on taking their kids to an overpriced place like Disney World for week or even spend close to a grand on a short trip to Vegas. I travel by looking for budget flights months in advance, stay in cheaper small inns and b&bs(or even hostels), eat where the locals eat and stay away from the expensive tourist joints. I've gone on trips to places like Guatemala that with my paid vacation time, I probably spent less money than I'd spend in a normal week in Portland. It might not be for everyone, but I'm friends and family with tons of experienced travelers who are still exploring the world, even at older ages or with families.

Last edited by Deezus; 03-04-2012 at 06:04 PM..
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:23 PM
 
Location: New York
880 posts, read 1,733,976 times
Reputation: 542
The economy is bad. People always consider price a factor.

However, I love travelling overseas. If you think about it, there are only very few cities in the US that are exciting (in my opinion) but because North America is kind of on the "remote" side, compared to Europe, Asia and South America which have countries literally next to each other, it's not like we can hop on those trains and get to another country in hours. The farther away, the more expensive plane tickets are. Plus, the American currency has been going down in many countries so if money is a factor to people, then it is a factor when it comes to spending in other countries if they can't get much out of being there.

I think I've been fortunate enough to travel overseas as there is so much excitement and culture out there. So no, it's not that Americans are "hated", even though there are some people who do hate Americans but every country hates people from other countries.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:12 AM
 
28,905 posts, read 46,723,251 times
Reputation: 46028
Because we only have two weeks of vacation a year, as opposed to the 5 and 6 weeks that Europeans get. Figure a week of that time spent dealing with personal obligations, which leaves only a week for our actual vacation. By the time we get over the jet lag upon arrival to Europe, it's practically time to get back on the plane and come home.
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:43 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,912,172 times
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Doubt it has to do with money or time as huge number travel to Hawaii in their lifetime. I know that my father generation who really started the american vacation clearly never wanted to see europe again after WWII.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,669,534 times
Reputation: 3676
I didn't read everyone's response, but there is one major reason- Europeans like to travel and have many, many other countries within relatively short distances that they can go to. Most of those countries are the size of US states, so someone from Switzerland can easily go to Germany, France, and Italy whereas to travel that same distance someone here would not get beyond a couple of border states. Besides Mexico and Canada, we have to fly across vast oceans to get to any other countries-- we don't have the luxury of close proximity.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,669,534 times
Reputation: 3676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alberta_Man View Post
I see people saying Americans don't get much vacation time.

You can't depend on the government to force your employer to give you more vacation time. You have to take things into your own hands. Next time you're negotiating terms for a new job, insist your employer gives you at least 3 weeks per year, and that you can take more than 1 week at a time.
Most people cannot negotiate like that when getting a job- unless you are getting a management or some other high level type of position, you are up against many others for that job and maybe there is a touch of wiggle room in pay negotiations (usually not, you take whatever salary is offered), and certainly no room to negoatiate an extra week or two of vacation time in. It will take something bigger like a law requiring it for most employers to give any more than the usual 2 weeks per year.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,505 posts, read 23,773,640 times
Reputation: 8838
Quote:
Originally Posted by eiserneBerlin View Post
I'm a German who has been living in the U.S. for the past year and a half, and I've met so many people here who have never been outside of the U.S. I researched the topic a bit, and only about 30% of Americans actually hold a passport. Why are so many Americans not interested in overseas travel? Back in Europe, travel is a big part of the lifestyle and is a very high priority for most. I understand how vast and diverse the U.S. is and that there are a lot of cultural differences from region to region, but it still doesn't have the same effect on personal growth and cultural awareness that travel abroad has. Americans on average are no more or no less well off than the average European, so I don't think it is necessarily a money issue. In fact, quite a few Americans I met who don't travel own quite nice homes and expensive cars. Obviously the U.S. isn't as close to other countries as European countries are, but Aussies, Kiwis, and Canadians are even more isolated yet they tend to travel more.

A lot of Europeans perceive Americans to be culturally ignorant because of their lack of travel and feel that Americans have no interest in learning about anyone but themselves. After living here, I do think Americans in general are a bit more culturally ignorant than Europeans due to a lack of cultural immersion. By this, I don't mean to say that Americans are close-minded, but that they just don't know much about the outside world. I actually find Americans to be extremely open-minded towards foreigners in the U.S. and they tend to ask a lot of questions to learn more about others which is truly wonderful. To be honest, Americans are actually much less xenophobic towards visitors and immigrants than Europeans are. I've noticed this in all parts of the U.S. that I've visited, so clearly Americans do have an interest in learning about foreign cultures which makes it even harder to understand why travel is not a priority.

The Americans I've seen post on this forum tend to be well-traveled individuals, so I'd like hear your opinions on why you think many of your fellow countrymen tend to not be interested in overseas travel.

By the way, I'm not trying to be disrespectful towards Americans in any way. I really like Americans and in many ways they remind me of people back home in Germany. I also really enjoy life in the beautiful Bay Area and have really loved exploring your wonderful country so far.
Some do. Dont believe what you see on the newsmedia.

In college I took courses in French, Spanish and Italian. Have not had time to see all of Europe but my Mom did before she was married. Of course it was cheaper in the 70's to travel.

Plan to travel alot more in the future, My cousin lived in Prague with her husband and children, he was there for business.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:21 PM
 
5,767 posts, read 10,300,391 times
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Quote:
Europeans like to travel and have many, many other countries within relatively short distances that they can go to.
That's only a part of it, though - one of the most popular foreign travel destinations for Scandinavians is Thailand, and that's over 5,000 miles away.

Also, it might be a benefit that most Americans don't travel very far afield. The US is a large country with a large population, and American travelers at this time are relatively self-selecting. If foreign travel become more of a form of "mass" entertainment, we'd end up swamping a lot of locations, our reputation would take a hit, and so on.

Money and vacation time are factors, but I'd argue that those considerations are products of the culture; not the other way around. For instance, from what I understand, Israel's workplace laws were partly modeled after those in the US, but since Israelis place a high cultural value on traveling, the culture demanded that the workplace yield in that regard, and it did.
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