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Old 07-03-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Actually most europeans I have ever known or talked to, only a few have traveled extensively unless you want to count going to Spain on holiday, which is much like going to Florida for us Americans.
I know plenty of Europeans who've been to the US, Australia, New Zealand, China and a few to Africa. And yes, you can hop on a plane and take a short flight to anywhere in Europe.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
Some of the reasons I've heard:
Americans don't get a lot of vacation time (Europeans do)
The US is huge and there are places to vacation w/o leaving the country
Fear
Lack of interest in anything outside the US
Lack of money or the belief that it costs a huge fortune to travel outside the US.

I agree that a good chunk of the US all looks the same.

I agree with all of the above, which is right on the mark.

Another is language. Americans are in a state of institutionalized denial about the value of bilingualism, and actually obstruct the efforts or opportunity of any child learning a second language at an appropriate age.

And food. Americans get very nervous if they are not in the delivery radius of a Pizza Hut.

And car dependence. Americans feel naked without a set of car keys in their pocket. A majority of Americans have never ridden a public bus in their lives, and would be terrified if they had to.

And filth. Americans believe every country in the world is dirty compared to America, and for our antiseptic demands, it probably is, but harmlessly.

I don't think geographical proximity has much to do with it. Very few Floridians have ever been to the Bahamas, not many New Yorkers have been to Quebec, and most non-Hispanic Angelinos have never slept Mexico

Last edited by jtur88; 07-03-2010 at 10:12 AM..
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
Personally, I will never understand all the people who claim they have no desire to see other countries and cultures. No curiousity about this huge world outside your own borders with so many different kinds of people and cultures and landscapes and foods? This has nothing to do with having the money to do it, but having no desire to do it.

I don't unlimited funds to visit every country I want to see, but have done extensive travelling. Certainly opens your eyes.
While it is not me, I do have the capability to understand others and why they do what they do.

For a lot of people they are "basic". They work 9-5 M-F, they have a simple home and life is about the kids playing softball and maybe lounging in the easy chair and mowing the lawn on Saturday. They like simple things like eating at Pizza Hut and going to the movies. Maybe for a great adventure they will go fishing or go to an amusement park.

So I can't criticize it. There are just simple, basic people out there, many of whom make the world go round with their 9-5 work.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankinscotland View Post
The differences aren't exactly huge though. I have a big interest in ancient cultures. A few native American sites in the southwest US woudn't satisfy it. I've seen sites that are over 5,000 years old. Africa. Australia. Much of Europe. Roman sites. And I'm about to visit Rome and see the Vatican, Pompeii, etc. Nothing similar to that in the US.
Yeah but that is your interest, ancient cultures. A lot of people don't have an interest in or really want to see ruins of a long dead culture. That doesn't excite them.

And I think in the USA there are many differences in each state, I find them all the time.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:04 AM
 
32,060 posts, read 32,956,580 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I agree with all of the above, which is right on the mark.

And car dependence. Americans feel naked without a set of car keys in their pocket. A majority of Americans have never ridden a public bus in their lives, and would be terrified if they had to.
I agree with most of what has been said about why Americans don't travel overseas except the point above.
The issue of driving a car depends on where you are from in the USA. If you live in NYC or San Francisco (or some other big cities), you may not ever need to own a car as these cities have excellent public transportation. So I think people from big cities with a more cosmopolitan background probably tend to travel outside the USA more than people from small towns where they are exposed less to foreigners and other non-American ways/concepts.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Yeah but that is your interest, ancient cultures. A lot of people don't have an interest in or really want to see ruins of a long dead culture. That doesn't excite them.

And I think in the USA there are many differences in each state, I find them all the time.
There are not huge differences from state to state. I've been to many as well and lived in 4. Subdivisions all look pretty much the same from state to state. So do the McDonalds and the Walmarts. Sure, there are some landscape differences and nice coastlines. But the cultures really are not very different from state to state.

I wasn't speaking only of long dead cultures. The other things I can't get in the US - African safaris, the culture of Australia, historic architecture, castles, huge variety of foods, hugely different accents from any of the ones in the US, art, customs, royalty, cathedrals and churches several hundred years old, very old pubs that look nothing like American bars, ancient traditional dancing and singing.
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Old 07-03-2010, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Miami/ Washington DC
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Well first the United States is HUGE! So there is a lot to see in our own country.

However plenty of American travel abroad, maybe not the percentage as other smaller and less populated countries but whenever I travel abroad which is pretty often there are always Americans there too. Cruises in Europe, Going to Israel or Austrialia, living in Barcelona! I knew hundreds of Americans here. Tens of thousands of American students study abroad every semester. Americans travel a lot abroad, every major city has american tourist. So really I am not sure what your talking about. Every time I have traveled to Europe and even now when I currently live in Europe Americans have been with me and on the crusies Americans have been by far the majority of the population.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:00 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,296 posts, read 4,661,410 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Also having been in the tourism business and interacting with thousands of people every year, there are 2 things I see. It's like the old Roman "bread and circuses".

The average person is not that bright and is easily entertained with flashing lights, booming noises and other sensory fulfilling malarkey. That's why vegas and orlando do well as they satisfy those basic desires.

Second people want a "fantasy" when they vacation. They don't want real world.

So yeah there are not a lot of people that want to get out in the nitty gritty of the real world in other places.
Do you all find it to be more of an American phenomenon to want sensory fulfilling entertainment and fantasy?

On another note, Americans do take beach vacations, which seems a desired vacation destination, regardless of one's national origin.
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,221,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyMIA View Post
Well first the United States is HUGE! So there is a lot to see in our own country.

However plenty of American travel abroad, maybe not the percentage as other smaller and less populated countries but whenever I travel abroad which is pretty often there are always Americans there too. Cruises in Europe, Going to Israel or Austrialia, living in Barcelona! I knew hundreds of Americans here. Tens of thousands of American students study abroad every semester. Americans travel a lot abroad, every major city has american tourist. So really I am not sure what your talking about. Every time I have traveled to Europe and even now when I currently live in Europe Americans have been with me and on the crusies Americans have been by far the majority of the population.
The OP is that Americans, per capita, travel abroad a great deal less than other people, and that is absolutely true. Americans traveling is a very small number of the total. Of course, you will find "some" Americans abroad, but heavily outnunbered, particularly among the budget travelers. Considering that the USA has a population comparable to all Western Europe countries combined, Americans can be seriously hard to find abroad. However, since Europeans avoid many of the places where Americans go, there are no doubt pockets of mostly Americans in some places. Very few Americans venture beyond the well organized safety and certainty of western Europe and the Caribbean.

You may recognize lots of Amricans in Barcelona (Americans abroad are easy to recognize) but you have no idea now many Italinas or Swiss or Belgians are there, too, speaking fluent Spanish and behaving like Europeans.

If you walked into a Youth Hostel in Thailand or Bolivia, it would not be surprising to find that there is not a single American there. I've stayed in dozens of back-packer accommodations around the world, and more often than not, I was the only American on a guest list of a couple dozen.

One factor among the college-age travelers, is that in many countries, college education is free or very cheap compared to the USA. Students do not need to spend their summers slaving away at jobs to pay for their education, which gives them a great deal more freedom to travel.

World travel is also not a stigma on their resume. In Australia, a person is actually expected to travel abroad for at least a year, taking the time off from his career track, and proudly accounts for that year in his resume. Employers consider it constructive experience, and the CEO did it, too.

Last edited by jtur88; 07-03-2010 at 11:17 AM..
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:49 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,909,074 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
However, since Europeans avoid many of the places where Americans go
What might these places be?
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