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Old 08-11-2011, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,166 posts, read 4,193,328 times
Reputation: 2707

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When I was a kid I became interested in world cultures, and as a result studied languages, history, and other subject areas that only fueled my interest in life beyond the US. Now, as an adult, I'm very fortunate to have a job that gives me time (and a modest salary) to travel and continue studying world cultures. But my travels to faraway places have eventually helped me appreciate travel and cultures in the US, too: I love going to small towns and big cities in remote continents, but I also love a roadtrip here at home along state routes and other byways. Ultimately, I've made domestic and international travel a priority in my life, but my experiences have helped me appreciate the fact that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. Though I think students of languages and cultures should travel at least a little, I'm not sure it's really necessary or desirable for people in general to travel if it's not a true interest. Many of these people would probably just resist and criticize the experience anyhow, so why push it? Many people in the US have not even moved too far away from their hometown, so perhaps domestic travel is the best option for them. I agree that travel is eye-opening, but the participant has to be willing and able for the enterprise to go through. Why drag a cat through a cold bath?

There are many reasons why North Americans don't travel much or at all, and most of them make sense. I sort of agree that extensive or far-reaching travel is a "luxury"--that is, it's an experience that not all people are able and willing to set aside time and money (and energy) for. For the vast middle class, it's all about priorities: many people don't mind paying a high monthly mortgage for a dream house and an expensive monthly payment for a "luxury" car, yet for some such people a costly one- or two-week trip (or two) every year will seem "excessive," transitory, and not worth the expense. In my case, I have a low mortgage and a cheapo car, in large part so I can funnel more money toward travel. For most people, it really is a matter of priorities and life objectives. It would probably boost the national image overseas if more North Americans travelled more and consumed more modestly, but people tend not to care so much about such things. The house and the automobile are two of the true status items in the US, and they are also icons of freedom and self-sufficiency. In comparison, travel experience just doesn't have the same currency--and in some quarters, it may be seen as "too" intellectual or not nationalistic enough. To some, this "comfort zone" mentality is parochial; to others, it's a sign of putting down roots and maintaining a distinct identity. There are plenty of communities in other countries, even in Europe, whose identities are based in parochialism (as opposed to comsopolitanism). (Isn't that what many travelers look for in other cultures, by the way? If everyone in the US traveled abroad, wouldn't that change the local character of the many distinct places in the US?) In any case, for better or for worse, much of the US culture now is defined by local, microcosmic attitudes-- and my travels have helped me understand and accept this.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,370 posts, read 21,213,499 times
Reputation: 24177
Why drag a cat thru a cold bath?

Earlier in my life, this cat was dragged thru a cold bath, and I'm ever-appreciative today that someone dragged me along.

I dragged my mother along on a trip one time, and she couldn't stop blabbing about it afterwards. Some people need to be dragged!
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,370 posts, read 21,213,499 times
Reputation: 24177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miaiam View Post
tjlover, which countries have you been to? Can you say just a word or two about each one of them?
What are your overall impressions about traveling overseas?
All my prior posts speak well for themselves, if you care to look them up.

One undeniable aspect of foreign travel is it can be a lot of work, and many comfort-loving Americans don't want to hear that word when contemplating a vacation.

And? Greater the risk, sweeter the reward!

Last edited by tijlover; 08-11-2011 at 10:35 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,655,535 times
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I'm leaving for Europe for 10 weeks, in a few weeks. I've travelled all over the world and the best one is a friend from work: "I wish I could go to Europe for even one week. I can't afford it though."

Yet, this year, they've been to Las Vegas SEVENTEEN TIMES! The simple fact of the matter, most people talk a big game. But when it comes down to it, they can't think or breath, outside of their own personal bubble.

If someone says to you:"I'd love to go. Some day." They are lying to you and themselves. Someday will never come; which is fine. Less crowded for me.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:24 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,370 posts, read 21,213,499 times
Reputation: 24177
Many don't realize you can stay in NYC (if your willing!) for as little as $10 a nite in a hostel, with a half-dozen bunks to one room with a locker. And a cheap 7 day subway pass, last time I paid $25 for it. I paid $29 in an upgraded hostel couple years ago and I was most comfy there. Europe has its vast array of hostels as well.

I agree, I agree! One of my sister's excuses for not going with me on my trips was she wanted to set aside some $ for 2 separate trips to New Zealand and England to see some of her husband's distant relatives. Lol! They were saying that 40 years ago, and now the distant relatives have died, so they now have a real good reason for not going!

And my sister/brother-in-law, both retired, extremly tight with their $, could go 4 or 5-star all the way!
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:13 AM
 
Location: The Chatterdome in La La Land, CaliFUNia
38,854 posts, read 20,155,423 times
Reputation: 35901
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
Many don't realize you can stay in NYC (if your willing!) for as little as $10 a nite in a hostel, with a half-dozen bunks to one room with a locker. And a cheap 7 day subway pass, last time I paid $25 for it. I paid $29 in an upgraded hostel couple years ago and I was most comfy there. Europe has its vast array of hostels as well.

I agree, I agree! One of my sister's excuses for not going with me on my trips was she wanted to set aside some $ for 2 separate trips to New Zealand and England to see some of her husband's distant relatives. Lol! They were saying that 40 years ago, and now the distant relatives have died, so they now have a real good reason for not going!

And my sister/brother-in-law, both retired, extremly tight with their $, could go 4 or 5-star all the way!
So hostels are your answer to those who cannot afford to travel overseas? Sorry but I'm not about to share living quarters with a bunch of travelers who are strangers to me. I'm a private person and my safety comes first. I'm glad hostels and other cheap accommodations work for you but that ain't flying with me.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:20 AM
 
2,065 posts, read 4,176,808 times
Reputation: 2385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
So hostels are your answer to those who cannot afford to travel overseas? Sorry but I'm not about to share living quarters with a bunch of travelers who are strangers to me. I'm a private person and my safety comes first. I'm glad hostels and other cheap accommodations work for you but that ain't flying with me.
I am absolutely not staying in hostels, either.

I still think (non-shared) accommodation overseas holds quite a good candle (price and comfort wise) when compared to domestic.
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Old 08-12-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Westcoast
313 posts, read 386,260 times
Reputation: 396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
So hostels are your answer to those who cannot afford to travel overseas? Sorry but I'm not about to share living quarters with a bunch of travelers who are strangers to me. I'm a private person and my safety comes first. I'm glad hostels and other cheap accommodations work for you but that ain't flying with me.

Me either! I don't even like guests staying overnight in my own house, let alone commune with a bunch of stranger I know nothing about.
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:21 PM
 
12,251 posts, read 18,390,529 times
Reputation: 19074
Quote:
Originally Posted by quijote View Post
There are many reasons why North Americans don't travel much or at all, and most of them make sense....
haha, what? I thought we concluded about a hundred posts ago that the OP was generalizing and Americans DO travel.
Making your response an anachronism. I know people can't read through 30 pages of responses, but still.

Now the topic has moved on to better things - cooking, taxis, hostels.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,655,535 times
Reputation: 3967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
So hostels are your answer to those who cannot afford to travel overseas? Sorry but I'm not about to share living quarters with a bunch of travelers who are strangers to me. I'm a private person and my safety comes first. I'm glad hostels and other cheap accommodations work for you but that ain't flying with me.
Yeah, ok "hostels." No, that isn't the answer. However, although you and others will lie through your teeth, if you TRULY wanted to travel overseas, there are areas you could cut back in order to do so.

I've already said, I am leaving for a 10 week trip to Europe. I've been saving for this trip for 2 years. Brown bagging lunch several times a week, eating at home for dinner, several times a week, walking certain places, instead of driving. There are MILLIONS of ways to save money.

IF, you wanted to travel "overseas," so badly. You would and could find away. The fact is, living the "good life," here in the US is MORE important to you, then saving up for a trip abroad. And, this is your excuse for not going, by saying you can't afford it. I've heard it over, over, over, and over again.

Oh, by the way, I am NOT staying in hostels. I have a wife, three children, and a house payment. Yet, my wife and I will fly first class, and stay in very decent motels during our trip. One of the things we do, is go in the "off season." Of course, that probably wouldn't appeal to you either, hence anothe excuse as why you can't afford overseas travel.

Going to Paris for a week isn't much more expensive then taking your kids to Disneyland for week. Yet, you will go to Disneyland and not think twice of it and still lie, complain, and moan how expensive, "overseas" travel is.
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