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Old 07-06-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Americans just can't afford to, simple. We have to pay for our kids schooling or save up that extra money for a rainy day.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:20 PM
 
12,284 posts, read 18,405,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
There are millions of Americans who travel abroad every year. Obviously you just don't know any of them.
I think this originates from the American percentage of passport myth that keeps on being repeated on various internet forums - I've heard or seen on internet posting that "only 6% of americans hold passports", on another post it might be 8%...on another it might be 4%. Obsiously the OP got a hold of one of those bogus numbers. Who knows where these numbers are coming from because as I understand the US government has never released those numbers. They do release how many passport applications are done a year. So I have seen more logically and mathematically derived estimates, using extrapolation, of 30% to 35% of Americans over 18 that have passports, which is close to Canada numbers (increased, no doubt, from post-9/11 travel restrictions for passports).
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:28 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,590,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marissy View Post
Americans just can't afford to, simple. We have to pay for our kids schooling or save up that extra money for a rainy day.
I disagree. Many Americans can easily afford to travel, and most of those who claim they can't actually could, but have different priorities. For everyone I know who claims they can't afford to travel, they generally have all sorts of video games, a giant flatscreen TV, every cable channel, and two gas guzzling SUV's in the driveway.
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Old 07-06-2010, 02:44 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,590,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgrl View Post
1) I never said that Americans don't travel. I said that more foreigners travel to the US than Americans travel to foreign countries. I didn't do a statistical analysis so I will stand corrected if there are facts to dispute my statement.
Just for starters, 10.29 million Americans took cruises that started at US ports and made port calls in foreign nations last year (statistic from the FCCA).

Just thinking about the people on my street, out of 10 homes, eight of us have traveled internationally within the past three years.

Like I said, tens of millions of Americans travel to foreign countries each year, you just don't know any of them.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,251,141 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Just for starters, 10.29 million Americans took cruises that started at US ports and made port calls in foreign nations last year (statistic from the FCCA).

Just thinking about the people on my street, out of 10 homes, eight of us have traveled internationally within the past three years.

Like I said, tens of millions of Americans travel to foreign countries each year, you just don't know any of them.
First, getting on a cruise ship that lets you off for a couple of hours of shopping in the Bahamas is not "foreign travel".

Second, nice neighborhood. By contrast, I live in an apartment complex with 100 units, and there might not be a single one of them who has ever slept overnight outside the USA, except for the ones born in Mexico. I would bet that I have more neighbors that have slept in jail, than in a foreign country.

Third, a huge majority of the tens of millions of Americans who travel to a foreign country go to Canada, which now require a passport. And, for the purposes of this discussion, doesn't qualify as "foreign travel" either.

Tens of millions of Americans DO NOT travel to foreign countries, never have, never will---you, in your comfy suburb, just don't know any of them.
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:50 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,296 posts, read 4,662,961 times
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You're right, I did state in the OP that Americans are insular and I included this info as one of the reasons why we don't travel. The other reasons evolved through the course of this dialogue. I am sure there are many others.

I'll check out your link to Wikipedia. Thanks.

Another poster referenced the fact that Americans take cruises. OK, that adds to the total number of Americans traveling abroad. I didn't consider cruises in my original post. Point taken.

I wonder, though ... do Americans cruise because they are more interested in visiting other countries or because they want to partake in activities on a cruise ship? Of course some want both but just throwing it out their as food for thought.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Yet you made your own commentary about americans being insular in your original post. Your intention was made clear. Your original premise should have been fact based, it was not. That's OK, this is an informal discussion, and I am merely disagreeing with your original assumption. But there are statistics out there. This from wikipedia notes that the U.S. is second in terms of international tourism expenditure.

Tourism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(see "international tourism expenditures" chart)

That doesn't give the whole picture (simply how much nationals spend in a foreign country), but it goes some way to dispelling the myth that Americans as a culture do not like to travel. Note that the third ranking and lower are little more than half of the top two, with Germany being first and that may indeed be due to location and ease of visiting it's bordering European countries.

Last edited by queensgrl; 07-06-2010 at 03:56 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 07-06-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,296 posts, read 4,662,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
A huge majority of the tens of millions of Americans who travel to a foreign country go to Canada, which now require a passport. And, for the purposes of this discussion, doesn't qualify as "foreign travel" either.
Hi,
I am the OP and I was counting any country outside the US as foreign travel so Canada does count.

Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:11 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
9,594 posts, read 17,174,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Third, a huge majority of the tens of millions of Americans who travel to a foreign country go to Canada, which now require a passport. And, for the purposes of this discussion, doesn't qualify as "foreign travel" either.
I"ve met quite a few Canadians on my travels and I can't think of one of them who wouldn't be extremely annoyed by this statement. The last thing that any of them want is to be thought of as an offshoot of the US. They really are not "just like us."

Quote:
Originally Posted by queensgrl View Post
Everyone's situation is different. I am the OP and being bilingual is a requirement for 5 out of 8 positions at my current job. I read/write Spanish fairly well as a result of my middle school/high school/college training but I want to become fluent to improve my job options (bilingual people have more options in my field). I also want to travel in Latin America and English is not spoken as much there as it is in Europe.
You are totally correct in this statement--I just got back from Peru and my Spanish had to improve considerably b/c not much English was spoken--not even at tourist info booths. I've thought of maybe going over next summer for one of those intensive language courses. Or this year, if I can get it together I"m going to work through Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish (a classic) and then start convos with all the Hispanic people who work in my building. However, you'd be amazed at how quickly you'd learn to communicate in a Spanish speaking country where they don't know English. It's hard at first but comes quickly, esp if you're already fluent with reading and writing it.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:10 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 4,601,502 times
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I wonder what effect military service overseas has had on American's perceptions of foreign travel? I was reminded of this after stopping by my uncle over the 4th holiday. He served in Vietnam and spent time in Yokohama and even though he's now retired & has the funds to journey abroad, he's mentioned several times that he's done enough foreign "travel" with the military & doesn't wish to revisit it.

I think that we sometimes forget that many Americans (especially older generations) were drafted & sent overseas and that may have colored their views & expectations of traveling.
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Old 07-06-2010, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Way up north :-)
3,031 posts, read 5,298,055 times
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Many Americans I met on my travels were keen to travel OS, many more had done so. Many also wanted to see more of their own beautiful country before hitting other shores. Perhaps the reluctance to travel is generational. (YankinScotland being an obvious exception! ) A lot of Australians over say, the age of 50 wonder "who'd wanna go outside Ostrayla"???

On the other hand, the lass who told me about Thailands' beauty was from New Orleans. The friend who waxed lyrical about Fiji was from Texas. (I haven't been to any part of Asia, and don't plan on doing so). The young group around a campfire in New England were much better at the geography game than my SO and I. I really think age is a factor.

Many young people in Australia do want to travel but not to countries they percieve as too similar to Australia, including the U.S.
I understand where they're coming from but think it's a shame...the U.S is wonderfully diverse in its' own way. I don't plan on doing a lot of international travel once I live there. Too much to see right there!

Last edited by jacq63; 07-06-2010 at 05:53 PM.. Reason: australian public school education. ;-)
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