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Old 03-15-2016, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Saint Paul, MN
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I honestly have very little desire to "see America." Travel, for me, is all about immersing myself in another culture. Other US locations are fine for a visit when time is severely limited, but it doesn't feel like "travel" to me. Still fun--much like checking out a new restaurant in your hometown--but not the sort of all-over experience I seek when traveling.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaulGal View Post
I honestly have very little desire to "see America." Travel, for me, is all about immersing myself in another culture. Other US locations are fine for a visit when time is severely limited, but it doesn't feel like "travel" to me. Still fun--much like checking out a new restaurant in your hometown--but not the sort of all-over experience I seek when traveling.
I'm with you. I have been to big cities in every region of America, but I have no desire to explore my own country even further. And why would I? Believe it or not, international travel is cheaper and more interesting.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by elnina View Post
No psychology, just curiosity. I think people who get introduced to real travel, usually want to travel more, go to different places, enjoy new experiences, learn about cultures, customs, development.

There are three main types of travelers: the ones who to go to all-inclusive beach resorts, five-star hotels, or luxury cruises, where everyone speaks English, and eat Americanized food. (They find everything else unsafe, unsanitary and not up their standards.) Those who sit on some tropical beach and sip pina colada. Those who want comfort close to home, and are afraid to step out of their comfort zone, or try to communicate without knowing the language. Those are tourists and vacationers, not real travelers. Their trips are nothing more than checklist tourism. A trip that involves pool attendants and a concierge is not a cultural experience.

And there are those who are genuinely curious, adventurous. For them traveling means diverting from the beaten path, engaging with locals, and exploring an area as one of a kind, straying from tourist traps and sites and instead, searching for the more elusive history of a country and its people. Traveling means attempting to blend in and wanting to leave as an altered and more educated person.
The direct interaction and connections they make with people from other cultures as well as experiencing special destinations that the tourist masses will never see, make such travel incredibly worthwhile.

h maps.
There are so many inaccuracies in this thread. Everyone travels for his/her own reasons!

Some people may travel to escape something at home- boredom, loneliness, unhappiness, monotony, etc. Or they may just be adventurous or curious. Or a combination of both. Humans are not so simplistic.

If someone chooses to live hand to mouth and not save for retirement, that is his/her decision! It does not make those people evil or stupid. They will figure out their retirment when that time comes. If not, that is their problem. Not ours.

As for the idea that there are three types of travelers- this is just another simplification. I know many "hardcore" travelers and many will do different types of trips. For example, on one trip to Central America, I spent the majority in a hostel volunteering at an orphanage in the jungle. Then I spent some time with locals and other travelers getting to know the country. Lastly, I went to party in a different part of the country and stayed in a nice hotel. Many of my travels are like that. Part tourist attractions, part adventures with locals and part volunteering. There is nothing wrong with that. Everyone should travel the way he/she wants to do it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:53 PM
 
637 posts, read 644,558 times
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Originally Posted by WeHa View Post
I've traveled the US and abroad, I love our Country it's amazing. But there is just this feeling I get to be in something so old. Like Masada in Israel or The Coliseum in Rome.
Yes! I have been to Masada and it was amazing. That is right up my alley. Italy is the next on my list in Europe.

I have visited a fair amount of the US including "fly over" states. BUT, it is not the same as visiting other countries. There is very little difference between most of the states. I can count of my fingers how many US states/regions have their own unique personalities. For example- Lousiana, New York City, D.C., Los Angeles.
There are things that you can experience in those places that are almost entirely unique or characteristic. I found very little difference between rural Alabama and rural North Carolina. Or between suburban Chicago and suburban Denver.

I explore the US to seek out and enjoy local/regional cuisines or geography. For example, I love that there is so much diversity in the same country (swamps, deserts, rivers, canyons, snow-capped mountains, forests, dunes, etc.) That is the best thing about the US. I don't have much opportunity for foreign travel so I make the most of finding cool things to see and do around the USA.

Besides that, there is no reason to feel bad about not seeing the country. Visiting another state is not comparable to climbing Masada or buying a snack at a grocery store in rural France or visiting a school in Guatemala. For me, I want to see things that are different from where I live so the US has very little to offer that is going to excite me. Having said that, I do plan to see every state. I have done about half so far and I am still trying to explore the tiny corners of the states that I already know. This way I can enjoy what I can of the US until I can get my fix and travel to another country again soon!
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
17,386 posts, read 21,228,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StPaulGal View Post
I honestly have very little desire to "see America." Travel, for me, is all about immersing myself in another culture. Other US locations are fine for a visit when time is severely limited, but it doesn't feel like "travel" to me. Still fun--much like checking out a new restaurant in your hometown--but not the sort of all-over experience I seek when traveling.
As the U.S. reverts back to being a 3rd world country, this country will increasingly become more interesting to visit, with large enclave communities, all but separate from the city itself, providing zoning laws don't stand in its way.

In Los Angeles today, you can virtually travel the world without leaving, thanks to their more visible ethnic enclaves, if you know where to find them. No different with NYC!

I stayed in a motel on Alverado Street in L.A. a couple years ago, and it was like being in Tijuana, with sidewalk vendors everywhere, complete with pirated DVD/CD and taco stands. There's Little Cambodia in Long Beach, Thai Town in East Hollywood, Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Vietnam in Westchester, Iranian, Indian, Armenian enclaves, they have it all in L.A.! But not in boring San Francisco!

But, at the same time, there's nothing like immersing yourself in the real thing!

Our inner cities are headed for sterilization, due to the big movement to return to the downtown areas, which will all resemble one another eventually, with the displaced being driven out to the suburbs.

Whenever I have to transfer to the trolley to Tijuana, in downtown San Diego, I feel like I'm going to suffocate with all that sterilization! And more downtown areas are headed that way, the lack of diversity, downtown L.A. is headed in that direction as well.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:16 AM
 
Location: U.S. Pacific Northwest
251 posts, read 142,736 times
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Where to start?
1. Curiosity about people.
2. "Ready to get out of Dodge."
3. Interest in histories, art, food, and culture not their own.
4. An adopted identity as a citizen of the world.
5. An entitlement attitude; or keeping up with others.

So many more...
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:58 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,258,456 times
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Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
As the U.S. reverts back to being a 3rd world country, this country will increasingly become more interesting to visit, with large enclave communities, all but separate from the city itself, providing zoning laws don't stand in its way.

In Los Angeles today, you can virtually travel the world without leaving, thanks to their more visible ethnic enclaves, if you know where to find them. No different with NYC!

I stayed in a motel on Alverado Street in L.A. a couple years ago, and it was like being in Tijuana, with sidewalk vendors everywhere, complete with pirated DVD/CD and taco stands. There's Little Cambodia in Long Beach, Thai Town in East Hollywood, Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Vietnam in Westchester, Iranian, Indian, Armenian enclaves, they have it all in L.A.! But not in boring San Francisco!

But, at the same time, there's nothing like immersing yourself in the real thing!

Our inner cities are headed for sterilization, due to the big movement to return to the downtown areas, which will all resemble one another eventually, with the displaced being driven out to the suburbs.

Whenever I have to transfer to the trolley to Tijuana, in downtown San Diego, I feel like I'm going to suffocate with all that sterilization! And more downtown areas are headed that way, the lack of diversity, downtown L.A. is headed in that direction as well.
Only Americans would think those ethnic enclaves represent the countries they are supposed to look like. bad news is no.


For example, LA's Chinatown looks nothing like China. It more looks at some 3 tier smallish city in a Cantonese speaking province in1985 at best. The people are different, lifestyle is different. Even the food doesn't represent Chinese food. Everyone speaks Cantonese there, but in real China, it is rare for one to find Cantonese speaking person outside Guangdong.


This probably applies to many other "xxtowns" as well. Yes, LA has a lot of diversity, but let's not pretend it has the world in one city. You can travel the world without leaving LA county? in your dream.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,169 posts, read 4,195,479 times
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Very interesting topic. Many reasons to travel have been mentioned already: my husband and I like to travel because we're curious about the world, different cultures, different languages, different foods and histories.... Learning about these things actually helps us understand ourselves much better, and travel experiences help us to develop our likes, dislikes, and identities even more.

But even beyond seeking reasons for travel, it is interesting to think about deeper compulsions or mindsets that motivate travelers. In my case, for example, travel (in the U.S. or elsewhere) is a way of trying to plumb the depths of what makes other people tick, and that leads to a certain challenge of my own way of thinking and doing, and to a challenge of how my various communities think and do things. What underlies this is a perpetual skepticism of routine and established traditions, even if the cultures I'm studying value the routine and traditions. Traveling is one of the things that make me feel most alive, as the challenge is invigorating yet not usually overwhelming. Interestingly, I get a similar thrill from reading, which requires no special location, expense, and expenditure of energy. I see travel and reading as occupying places on the same continuum.

For a lot of travelers, myself included, there is often a bit of fetishism involved. In my case, I love "collecting" experiences: food experiences and culinary education, walks through labyrinthine towns, deepening of historical perspective, development of language skills, seeing new plants and birds (I'm a birder), and various other activities that mean a lot to me even when I'm home and not going too far. It just happens that the stuff I love doing the most (usually educational and cultural experiences) are conducive to global travel. Some other things I love doing don't rely on world travel and can be done at home. But both categories are important to me, so I do both. If I were more of a homebody, or primarily enjoyed activities that required being at home or emphasizing local interests, then I suppose I wouldn't travel so much.

One of the interesting ironies of travel is that many people want to expand their world by plumbing the depths of cultures and societies that, in their own right, tend to be traditional and provincial (at least to a degree). When people travel to France or Italy or Ecuador or wherever, they want to see people doing primarily French, Italian, Ecuadorean, etc. things--or at least credibly enough to be recognizable as a different and distinct culture. If travelers didn't have access to that, they would go elsewhere or stay at home, to some extent.

Another little irony is that many travelers wax poetic about the quaint little parochial villages they explored in Spain or Chile or India, yet turn their nose up at the (quaint, to some) parochial villages of Nebraska, Idaho, and West Virginia. Many people only see virtue in one or the other group ("The people of X European village are so charming!" "The folks living in Y town in Anywhere, USA are so authentic and down-to-earth!"), but the appeal depends on the observer's background, expectations, and goals. There's lots to see in the world, lots of wisdom to absorb, whether it's in some far-flung land halfway across the world or in your own backyard.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Sunrise
10,868 posts, read 14,243,316 times
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63 countries and counting here. I do it because I truly want to see as much of the world as I can before I die.


I look at success as a very simple equation: Everything you have seen and done divided by everything that is realistically possible to see and do. It is certain that I will never travel to another world, star-system or galaxy. So I make do by seeing my own planet.
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Old 03-17-2016, 01:25 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,234 posts, read 13,982,771 times
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I think it is simply a curiosity to see "what's there" in the rest of the world, Period. Unless the avid traveler appears to be someone who's running away from something personal, I don't see a big psychological reasoning for it.
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