posted on Mar, 2 2011 @ 03:50 PM
Last week I had a verbal altercation with a man from Britain who had a bit to say about us Americans, specifically .. our lack of travel. Or
International travel I should say. When asked why I've never been to Europe, I replied ... what would I see that's so different? I've always
wanted to go, just for the history mostly .. but for the average person who gets a week or two a year to travel with their family, we have everything
we could possibly want right here in America. And while we won't get the cultural immersion of visiting Europe or Asia, traveling with a family
especially, where vacationing is more for the kids ... I simply can't see what's wrong with staying in America?
Of all the Post-Industrial nations in the World, America by far has fewer passport holders than anyone else. And when I say by far... I mean, by far!
Roughly 18% of Americans have a passport, and that only increased because of the requirement for Americans to get back from Canada and Mexico, you
must have a passport.
Great Britain has the highest percentage of Passport holders at 82% .. and Europeans have the highest percentage of international travelers..
I hear it all the time, American's don't travel over seas because they fear unknown cultures and believe they are the center of the universe. But I
have to ask, how accurate is that? Vacations are a staple of the American life.. we just tend to stay within our borders. Yet most vacations are
across state lines, and our states average larger than the territorial size of say.. European countries.
In Europe if you grow up in Britain, you can see the Alps, the sunny South of France, the dry deserts of Spain or the forests of Germany.. you cross
International boundaries to get to those destinations, you see different cultures and people speak different languages.
I grew up in Ohio, flat land and nothing much to see. Every year we went somewhere different for vacation .. it may have been the coast of South
Carolina, Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes, Florida, and so on.
In America, I can go to the West Coast and camp in North America's only temperate rain forest.. or visit the tropical islands of Hawaii, the big city
of New York, or the white sand beaches of Florida. I can ski the Rocky Mountains and fish the lakes of Minnesota, or see the Grand Canyon, the
history of Natives in Arizona or founding locations of our union in Pennsylvania and DC.
If I were to visit one place every year for the rest of my life, I wouldn't see everything I want to see .... just in my own country. Our states all
have their own character, ways of life, accents, geography and history. I might not be able to experience sitting in a French cafe, or see 2000 year
old ruins in Italy, or be immersed by a population speaking another language.. but I can still visit a new place every time I travel, see new scenery,
try new foods not common in my state, or visit the different cultures of bustling New York, to the laid back drawl of southern Tennessee.
I agree Americans SHOULD travel more.. but I think considering Americans to be in some way inferior to other populations because of our traveling
habits to be a bit rash .. I don't think we are nearly as narcissistic as the World thinks, we are just blessed to have everything we could ask for
within our own borders.