Friday, February 4, 2011

My Bags Are Packed!

I saw this article on that talks about why Americans don't travel abroad - Why Americans don't travel abroad?

After reading this, I want to go travel somewhere.

A couple of the first points that they brought up did not surprise me.

1. Only 30% of Americans have passports. I have known plenty of people who didn't have passports and the reason most of them got them recently is so they can go on a cruise to Mexico.

2. Most Americans are comfortable. That statement is true. It's amazing that I've met people
here in Arkansas that have barely traveled outside this state. I think some people are just happy with what they have around them and don't look elsewhere to explore.

3. America is diverse. Yes it is. There are areas of the country that I want to see, but I have been overseas more often. The places that I want to see are more the wilderness. I want to see Yellowstone, the Pacific Northwest, Yosemite, etc. I don't have the desire to go to LA, what kind of history is there. I just consider it a large city. I would like to see SF. I think it has a different culture and vibe to it, plus many things to see. When I think of Europe, I think of the history that goes back 1000's of years. When I think of Asia, I see the cultures and also the history.

4. The point of skepticism and ignorance is good. Most people don't know about the country, so they make general opinions such has the French don't like the Americans. That place is dangerous, etc. These are normally untrue. I think it's just an excuse that people use. I find that people can't believe that I would travel to a foreign country by myself, but it always ends up being a great time.

5. Work Culture - Sure the US doesn't encourage a gap year, but it's also hard to get away for longer than a week. I have a couple of trips that I would need about 3 weeks off for to really get a feel for the areas that I want to visit. Most of the tours that I've looked at are at least 2 weeks.

6. The article is right about cost and logistics. It can be hard to plan and it isn't as expensive as most people think. The plane ticket does end up being the most expensive aspect of the trip. Your best bet is to try and go during an offseason.

Never be afraid to travel and always try to step outside your comfort zone. You'll never know what you find once you leave. If you can't get out of the US at least try to go somewhere here that you've wanted to go or think you would have never enjoyed. EXPLORE, EXPLORE!!!

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