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Fat Guy

The importance of travel

77 posts in this topic

As of 2003, I just read this factoid:

The top cities for passport ownership are:

New York, 38%

San Francisco, 37%

Miami/Fort Lauderdale, 33%

West Palm Beach, 31%

San Diego, 29%

Los Angeles, 27%

Washington DC, 27%

What does this tell you about travel and passports and the cities from which United States people travel? Having a passport may not mean they travel at all ...


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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re: travelling within the US vs. abroad:

I recently returned from Ecuador (there three weeks):

Plane $520

Hotels (single room, tv, hot water, own bath) $8 pp per night

travel within, roughly $5/day

food, $10-15/day (all at restaurants, including some nice meals)

If I'd travelled to Chicago from NYC, I'd have saved a couple hundred on

airfare, but would have far more than made up for it in hotels and food.

It's all about your priorities (not ignoring that some can't even determine where their next meal might come from). I have zero savings despite working overtime because I'm young and feel its important to travel in order to better understand the whole picture. But I can understand that some may be able to find the whole picture right where they are.


Drink maker, heart taker!

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re: travelling within the US vs. abroad:

I recently returned from Ecuador (there three weeks):

Plane $520

Hotels (single room, tv, hot water, own bath) $8 pp per night

travel within, roughly $5/day

food, $10-15/day (all at restaurants, including some nice meals)

Experience:Priceless (to qoute a pop. comercial)

I think Bourdain put it very well in his voice over intro "Cooks Tour"(tv) something along the lines of travelling to get ideas on food and understand cuisines.

Edit: grammer


Edited by M.X.Hassett (log)

Matthew Xavier Hassett aka "M.X.Hassett"

"Cocktail is a stimulating liquor, composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters-it is vulgarly called bittered sling and is supposed to be an exellent electioneering potion..."

- Balance and Columbian Repository. May 13, 1806

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As of 2003, I just read this factoid:

The top cities for passport ownership are:

New York, 38%

San Francisco, 37%

Miami/Fort Lauderdale, 33%

West Palm Beach, 31%

San Diego, 29%

Los Angeles, 27%

Washington DC, 27%

What does this tell you about travel and passports and the cities from which United States people travel?  Having a passport may not mean they travel at all ...

I'm not sure I understand your questions...could you clarify? Or are you looking a simplistic answer, like "People from big cities are more likely to travel abroad" or at least "People in big cities are more likely to have passports which would enable them to travel abroad"?

In my experience, and amongst my acquaintances, people with passports generally do travel abroad, or at the very least have travelled abroad once. No one I've ever met has gotten a passport just for the sake of getting one. In Canada, passports are much too pricey ($87-92 for a 5-year passport, vs. $97 for a 10-year US passport) to be so frivolous.

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O.k. so let me see if I can bring anything to this conversation.

What do you think the average tab is for a person say flying from Chicago to Italy, plus 6 nights accomidations, food, ground transportation.........the whole nine yards for a week in Italy?

The answer is: it's too much money for the average American couple.

I think you've pegged one critical reason, Wendy, and that is the expense.

Another reason I believe Americans don't travel abroad much is that they are intimidated by all the strangeness. It may be old hat to many here to land at CDG and find our way around Paris, but that ain't the case for most Americans.

My first trip to Paris was on business and I was scared to death. I bought books, I tried to get francs from a local bank, I studied maps. I think we tend to forget how scarey it can be going someplace REALLY FAR FAR away where most people don't speak English.

After many years of travel experience I went on business to London with a young coworker. He was brave but uncomfortable on the trip. The first thing he wanted to do in London was eat at McDonald's. Fending off the strangeness was important to him. For dinner, our group went for pizza so he would feel comfortable and could still wear his jeans.

I also think the self contained resorts like Cancun are successful in part because they insulate the guests from having to deal with the strange country.


Edited by mrsadm (log)

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

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I think you've pegged one critical reason, Wendy, and that is the expense. 

Although as others have mentioned, it can often be cheaper to go abroad (especially during low seasons) than travel domestically.

Another reason I believe Americans don't travel abroad much is that they are intimidated by all the strangeness.  It may be old hat to many here to land at CDG and find our way around Paris, but that ain't the case for most Americans.

My first trip to Paris was on business and I was scared to death.  I bought books, I tried to get francs from a local bank, I studied maps.  I think we tend to forget how scarey it can be going someplace REALLY FAR FAR away where most people don't speak English.

I think this is closer to why many people don't travel much, even outside their own state or province. Many people are creatures of habit--they like what they know and what they're comfortable with. Not everyone needs the excitement, adventure, stress, etc. of travelling to an unfamiliar place. However, I've always believed that in order to know your own country, you must experience other countries, as well. Just as in order to know and understand your own culture, you must experience other cultures. But then again, not everyone really cares about that kind of stuff.

After many years of travel experience I went on business to London with a young coworker.  He was brave but uncomfortable on the trip.  The first thing he wanted to do in London was eat at McDonald's.  Fending off the strangeness was important to him.  For dinner, our group went for pizza so he would feel comfortable and could still wear his jeans.

I also think the self contained resorts like Cancun are successful in part because they insulate the guests from having to deal with the strange country.

As James Michener said

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.

But again, different people travel for different reasons. Those who go to places like Cancun (or resorts in the DR, Cuba, etc.) often just want to get away and relax. They're not interested in learning about another culture or food. And often, they just like being able to say, "I went to so-and-so" because it makes them sound somewhat important. Different strokes for different folks...

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One major reason for moving from Australia to the Uk was the ease of travel to Europe from the UK. I have many great big fat books on "The regional cooking of X" and while these books are good and the restuarants that aim to serve the cuisine of X back in Australia or the UK give some impression of what the cuisine of X is about, the experience of eating in X is completely different.

How many "Tuscan" cookbooks have I seen (dozens?), yet very few of these actually resemble what I see at the markets or in the restaurants. I'm not sure how this relates to dining, but it certainly effects the way I make a choice about where I eat now.

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I do believe, firmly, that the main reason holding back Americans from foreign travel is money. That's not to say that it would be impossible for the average working guy and gal to save up and go anyway, but for many of them, just working paycheck to paycheck, the thought of "blowing" (which is how they would see such an unnecessary expense) a minimum of a thousand bucks per person (and in reality probably much more) on foreign travel is simply out of the question.

Places like Cancun may indeed seem more "familiar," but they are also easily do-able for most US citizens for $500 and under, including a 2-4 hour charter flight and three nights hotel. And you're right that the average American heading for Cancun or an all-inclusive in the Caribbean is probably not interested in the food.

But --

Almost without exception, when you ask "just folks" what their dreams are, what they'd do if they won the lottery, what they plan to do when they retire, the number one answer is "travel."

And, it's usually to Europe. Contrary to what most of you seem to believe, Europe holds no fear for the average US citizen (although that's the least flattering, and therefore most attractive, possible reason because we seem to love putting ourselves down). However, the truth is that most Americans tend to see much of Europe as an older, prettier, more historic and interesting version of the US and quite likely, the country of the origin of their forefathers. Believe me, folks, barging the canals of the UK, for example, is just not intimidating, even to Mr. & Mrs. Johnson of Ames, Iowa. And neither is Australia, or New Zealand, all very high up on the average non-traveling American's wish list.

It's true that the average US citizen does not pine to begin their travels with a couple of weeks exploring the back alleys and food stalls of Hong Kong, or skiing in Japan, or backpacking the Himalayas, or trekking through big ape country in Africa.

But having spent eighteen years in the travel industy, I absolutely, positively guarantee you that when discretionary income skyrockets dramatically, and the house and schooling and furniture and cars and kids and hospital bills and other responsibilities, obligations and necessities are taken care of, even Mr. & Mrs. American-As-Apple-Pie-Never-Seen-The-Ocean pack their suitcases and head for the airport.

And are damn glad to be doing it.

And it isn't because they've suddenly conquered their "fears."


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'm not sure it's the strangeness that stops middle America.........I'd call it fear. We live plugged into our TV's, what we know, we learned on tv. We've become so insolated by our fears we're close to being paralized.

If you noticed Chicago wasn't on that list of citys with people holding alot of pass ports. Granted we do have a segment of weathly people who do hold passports and do travel extensively..........but when you step down into middle class America I'd have a struggle if I wanted to find a person in my area that had a passport. I don't know one person who does.

We struggle, literally everyday to travel back and forth from our jobs on roads not meant to handle the volume they currently do. We unwind infront of the tv that shows us how every country in the world hates us. We've become shell shocked by 9/11 and huricanes waiting for something to happen to our little neighborhood. Right now, no one is spending their extra pennies..........we're sure that rainy day is coming soon. And with predicted heating bills being triple last years, it looks like this winter going to rain hard.

I get a couple days off work, my house needs attention, I'm tired, I don't want to put alot of effort into a vacation. I don't want to learn something new, I just want to experience something new.

From Chicagoland going to either coast or down south is like going to another country. We can experience completely different foods, customs and scenery right in our own backyard.

There aren't alot of travel shows on tv. The ones there are, are so focused on high end travel middle Americans don't even bother to day dream on that. They want to watch something obtainable for them. There aren't positive interesting stories of peoples lives in other countries floating on the screen of my tv. I'm personally excited by the presence of foodtv and peoples awakening to food as a art/craft/skill and the people making food as more then unskilled blue collar workers. If the media's angle on travel and it's constant fear mongering ever ends, then maybe middle class America will travel abroad.

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I'm not sure it's the strangeness that stops middle America.........I'd call it fear. We live plugged into our TV's, what we know, we learned on tv. We've become so insolated by our fears we're close to being paralized.

Sorry folks, but I just don't buy it. If dad's a cop and mom's a nurse and you've got three kids, what would YOU choose -- $5000 and you leave the kids in Des Moines and head to Paris for a week?

Or putting that money into the children's college fund and trying to pay off the back end of your mortgage?

And maybe hope that if you save up, you can all go to Disney next summer.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'm not sure that the relative lack of Americans that travel has much to do with money or geographic realities.

If anything it would be more difficult for the average middle-class Australian to travel overseas verse the equivalent American.

These are the stats (Australia's population is ~ 20 million).

Autralian departures overseas for April 2005 seasonally adjusted is 460,400 (AusStats 3401.0 http://www.abs.gov.au)

American departures overseas for April 2005 (excluding Mexico and Canada) 2,128,387 (U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism).

So just on a per capita basis the amount of Americans travelling is much less.

I have trouble believing the the American standard of living is that much lower then in Australia, so I can only conclude that most Americans that have the resources to travel, just have no interest in travelling outwith the States, in comparison to the average Australian.

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Speaking as a person "getting closer to retirement" age, I can tell you that many of my friends say that they will travel to Europe when they're retired. They most likely won't. When you really listen to them and see the way they react to some of my stories of travel to Europe, you can hear a lot of fear. Why they think that they will become less fearful of travel when they're 65 and have never been abroad (when they were younger, and more adventurous) is beyond me. These people could afford a trip to Europe as easily as I can. They just haven't made it a priority because they're afraid that they'll get lost, won't speak the language and it's all just too "foreign" for them. As an aside, I live in the suburbs and some of the same people won't go into the city of Chicago because they think that a multitude of horrific things will happen to them and they see no point.

Americans, in general, don't seem to put vacations into their budget as many Europeans do. For many reasons, that's a shame. I agree with Wendy, however, that for a lot of people, it's just that it's too expensive.

jb

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I can only conclude that most Americans that have the resources to travel, just have no interest in travelling outwith the States

And obviously, without an exhaustive study, it would be impossible to exclude other factors for the lower rates of travel -- such as perhaps (as others have said) vastly greater diversity, and ease of travel, when comparing each country. I mean, frankly, if I had a choice of, say, repeat visits to Ayer's Rock, vs Grand Canyon, Redwood forest, Rocky Mountains, Seattle, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Key West, Boston, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orlando, Chicago, Anchorage, Juneau, New Orleans, to name just a few, I know what I'd choose. I'd rather return to any one of those destinations again and again.

And to say that "most Americans" have "NO interest in traveling outwith the States," is pretty strong.

Although I personally wouldn't even agree with that conclusion had you used the more likely "LESS interest in traveling...than the average Australian," based upon nothing more than that statistic, with no examination given to other possible reasons besides a lack of interest.

It's quite possible and, I think, most likely that the "average American" is just more interested in seeing the US first.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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To bring this back to food for a moment, it seems obvious to me that travel brings better regional/ethnic cuisine to more pallates in the U.S.

Travelling makes one aware of what people of a certain region actually eat, which has the effect of changing their dining choices and awareness at home.


Drink maker, heart taker!

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I'm not sure that anything you have said is inconsistent with any of the statement I made? Given the statisitcs, most Americans with the resources to travel obviously don't have sufficient interest in leaving leaving the USA to do so, that is a fact. It is also true of Australians, but as a percentage we are more likely to travel overseas. I think that this have very little to do with how crappy the natural views are in Australia compared to the USA, but more to do with attitudes towards vacation and travel.

In Australia we get more vacation time per year and we often get leave loading (we get more money in our pay cheque when we travel). We also have something called "Long service leave", this, for those entitled to it, is several months of fully paid leave after ten years of work in a particular company. Historically, it was awarded to employees who had provided long service in the colonies to enable them sufficient time to visit the United Kingdom.

The expectation of travel is very much part of the Australian culture, this doesn't seem to be the case in the USA, from what people have said here. There is a big difference between talking about the desire to travel and actually going and doing it as well. If people really want to travel they will, it doesn't requirer $5,000 for a week in Paris for instance.


Edited by Adam Balic (log)

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To bring this back to food for a moment, it seems obvious to me that travel brings better regional/ethnic cuisine to more pallates in the U.S.

Travelling makes one aware of what people of a certain region actually eat, which has the effect of changing their dining choices and awareness at home.

And surely, on that we can all agree. Without question, in my view anyway, travel is the single most educational, instructional and broadening experience anyone can undertake.

And I also agree with others that have said that no matter how much studying one does in one's native country regarding the cuisine of another's, no matter the number of lessons, cookbooks read, etc., until one visits that country, sees it, touches it, feels it, smells it, one's knowledge and understanding cannot help but be incomplete.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on the role of travel in the future of cuisine.

Those that have, may only have gone to all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.

And yet, the most popular foods in America are imports: Italian, Chinese, Mexican.

I assume over time travel will become easier and cheaper, even if the short term doesn't look all that great for travel. Eventually, faster and more efficient air travel has got to come along. Will this foster more of a spirit of adventure among diners, or will it cause homogenization, or will it just create a lot of tourist traps?

Travel is broadening and eating out abroad more so. If restaurants are barometers of local economic performance (the famous Economist Big Mac index being one bellwether), the calibration of the local dining culture--in its relative profusion and diversity of restaurants, markets and shops-- precisely speaks to the calibration of local culture. Food is the perfect porthole.

Of course we can travel to the food, or let it find us, in the most recent wave of immigrant-fuelled restaurants in our home cities.

Unfortunately, I don't assume that travel will become easier and cheaper. For North Americans especially, currency and security issues and rising fuel expenses mitigate against that notion, both for now and in the forseeable future.

For every traveller, there are 10 tourists. It's the tourist who has his nose pressed up against the pane of safety glass of all-inclusive or cruise dining, but the traveller who gets lost in order to become found.


from the thinly veneered desk of:

Jamie Maw

Food Editor

Vancouver magazine

www.vancouvermagazine.com

Foodblog: In the Belly of the Feast - Eating BC

"Profumo profondo della mia carne"

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It's quite possible and, I think, most likely that the "average American" is just more interested in seeing the US first.

My sister-in-law in many ways represents the "average American." Although she was born and raised in Canada, she was raised with a very typical US-attitude (her father is American--from upstate NY somewhere) and she lives in the US now. She and I once has a discussion (read: argument) and I mentioned something about how many Americans know little about what's outside their own backyard (like a friend of mine who didn't know Canada and the US were "attached"). She said, "Well, why should they?" Her attitude was that they didn't need to, since they had everything they could possibly want and need. So why bother learning about other countries? Or cultures?

This really is a very typical attitude amongst not just Americans, but many Canadians as well, and I'm sure many other nationalities can be included. But I do find that the Americans I've met tend to be much more....vocal about it.

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Experience:Priceless (to qoute a pop. comercial)

I think Bourdain put it very well in his voice over intro "Cooks Tour"(tv) something along the lines of travelling to get ideas on food and understand cuisines.

Bourdain's point might be stretched a bit to include the concept that travel is one of the ways for one to get ideas on different cultures. The foods that we eat grow from our cultures. The foods that we eat grow from our geographies and what our lands will produce. The geographies, the singular places (and here I will raise the memory of New Orleans as an emotional appeal to the idea of appreciation of "singular place") that are so varied around the world, grow the cultures that create the foods. The people that live in the singular places create the foods. It is their hands, their minds, their ways of "being", their histories that place taste and meaning into the food.

In this way, travel is important. The further one travels, the more expanded all sorts of horizons become. The tastebuds shift, the eyes have more things to compare with what happens to be in front of one, and most of all perhaps and hopefully there are small indiscernable shifts in the realm of the heart.

You will never find the true experience of a food of any culture outside the place it was grown. Good translations, yes. But not the true language.

That is where all this goes, this thing of eating, dining, knowledge of food.

It leads to our hearts.

That is my argument for travel. Travel as far as you can go. Find the money. Make the money. Take the time.

You will never regret it.

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I'm not sure that anything you have said is inconsistent  with any of the statement I made? Given the statisitcs, most Americans with the resources to travel obviously don't have sufficient interest in leaving leaving the USA to do so, that is a fact. It is also true of Australians, but as a percentage we are more likely to travel overseas. I think that this have very little to do with how crappy the natural views are in Australia compared to the USA, but more to do with attitudes towards vacation and travel.

If people really want to travel they will, it doesn't requirer $5,000 for a week in Paris for instance.

First of all, the views in Australia are not 'crappy,' nor did I say so. The view of Ayer's Rock is magnificent, and deservedly world-famous. But I'm not sure I'd want to make a great many repeat visits there. And I do think that the US has a great many more diverse travel destinations, and they are more easily accessible.

And just because, according to your statistics, Americans actually TRAVEL outside of their home country less than do Australians, that does not mean that the "average American has NO interest" in doing so. Not only is that a sweeping generalization, and an absolute, but it makes no accommodation for priorities.

As I said, the average American may wish to see the US first. For one thing, it IS cheaper.

You don't think that a week in Paris for two, staying in mid-priced hotels and eating average meals, doing some typical sightseeing (Seine cruise, Eiffel Tower, etc.), buying a few souvenirs, flying round-trip from the center of the US, paying someone to watch the kids back home, for our hypothetical middle-aged couple from Des Moines would cost $5000, all told?

Call a travel agent and find out.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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She and I once has a discussion (read:  argument) and I mentioned something about how many Americans know little about what's outside their own backyard (like a friend of mine who didn't know Canada and the US were "attached").  She said, "Well, why should they?"  Her attitude was that they didn't need to, since they had everything they could possibly want and need.  So why bother learning about other countries?  Or cultures? 

I've moved 37 times in my life, and lived in foreign countries, including Hong Kong, the Philippines, Panama, Germany, among others.

And certainly there are smug, self-satisfied, arrogant, chauvinistic clods in each.

I'd never say that such a thing does not exist in the US.

But I personally do not believe that they are the majority. No matter how 'vocal' they may be.

It's been my experience that the average US citizen does indeed have an interest in travel abroad. And that when they get the resources, time, money, etc., they do so.

If you're talking priorities, as I've said elsewhere, such travel may well be farther down the list than other things. I wouldn't argue that.

But that's not the same thing as saying that the majority of Americans are a bunch of provincial, ignorant, chauvinistic, herding, frightened, intimidated dolts.

As some in this thread are implying.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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You don't think that a week in Paris for two, staying in mid-priced hotels and eating average meals, doing some typical sightseeing (Seine cruise, Eiffel Tower, etc.), buying a few souvenirs, flying round-trip from the center of the US, paying someone to watch the kids back home, for our hypothetical middle-aged couple from Des Moines would cost $5000, all told?

Call a travel agent and find out.

Jaymes, I am quite sure that if this hypothetical couple could spend as little or much as there were hypothetical things in Paris to spend it on.

:smile:

But you know (aside from the kids) I have done these things. I want to travel and that means making effort. Can't afford $5,000 for a week in Paris, fine then if you have a burning desire to see France, then do what we have done rent a Farmhouse in Burgundy and hire a car. Ten years before that when we were student scum $3,500 kept me going in Europe for two months.

Anyway, I think that it is fair to say that although many Americans want to travel outwith the USA, not many of these people actually do. Given that most people seem to think that rtravel is a great way of learning about other cultures (and in this instance foods/cusines), do you think that Americans are going to more of less likely to travel in the future and how might this effect the development of dining in the USA? Increased Mexican/Latin American high end dining, compared to more 'traditional' European cusines?

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To apply some common sense here:

The average vacation time in the US is 13 days.

About 1/3 that of most of Western Europe.

The US is a very large country with a very diverse range of climates and terrain.

For eg the US land mass is 3.6 million sq miles.

Within that land mass are great beaches, mountains, plains,forrests,deserts, etc.

Not to mention man made attractions: cities, resorts etc.

Many families have vacation homes --here in NYC people have second homes or rent homes on LI, NJ Shore etc in the summer and often own homes or rent in VT, Colorado etc for the winter.

a case of so little time so many places nearby.

We also have two countries North and South of us which do not require passports and which offer much to see and do.

I suspect that many Americans travel abroad to Europe or the Far east:

---when young via college study abroad or on their own. During the sixties and seventies many teens and people under thirty travelled extensively.

---when retired having free time (and money).

In both cases there is time and money (the kids don't need it, the retired folks have it).

The point is one needs to look beyond the statistics.

Also important, most (the vast majority) of people from all over the world who are travelling are not doing so with sampling the local cuisine as the foremost concern. My guess is seeing the sights is number one--up there with 'experiencing" the beaches or mountains. For eg. many Europeans travel to Ibiza--they want to lie on a beach. Food and culture are mere sidelights for most every traveller Us or otherwise.

I also suspect that a family of four travelling to Italy is not going primarily for the great food.

The fact that the US has such great diversity via immigrants (there definitely is another thread needed) means we can experience other cultures and cuisines within relatively easy distance of where one lives.

I know that this is not equal to visiting the actual country but very few, if any, places in the world offer this breadth of experience.

I believe that the rapidly growing awareness of various cuisines and greater awareness of food and culture is a good thing and will encourage more people to travel abroad (and domestically) to experience them firsthand. One also hopes that

countries and cultures do not become so "globalized" that the travel experience is diluted.

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Unfortunately, I don't assume that travel will become easier and cheaper. For North Americans especially, currency and security issues and rising fuel expenses mitigate against that notion, both for now and in the forseeable future.

So, it's pretty clear that to the majority of Americans, travel is not a priority and there are many understandable factors as to why this is so. But jamiemaw's comment struck a chord with me. Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, nearly everywhere else in the world they've been dealing with many of these issues for a long time yet it doesn't stop folks from travelling completely. We (in the States) are just getting a taste of what those in Europe having been paying for gas forever! The same with security issues -- from those who lived through WWII to the many terrorist/radical group bombings over the last decades -- they have lived through these types of attacks and don't let it stop them. They continue with their daily routines. I guess the US is still reeling from the shock of 9/11??? It WAS shocking. But it shouldn't stop us from leading the lives we want to lead. It makes me sad to hear some of you say that you think many Americans who might WANT to travel are truly afraid to do so.

And perhaps part of it stems from the fact that (and I'm only speaking from my years in school) we do not have a practice of teaching as much world history as do other countries. We do not get as much news on world events on our main networks as they do in some other countries. I suppose this could all be part of it. This country is very insular, due, a lot, to geography. We ARE allowing and accepting and devouring foods from immigrant countries. We aren't very adventurous about finding out discovering them first hand from whence they cometh.

I hate generalizing about any one group of people but when investigating a query of this sort, I suppose one has to...at least a little!


Edited by kitwilliams (log)

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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