I feel like the implication of the initial post was that Americans are provincial, insular, and uncultured. This annoys me immensely. Sorry if I read into that too much.
I think this is largely a class issue. Our country also has zero mandated vacation time, and while you’ll probably get your 10 days off per year plus federal holidays if you’re salaried, (and many times that includes sick days AND we have no maternity leave) you get NO time off if you’re not salaried. I noticed somebody made the comment that the salaries posted by US Bees seems really high. A few caveats to that: 1. I’m pretty certain that the Weddingbee audience skews middle to upper-middle class. 2. While we might make more money in take-home pay, our medical and education expenses are vastly higher than most countries. 3. The US has an enormous wealth gap compared to other developed nations, meaning that probably 30% of Americans will never be able to really afford to travel abroad, while maybe 10% can afford to do it regularly.
We also live in a country that is huge, and diverse in terms of geography, cultures, and population density. I love traveling, and am fortunate enough to be able to afford to do it fairly regularly, but didn’t have a passport until I was 20 (as an aside, I had been to Canada twice, but until a few years ago, all you needed was a birth certificate). HOWEVER, at that point in my life, I’d been to family trips in Hawaii, Alaska, NYC, DC, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Las Vegas, multiple trips to Florida, Philadelphia, San Francisco, a two week cross-country road trip, spent a summer volunteering on a reservation in South Dakota and another in Appalachia. I lived in France for a couple of years, and LOVED the ability to easily (and cheaply) travel to other countries, but I also appreciate the fact that there’s a diversity of experiences to be had in the US.
Do I think it’s sad that a few of those who can afford it never take advantage of it, either because they’re worried about safety, language barriers, or lack a desire to experience something different, or would rather have “stuff” over experiences? Sure. But I don’t think that’s the majority of those who don’t have passports. And I also know people in other countries who are like this.
I also know that getting a passport was way cheaper for French citizens (something in the neighborhood of 30 euros to our $100+). Though that seems like a small hurdle, small things like that can make it that much more difficult for people to go abroad.