Post # 182
I have one. I love to travel but it is expensive. I think the reason that the majority of Americans don’t have one is the cost. If you already live in Europe, trains and short flights are relatively inexpensive. For us $1000+ and a 13 hour flight are needed to get to Europe. And the USA is very large and diverse. We have all different types of climate and scenery (forest, desert, tropical, mountains etc..) that can be explored for much less money and no language barrier.
I’ve been to England, France, Italy and Jamaica. I can’t wait to see more!
Post # 183
“Americans spend so much more on weddings and on rings than Europeans do that i think the money excuse is invalid but i understand the lack of time.”
… the US has a greater disparity of wealth than most other developed nations. While there are a significant number of Americans who buy expensive diamond rings and have lavish weddings, there are also loads of Americans who don’t, and plenty who lack access to healthcare and education because it’s priced out of their reach. Forgive them for being so uncultured as to forego an expensive international vacation. *Please* don’t go off of what you see on television, or even on this site, as it’s not representative of the norm.
Another barrier to travel I thought of that I ran into while living abroad as an American, is that most other western countries have work visa and educational exchange partnerships with other countries, while the American citizens have far fewer programs to choose from, aside from paying American rates of tuition to attend universities abroad for a semester. I knew loads of Australians, for example, in France on a one-year work visa that Americans were ineligible for, and loads of European Erasmus students.
I also think that the cultural acceptance of “gap years” in other parts of the world, along with more easily accessible work visas and exchange programs means that other countries have a larger population of people who traveled while younger, and will probably continue to do so.
I don’t mean to lecture, I’m just tired of hearing that Americans are a bunch of ignorant buffons, content to stay in our McMansions.
Post # 185
Yes, I’ve had a passport since I was 8. I’ve traveled internationally a handful of times. This reminds me, I really need to get my son a passport!!
Post # 186
Yeah ofcourse i wasn’t talking about people that can’t afford it but American culture is more focussed on material things than Europeans. So it suprises me people on here say they don’t have any money for it but the are realy saying they choose to spend it elsewhere.
I realy like Americans because they are very friendly and my love for expensive handbags is unusual here in Europe while indeed display of wealth is more accepted. And i’ve been to the states and met Americans elsewhere so it’s doesn’t have anything to do with TV but i do notice the hostiliy many Europeans have towars Americans (god knows why because they are more friendly than most Europeans)
Post # 187
- Wedding: January 2011 - Midland, TX
The hubby and I both have passports (although I need to update mine because of my name change). We LOVE to travel and went to the Bahamas for our honeymoon. I really really want to visit Europe pretty soon (in another year or so).
I agree with you. Eventhough I personally don’t spend much money on designer “stuff”….I will spend money on travel though.
Post # 188
i live in Canada and have had one since i was a child. I actually didn’t know that we didn’t need a passport to get into the US until it became required! i just used to always bring it with me when i travelled to the states. I probably got one as a child though because i went to Egypt when i was 8 years old.
I was also surprised to learn that many of DH’s American friends that he met while on internship in the US didn’t have a passport. I think it came up when we were hanging out with a gay couple and they were talking about the sad fact that they can’t get married in their state even if they wanted to (Maine), and i suggested they could always drive to Quebec if they wanted since it is so close. And one of the guy’s response was “I guess that would first mean i need to get a passport”. It just seemed like such minor obstacle to overcome given the discussion, i didn’t even see it as an issue!
Post # 189
@SpecialSundae: I don’t, firstly I’ve always meant to but I’ve never had the money or opportunity to travel outside of the US. Also, to get one is a bit expensive. 🙁
I do plan on applying for one within the next few months as I’m DYING to get to Kenya!
Post # 190
I’ve had one since 2008 when my then-boyfriend (now husband) & I moved to Texas, for random Mexican border-town excursions. Don’t know if I’d head over the border anymore though! Since I’ve had my passport, I’ve been to all sorts of awesome places outside the US, almost all with my husband: Mexico, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Canada, England, France and Germany (the last three were our honeymoon, we just got back Monday!). I can’t imagine not having a passport, and in fact, I’m trying to get my husband to agree to moving out of country for a couple of years, just to try it out! Perhaps England..
Post # 191
@SpecialSundae: I confess, I haven’t gone through the full 5 pages, but this is so interesting!
As a fellow UK Bee, it really hadn’t dawned on me that people wouldn’t have a passport? (I mean this in terms of US/UK/Rest of the Globe Bees).
I’ve travelled internationally since I was an infant and Fiance and I fly at least 4-5x per year.
Post # 192
I just got a passport for the first time! I have never needed one before. I have always wanted to travel outside the good ole USA, but the opportunity has never come up. Now that I’m a military wife and have so many more opportunities open to me, it would just be silly not to take advantage of it. Plus, my DH loves to travel. We plan on going to Europe (pushing him to go to England, I’m fascinated by everything English) when he gets home for deployment.
Post # 193
Honestly, I don’t think this is really a fair accessment. I have been to Europe several times, and, in fact, my family is Italian, and I see plenty of materialism/consumerism going on over there. The trends are often different, and the priorities are different, but it exists.
I think a more realistic reason for the difference is in the US, we get much less vacation time from work, which makes international travel more difficult (why pay for extremely costly flights if you can’t get weeks off from work at a time?). Also, the US, Mexico & Canada have a large span, and often that’s enough for travel without feeling deprived of culture and the like. You don’t need a passport to travel between states, many of which are the same size as European countries, so a passport isn’t a necessity the way it is in Europe. There are a slew of reasons an American would be less likely to have a passport, none of which have anything to do with materialism & priorities. Many Americans spend a great deal of money on vacations without having to have a passport.
Post # 194
“So it suprises me people on here say they don’t have any money for it but the are realy saying they choose to spend it elsewhere. “
How do you know that they can afford it if they say they can’t? That makes no sense. I agree that Americans tend to be more materialistic, but it’s probably mostly because we have no time off to enjoy other things…
“And i’ve been to the states and met Americans elsewhere so it’s doesn’t have anything to do with TV”
… but your initial assessment was that Americans have large rings and lavish weddings. And if you traveled outside of touristy areas, you’d find that to be untrue in many communities in the US. Sure, the average ring and wedding is more expensive, but there are so many people that don’t go this route- it’s just that you don’t notice the lack of a diamond or a town hall wedding, wheras large ones and over-the-top weddings are obviously more in-your-face.
Sorry for the rant 🙂 I know you don’t have any bad intentions.
I think it’s interesting that I can’t even think of people within my social circle that haven’t traveled abroad, aside from the older generation of my mom’s family, who come from modest means. This is largely a function of economic status and exposure to travel.
I feel a bit trapped now, as I’m a teacher with ample vacation time, but Fiance (despite having 2.5 weeks vacation on paper), is rarely permitted to take more than a 3 day weekend. He had to practically twist his boss’ arm to get 4 days off for our honeymoon, and his boss asked if he’d be bringing his work phone along… our cultural attitude towards work is all kinds of screwed up.
Post # 195
THIS EXACTLY! If you even dare use your vacation time your job could be at risk. Everytime we travel to the UK my husband has to be near a computer at all times in case work needs him. So crazy. Also, Buttons, we fly many times during the year to other states. You don’t need a passport to travel in the US. You’ve seen it, it’s HUGE. I don’t think it’s crazy not to have a passport. You can travel till your heart is content here. There are a lot of different climates/cultures to explore here as well.
Post # 196
Yep, I have one and my SO as well. I said before I met him I better get one because you never know when you may need to hop a plane and leave the country. 🙂
Our LO doesn’t have one yet, but we plan to get her one soon. She will be going on cruises, so it’s a must. 🙂