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American Ignorance

Updated on May 28, 2013

Why Americans should travel outside the U.S.

Americans need to get out of their own country and travel to other locations. And I am not talking about going on a cruise to Mexico to get drunk. Did you know that only 5% of Americans actually have a passport? I remember when I traveled to France for the first time. All the Americans that I spoke to were cautioning me how the French hate us. When I got to France I noticed the exact opposite. The French love us; they just hate our government. The French were very hospitable. I loved their culture, the people, the food, and the laid back atmosphere.

I believe that Americans need to get out and experience different cultures and countries for a variety of different reasons. I believe that most people, once they have experienced traveling abroad will come back as different people. They will see the world in a different light. From my own personal experiences I started paying attention to what was going on in the rest of the world more. I can listen to different perspectives and understand how people can view different topics vastly differently. It is a great experience to step out of this bubble that many Americans have around them and realize so many different things.

It seems that since America is so large that we kind of forget what is going on in the rest of the world. We are divided by states but that is just a line on the map. We are not divided by culture, language, or even currency. I cannot really pinpoint one main reason of why Americans have this bubble around us. Is it because of the industrial revolution? Is it because after World War II we became the “world police” and we think ourselves better than other countries? Is it because we have been spoiled with everything that you can buy in America that our Grandparents never would have imagined when they were young? I cannot give you a straight answer to this question. But I can tell you that I have met plenty of Americans who have their own assumptions and accepted ways of understanding the world around them, with nothing to base it on.

Once you travel abroad it opens so many new trains of thought though. And I believe that view the world with a much more empathetic understanding of the connections between themselves and the places they’ve visited. They will start to see the people around them in a much different light. And they will see their selves on different sides of a debate than they used too.

I also believe that traveling can open up so many different opportunities for you. Employers will look on your resume and see someone who took the initiative to broaden their horizons. They will know that you have gained that experiential learning by being in contact with other local cultures and people. This could make you more marketable in your field.

Another reason I believe Americans need to travel, especially when we are younger, is because we are all crazy. Yeah I said crazy. We work our whole lives for one thing or another. We work hard in high school to get accepted at a good college. We work hard in college to get a good paying job. We work hard at work to get a good wage, decent benefits, and a secure pension. We just love to work hard. This is exactly one reason that young Americans should travel. You should be able to get out there and experience how the rest of the world operates. It will be a great learning experience for you. And it will give you something to tell your children and grand children about.

There are so many different reasons that I believe Americans should travel abroad. Above are just a few. Do you agree with me and if so what are some other reasons you think we should travel abroad?

Travel Poll

Have you ever traveled outside of the United States?

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    • PaulStaley1 profile image


      6 years ago from With the wind---(or against it)

      traveling sure opens ones eyes----nice hub!

    • melodyts profile image


      7 years ago

      1. Help my family and other people. 2. Travel around the world with my loved ones. 3. Taste different kind of foods. 4. Write my own book. 5. Sky diving 6. Buy most expensive car in the world. 7. Learn and experience other culture. 8. Stay in the most luxurious hotel. 9. Live peacefully and happily with my loved ones. 10. Build a big happy and harmonious family.

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for visiting the page IE & Nick and sharing. I loved France, I actually thought the people there were a lot nicer than the English. I visited mainly Paris and Marseilles. I loved Paris but I would not want to live there unless I was young and single. Marseilles reminded me a lot of San Francisco here in the states. It was absolutely beautiful, it has the Chateau D'if (prison), and is right on the coast. I would highly recommend living there if you can afford it. Cost wise France isn't too bad. It is on the Euro system but people make roughly what we make here in the states, but in Euro's instead of dollars. As long as you were making Euro's it wouldn't be bad. If you were living off of a U.S. retirement and wanted to make it in France it would be a lot harder. The last time I was over there it was 1.73 Euro to the dollar and the English Pound I believe was something like 2.11 to the dollar. If you go to Spain I highly recommend checking out Barcelona. It is a very beautiful and interesting city. And there are so many things to see.

    • profile image

      Nick Lucas 

      7 years ago

      very well said! I agree....I know for me traveling at a young age made a big difference.....even though I did end up in some dangerous situations.....more than not I met great people and learned a lot.

    • IntimatEvolution profile image

      Julie Grimes 

      7 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

      Great hub. Thanks for sharing your travel opinions with us. I have bookmarked this article.

      I want so badly to visit France. I actually have very high hopes of living in Europe. I was born in Spain. I could easily denounce by American citizenship to become Spanish. You never know when something like that might be useful these days. My husband and I are always looking for property to buy in Spain, Portugal and France. That is how serious we are in moving out of the U S A. Can you tell me some great points of interest to know about France? How much did it cost if you don't mind me asking?

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for stopping by SJ

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I definitely agree with you. I studied in Oxford for a while, and what a difference it made in the way I understand education! I've also traveled to Greece and Mexico (NOT the drunken cruise/Cancun Mexico--the migrant camp-laden, poverty-stricken, no-flushable-toilets-for-miles Mexico) and there is nothing like it for making you aware of how insulated we are. I think part of it is how HUGE the U.S. is--you can travel thousands of miles and not leave the country. But it's worth it. Oh, is it worth it. Thanks for posting.

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      I might have to make a trip to Thailand. I have heard many great things about it.

    • Escape2Paradise profile image


      7 years ago from Bangkok Thailand

      Next time you should of try With Thailand ;)

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      @steph ok now I am jealous. I would love to see the Northern lights.

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      @Peter Thanks for your comment. As far as Asia is concerned I have only been to China and Vietnam, but I loved both of them.

      @Arlene Thanks for your comment. I actually lived in the Bay area for a # of years. I loved the weather and the people but hated the price of everything.

    • Stephiliboo profile image


      7 years ago from Liverpool, United Kingdom

      This is what I do... I write about just this... Check out the second link in my profile

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 

      7 years ago

      Well-written--voted up as useful and interesting. You are so right on this subject. I don't have a problem with traveling outside of the U.S. I was born with "Traveling Shoes," and as long as I have money, I will never regret investing in my trips. I love to see how the rest of the world lives, but even better--it's great to come home to my home in California.

    • PETER LUMETTA profile image


      7 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

      DK you are so right, I've been out of the country as much as I've been in and I've tried to learn and see as much as I can because the world is a wonderful place, sometimes grand and sometimes sad but always amazing, Thanks for a nice HUB,


    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for the comment FanUSA I agree Americans do still believe we are #1

    • FanUSA profile image


      7 years ago

      You are absolutely right. And, another reason to travel abroad, especially to any major industrial country, is to have one's eyes opened on how so many of them are so far ahead of us in terms of education, technology, infrastructure etc. We Americans still believe that we are #1 but that is a fallacy. It's time to realize that we need to catch up or be left behind.

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      @Bretsuki I completely agree, I believe it to be very sad.

    • Bretsuki profile image

      William Elliott 

      7 years ago from California USA

      Funnily enough I have just joined the 5% of Americans with a passport, and was talking with my wife about this. I only got my US passport yesterday, but being an Englishman I had a passport for many years.

      Even going to school in the 1970's all my friends had travelled overseas, mostly to Spain in those days, but then Greece and today their children travel around the globe with little realization that they are in a minority.

      Coming to Central California was a shock a couple of years ago I helped a Community College program with a trip to the Pacific coast, a little over 100 miles away, so an easy days drive, of forty adults in the group only seven had been to the coast, non of the others had even left the Central valley. Their reason, "Why would I want to?"

      This thought was completely alien to me. And it was a little sad.

      Good Hub.

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for the input Greensleeves

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 

      7 years ago from Essex, UK

      It's not really for me to comment on Americans and travel, but I guess the fact that there is so much to see in your own country, plus the fact that it is so far to travel to other countries apart from Canada and Central America, makes it easy for Americans to stay at home.

      Everyone should travel more though - it broadens the mind and creates memories which last forever.

    • daskittlez69 profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from midwest

      Thanks for the responses. It is great to hear from people all over the world.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 

      7 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Hi I live in Fife in Scotland and from spring to autumn in particular there are loads of American visitors to my patch and to Edinburgh and Stirling. What I will say is that it is great to see these visitors coming back time after time and I've met quite a few of them over the years and quite a few have become good friends. It's great to share ideas, viewpoints and stories. The interesting thing is how much we are alike in some ways but how much or views can be angled differently because of where we live.

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I did some traveling when I was in my twenties to various parts or the US and Europe (I live in Canada). Yes, it certainly does alter perspective. Great hub earning you a vote-up and interesting.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 years ago

      So true. I'm amazed how many people with adequate resources to travel the world go back to the same place for vacation year after year. Or, almost worse, go abroad and insist it be exactly like what they are familiar with or what makes them comfortable. Travelling is all about getting out of your comfort zone. Never go to the same place twice - I say. Great hub.


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