Before butchering the American population as ignorant, people should realize some of the mental predispositions and constrains Americans have to go through to go abroad.
America has never had an outstanding drive to explore places abroad like England, Spain, France, Germany, China, etc. After gaining independence, the most that came about the US “empire” abroad was a few islands in the Pacific, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
The domestically-driven governing power of the US through most of its history has predisposed its population to also think within the boundaries of the country, teaching most of the population to settle for only what is within their reach.
Besides this mental predisposition, one must understand that the US is isolated from the world, surrounded by thousands of miles of ocean from pretty much anywhere truly foreign. This isolation makes international flight fares exponentially more expensive than domestic fares.
One should keep in mind many countries in Europe and Asia (considered some of the most well-traveled) have higher standards of living than the United States. The US might be a powerhouse, with a great capitalistic culture that produces jobs, but, the truth is, Americans live to work.
“In Italy, the standard of living is much better than in America; they have much more time to enjoy the money they make than Americans,” said Danielle Scola, Italian citizen and second-year psychology student at the University of Florida.
Thanks to a map by Thrillist that combines the data from Mercer’s Worldwide Benefit And Employment Guidelines and the Center for Economic and Policy Research we find the difference between vacation allowances across the world. According to this data, the US is the only country out of the 64 countries featured that doesn’t require employers to give their workers a paid leave.
Not having a paid leave is a huge limitation for families that want to travel abroad, especially since these vacations tend to require more time than the average trip to a National Park. The longer the vacation, the longer that family is not getting paid. This situation makes traveling very difficult unless people plan in advance and save money. Even then, saving is not easy when the average flight ticket is between $800 and $1,500 — for a single person– not including getting a passport, hotel, transportation, eating and other activities.
Language might also impose another barrier to those who want to travel to foreign locations.
“I think a lot of Americans don’t know other languages, which creates a roadblock,” Scola said. “It makes them self-conscious and creates stress, something most don’t want when planning a vacation.”
America is the third largest country in the world and one of the most diverse. The United States is regarded as the most geological, meteorological and culturally diverse nation in the world according to Paste Magazine.
If you are one of the people that go straight ahead to say Americans are uncultured and are outraged by their lack of desire to see the world, understand that the majority of Americans probably do have a desire to see the world but they just can’t do it. The problem is that the layout of this country prompts the population to choose traveling within the country because is cheaper, easier and gives a sense of patriotism becuase it benefits the country directly. In the other hand, traveling abroad is more time consuming, you’re most likely not getting paid, its more expensive and it stimulates the economies of other countries.
Still, even with these obstacles, according to DailyMail the population of the US is the second most well-traveled group in the world.
At the end, just be understanding that although you’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel many don’t have that chance, so they rather say they don’t have any dreams instead of admitting they have dreams they will never be able to achieve.
Moral of the story: America is awesome, but so is the rest of the world.