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#21 Tricia

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 07:04 PM

I live in Texas and have traveled extensively within the US itself.  Never been into Canada but have gone into Mexico a couple of times.  

There's an old saying that Texans have "The sun is rose, the sun is set and we is still in Texas yet"  Okay the grammar isn't so great but it is true.  Depending on where in the state you live it is a lonnnnngggg drive to just get past the state border.

As to having a passport, most folks don't get one even unless they are actually making a trip overseas.  Too much effort unless you are really going to use it.

I personally would love to see the world.  But money again is the issue :(

It's a dream of mine to see Europe...specifically Rome  (due to some of the sights shown during the coverage of Pope John Paul II's death and funeral) but I would like to do a world tour.

When I was much younger I read the story of a woman who worked her way across the ocean to Australia and New Zealand and did odd jobs as she traveled.  It sounded like so interesting and I wanted to do it so vbadly but never could work up the nerve.  Ah, regrets

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#22 Spectacles

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 08:15 PM

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SparkyCola: However, my point was that no matter how big America is, there is no where in America which can parallel a totally different country like Japan for example, or China, or Russia, Greece, etc. with totally different histories, cultures, languages even alphabets...etc.

I agree completely, SparkyCola. It's an amazing experience to be somewhere where everything is completely different--and yet discover that people everywhere have much in common, too.

I love to travel and wish I could, but these days I'm tethered close to home since I'm raising mom (tables get turned when they reach old age ;) ). But in 1998 I had a sabbatical and went to the British Isles and Ireland for three weeks, in which time I barely slept because I crammed in as much travel as I could: London, Canterbury, Stratford, Salisbury, Stonehenge, Lewes (Virginia Woolf's house), South Wales, York, Durham, Haworth (Brontes), Edinburgh, the Lake District--and a side trip to Galway, Sligo and the Burren since I couldn't be that close to Ireland and not go. Every minute was an adventure and the people were absolutely great. And it was October so the weather was good and the summer tourists had cleared out.

When I was in college, many years ago, I went to Guatemala for a couple of summers, six weeks there in 1975 and two more in 76. I spoke enough Spanish back then to get along, and I fell in love with the country and the people.

If I could, I'd crawl all over Europe and Scandinavia, bop down to Morocco, go to Greece, Egypt, New Zealand, Jordan (want to see Petra)--so many fascinating places in this world.

There's a lot in the U.S. and Canada I'd like to get around to seeing, too....So much world, so little time. :)

But, as everyone has pointed out, the dollar is weak and travel is even more expensive than usual.

And, as others have also already pointed out, you Brits are closer to everything, travel is cheaper, and I think you have a culture that supports travel--every Brit I know is well-travelled and values travel. I think it's wonderful. And I'm glad you raised the topic.
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#23 Nonny

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 09:12 PM

I travelled all over the Far East when I was young.  I travelled to England and Scotland when I was young.  I'm sorry I missed out on Slovenia and Germany when I was young, because I doubt I'll travel there now.  :pout:  I pretty much stick to roadtrips these days, and CONUS and Canada provide plenty of great destinations :happy: but that leaves out Hawaii.  :pout:  

Much as I'd like to check out Mexico, and as close as Mexico is, I doubt I'll risk it.  Talking my way out of the locked ward post-anxiety attack is a lot easier in my native tongue.  :eh:

SparkyCola's list reminds me of a story my mom tells about the planning stage of her trip to Slovenia many years ago.  She asked her cousin Max how far from Ljubljana to Grandpa's village, and Max said, three days.  Three days! Mom said, in three days you can be in Belgium!  Max said, three days on foot.  :lol:

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#24 tennyson

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 09:49 PM

Since this seems to have become about travel stories I'll include my own. The only time I've been out of the US was the summer I spent in Australia as part of an exchange program between my university and Australian Cathloic University(I'm not Catholic, and the program was through the physical education department here at WVU and I was a physics major but I digress). Without that program I would have never have had the chance and it still cost me $4500 for the trip, classes and the whole package. I stayed with a host family near the edge of Sydney that also had a Japanese student and commuted in to class or my internship via train every day. I was never a very outgoing person and this trip contained quite a number of firsts for me, from my first time at a beach at The Heads near Sydney, first time eating many foods, seeing many animals, touring a submarine, and on and on. The trip over to LA to connect with my flight down was even my first time on a plane.
But thier was something that I think I should mention that has more barring on the overall thread subject and even though I've mentioned it before I think it bears repeating. One of my classes was what amounted to an "introduction to Australia" course and on Day 1 we were asked to draw maps of Australia and the surrounding area and when the teacher came to mine she expressed great suprise and made a joke about me using some sort of external aid when I was annoyed that after duplicating the  entire southwestern Pacific I'd managed to forget where one of Australia's state boundaries was. The assumption that she was operating on was that my knowledge base would be a small one and it was in error. Understanding and mistaken assumptions work both ways and widely diseminated stereotypes don't often describe real people.
As for my general group of friends, one of my friends is obessessed with everything Japanese, taught there for 4 years and just today married his long-term Japanese girlfriend that he met here at WVU. Then another of my friends spent a year in Paris as part of an exchange program, and that would have been the only way she could have afforded such a thing. Another group of five girls I know have collectively volunteered in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemela and one of them has strong ties to Lebanon. Another of my friends has traveled expensively in Europe with his family and just last summer volunteered for a month in Malawi as an aide worker. Then we have another girl I know who spent 2 years in the Peace Corps in Moldova teaching English. Myself, I would have liked to go somewhere else, but niether time or economics has ever allowed it to happen. The year before last I tried to get a trip together to go to those two islands France still owns off the Atlantic coast of Canada with one of my friends but it just never worked out.
As far as languages go, I've had 4 years of Spanish instruction but its become very rusty from lack of use and I had 2 years of French for my MA that is a lot better than my Spanish. I also would have liked to have taken an Arabic class way back when but my university didn't have one until recently and individual learning using computerized language lessons isn't the same. My problems with languages are twofold, I'm not a very good speaker in my native language anyway. I have lots of long pauses, poorly put together sentances and the like because I get so incredibly anxious when I talk to almost anyone, sometimes it seems like I'm barely coherent in conversation. So then I was being asked to produce a more fliuid, well put together spoken sentence in a language I was just learning, it simply didn't happen. I just don't speak well in real-time and my evaluations of my speaking showed that. I could read the languages and write in them just fine but my speaking was awful. So I fully expect any attempt I make to speak to a native speaker of those languages to sound like a mentally chalenged child to them but its not for lack of trying to learn the language.
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#25 eloisel

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 10:26 PM

waterpanther, on Jul 3 2005, 08:54 PM, said:

Quote

But i gotta say that if you can- you should so go for it. As for waterpanther.... wow that's incredibly bad!

For which we have George Bush and the Texas version of No Child Left Behind to thank.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

How so?

#26 eloisel

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 10:34 PM

I'd love to travel all over the planet.  Money is the major obstacle.  Time is a minor obstacle.  Then there is the Anti-Americanism.  When I am able to get out of town and do something fun, I actually want to do something fun and not get berated for being an American.  

I live in Texas and have been to Mexico several times.  I love the country but it seems everytime I go there something bad happens to me - temporarily crippled, in an earthquake, in a car that crashed into the side of a mountain, solmanella poisoining, caught in an undertow and pulled out to sea to swim with sharks, infected with typhoid.  I don't think I've got the fortitude to go back again!  Still, there are places there I'd move to as long as I could get a good health plan.

BTW - I took my second trip to Mexico with a friend from school.  We decided we would speak only French because we didn't want anyone to think of us as American tourists.  We were too young to realize we weren't fooling anyone but we had a great time of it for a couple of days.

Edited by eloisel, 03 July 2005 - 10:37 PM.


#27 Lord Ravensburg

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 11:26 PM

It's all about distance.  In England you can hop next door over to France or Spain and it's no big deal.  Over here, next door is Wyoming.

#28 Manic

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:42 AM

The thing about living in the US is just how freaking BIG the place is. I could hop in my car, travel due East, see some sights, meet new people, travel for weeks...

And I'd still be in the US.

Being someone who speaks only English (I can partially read Spanish, but I've never been good at hearing or speaking it), I'd like to go to Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. And not to sound like a copy-cat, but money is a really big problem. You'd think that since us Americans get paid such large wages, paying for an international flight would be a piece of cake. However, the price of living here is ridiculous. I could probably take a trip to British Columbia, but that's about it.

There's also time. Americans have a very tough definition of the Protestant Work-Ethic. We work 5-day weeks, but so many of us demand over-time. We work extra hours, extra days, and sometimes skip our yearly vacation days. It's funny that we're stereotyped by other countries as being lazy slobs, since we're always stressed out and on the go. Last year I was working at the mall 6 days a week, from the mall's opening to closing on some days... and going to college.

#29 UoR11

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:51 AM

I still don't have a passport, but I've also never really had a time to use one. I've been across the Canadian border literally hundreds of times, but that doesn't require a passport, and from my old home it was extremly, to the point on the last day of school, there were a few guys in my calc class who decided to test if it was possible to make it to Canada and back to school in a 45 minute class period, including crossing through customs both ways. It turned out to only require 37. I'm applying for a passport for the time when they are needed crossing the Canadian border, but until I'm a full professor, I can't see it being feasible to travel anywhere else in the world, no matter how much I want to see London and Sydney.
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#30 Cardie

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 07:05 AM

But if you become a professor, there will be international conferences that your department will subsidize, or travel grants you can get for research.

So, just till you get that doctorate and your first job, UoR11.

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#31 Natolii

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 07:43 AM

Unfortunately, Travel has to take a back seat to more trival matters, like clothes or food.

This is a reason I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept of Live 8... Africa is not the ONLY place fighting proverty. If you are going to appeal to the world, then fight it on a global scale, TYVM.

I literally work 3 jobs, when I'm not working the 40hr one, I'm working the part-time freelance DBA  position for a local company. When I'm not doing any of the above, I'm working on an on-line magazine.

To me, Vacation is crashing in my apartment while my daughter is at school or catching up on chores and things around the house.

One thing to remember, laws governing Labour and Time off are vastly different from the US. I have to keep this laws in mind when working with my Cork, Ireland & my St. Thomas Canada offices.

Keep in mind that I am currently in the office today (7/4) and can expect Labor Day off. We don't close for any holiday's.


Now keep in mind I also work for a major hotel company. Go figure...

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Edited by Natolii, 04 July 2005 - 07:49 AM.

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#32 Spectacles

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 09:26 AM

I think it's unfortunate that some Americans apparently are reluctant to travel because they worry about running into anti-American sentiments. In my experience, most people are perfectly willing to judge you on your merits as a human being, not as a citizen of a particular nation.

In Guatemala, I was young, naive, and surprised to discover the depth of resentment that many Guatemalans had for the U.S., and yet I never experienced any ill-treatment. In fact, one college student from Guatemala City said she had unfairly judged all Americans until she met me and the group I was with. A lot of resentments are based on stereotypes, and those stereotypes can be broken by meeting people who we often glop into the class we pre-judge.

So, I don't think Americans have any more to worry about when traveling in most countries than people from other countries have to worry about when traveling here. If you're an OK person and a gracious visitor, you'll most likely be treated hospitably.

I'll add that I have seen some Americans act so rudely and arrogantly in other countries that I've been embarrassed. But those people would be rude and arrogant in Pittsburgh, much less Galway or Guatemala City. It's not so much an American thing as it is a people thing.
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#33 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:06 AM

Iím reminded of the common thing we get in New York State with tourists from Europe.  They arrive in New York City or Albany for the sites there and then expect to take a ďday tripĒ out to Niagara Falls.  The trip from Albany to Niagara Falls is the better part of six hours and then you can add another 3 hours from Albany to New York City.  Different types of geography can play a huge difference in how people view the world around them.  

Quote

SparkyCola: However, my point was that no matter how big America is, there is no where in America which can parallel a totally different country like Japan for example, or China, or Russia, Greece, etc. with totally different histories, cultures, languages even alphabets...etc.
Even on that front you can find cultures that are to an extent from a totally different cultural background than the mainstream European culture of the United States within the country.  You have the remnants of various Native American tribes across the United States.  They arenít on the scale of another country but they are pretty fascinating.  Other countries have a lot to offer and Iíd love to do some traveling.  That said the United States alone offers enough sites to keep a person busy for a lifetime.  

Anyway Europe doesnít have enough museum ships compared to the US. ;) :angel:
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#34 DWF

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:09 AM

I don't have a passport but then I also don't have any money to go anywhere either.  :eh:
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#35 gadfly

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:20 AM

This has been mentioned several other places but just to clarify:  a typical vacation allotment for a year at a typical American company is 10 days after one year of employment.  Many companies will allow you to take a partial during that first year but some will not which means no vacation until after a year of employment.  Also, many companies will penalize you for taking too many sick or personal days.  My last company allotted you ten that rolled over to the next year but would take out 1.7% of your raise for every day you took.  My current company only gives you 6 sick days but will fire you if you take all 6 within 6 months and the unused days do not rollover to the next year.  So, many of us end up using vacation days to go to the doctor, take care of sick children, etc...  

I loved my vacation time when I worked for a French company; 3 weeks vacation right from the beginning and the company shut down for a week around Christmas.  Of course, then I was trying to pay down my school debt from grad school.

I do have a current passport and I have used it to travel to Britian and Ireland.  For the year I turned 30 I traveled, by myself, around Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales, by train, bus, plane, ferry, and hitchhiking. I had a blast.  I do plan to go to China next year.  This year's vacation has been to visit family in Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. I also have a very short vacation planned to the New Mexico/Colorado area with a friend over the Labor Day holiday - there's some incredible ruins and rock formation to be found there.  I have also visited Canada but not Mexico despite the fact I can speak enough Spanish to get by on.  I might try Costa Rica though and I have had invitations to Iran.

#36 DWF

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:34 AM

gadfly, on Jul 4 2005, 11:20 AM, said:

This has been mentioned several other places but just to clarify:  a typical vacation allotment for a year at a typical American company is 10 days after one year of employment. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


i only get five days of vacation per year. :down:
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#37 gadfly

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 10:43 AM

^ That just bites DWF but I know others who are in the same situation and I just think it's a bad policy.  

When looking for a new job I knew I had the upper hand so I actually asked and received 3 weeks vacation along with a small raise.  Of course, the raise is partially offset by my loss of excellent benefits from my old company but I still gained in the short term at least.

#38 Raina

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 03:55 PM

*Canadian piping in here*

I haven't done much travelling outside of Canada until now, due to the money issue. I took this volunteer job in Uganda because I could justify getting some financial help from my parents, because I'd otherwise never be able to afford it. Now granted, the cost of living out here's considerably less than back home, but the airfare alone would prolly take me a month to earn.

And, as people have pointed out, Canada and the US are really frakking big. I mean, one Canadian province alone is larger than the whole of Uganda (and many other countries for that matter)! :eek:

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#39 SparkyCola

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 04:57 PM

Quote

This is a reason I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept of Live 8... Africa is not the ONLY place fighting proverty. If you are going to appeal to the world, then fight it on a global scale, TYVM.

Well it's a freakin damn shame you haven't got the vacation time or money and your country is too big to travel to Africa- if you think the poverty suffered in G8 and other rich countries compares in any way with that of Africa.

It may not be the only place fighting poverty- but- what's fundamentally wrong with that statement? Africa ISN'T fighting poverty. Rich countries DO fight internal poverty, salvation army, etc.etc. - but Africa is TOO FREAKING POOR and or corrupt- people in power who wanna stay rich and in power to the detriment of millions of starving, dying people.

You have shelter, food, internet access, clothes, enough money to get by- If you can't see that to a family of Africans dying of AIDS you are a millionnaire, then i urge you to reconsider your view of today's third world.

If you want to stop ALL poverty- where better to start than in Africa?
I'm having difficulty seeing your POV. I'm not rich either, but i'm certainly not dying from lack of money.

You make it sound as though the prospect of helping and saving millions of people's lives would only appeal to the majority of the world if they said 'oh and if you're a little hard up on cash we'll give you a hand too' - to me that indicates selfishness in the extreme and i fail to see your argument.

I appreciate that there ARE people dying of starvation in G8 countries- but like i say- the point is that not only is that nowhere near the scale of Africa- but that they ARE being helped in a very real sense, whereas Africans are being prevented from making progress due to G8 and other such countries' selfish approach to trade, ergo- it is our fault they cannot move forward out of poverty, at LEAST partly- and it is DEFINITELY our responsibility to look after our own.

I timed this message. In the time it took me to write this message, 360 children died in Africa of preventable diseases. 360. If you have children of your own, appreciate the pain and loss of just ONE child dying, how about one every 3 seconds?

SparkyCola

ps- thanks for all the interesting travel stories- very cool, i like the pretending to be french one, :lol: and the intense U.K. travelling- sounded like some very interesting and cool places there that i'd like to go see too.

pps- I don't think the British are particularly against Americans- we are i admit a little against some of things your country does, for example the fact that we give to make our BRITISH films American accents just to get them given the remotest chance in America, however when average Americans come over we treat them just the same as people from any country- my English teacher is American and we tease him a little about it- but we tease all our teachers lol, he's such a great teacher :D

It really really annoys me now hearing anyone talk about Americans rudely- basically because i think of all you guys and my American friends. I hate Stereotypes. You guys seem to think all Brits are really posh for some reason..?! lol.
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#40 Mikoto

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:23 PM

Mmmm, interesting topic. I'm glad you brought it up.

As your slightly-strange 20 yr old Uker I've been to Wales, Scotland, France, America and Egypt. All were really cool places to go. (Well wales did seem like next door buuut...) Escpecially Egypt, that was the best place.

America was interesting too,  I don't think I had any real concept of distances until I travelled there for two weeks.  :crazy:

Anyhoo, this is going slightly off topic but.. is it true that to pass customs in America now you gotta have your eye retinal print taken and your fingerprints taken? I heard that somewhere but forget now. It doesn't sound very accurate.
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