Americans and their Ignorance In Overseas Travel


Sitting here with my overseas friend and fellow Impact Staff writer Stephanie Lankhorst, she explains to me her travel plans for the upcoming summer. Italy, France, and Amsterdam (the Netherlands ;)) are among the countries she will be visiting. Most of these countries she has already visited before. She is clearly a well-traveled individual.

I, myself, haven’t done poorly in the travel department. I was able to visit Ireland after my senior year of high school in 2018, and I also got to go and visit Mexico and Puerto Rico at a younger age. I wouldn’t call those journeys extensive travel since they were just to resorts, but it was still outside the norm of the United States.

As she explains her travel plans, she makes a comment that Americans are not as cultured with travel as people in other countries. We are stuck in our ways and not willing to go out and experience the rest of the world. Stephanie is from the Netherlands, and she as well as her friends have been able to experience multiple different countries as they grew up.

I did agree with her. I do believe that Americans are stuck in their ways with a multitude of things, not just travel. Americans are stuck in the same routines and traditions that have been around probably since the days of Washington and Franklin. The disdain for anything new and shunning anything that is unfamiliar seems like the American way.

But I started to think.

When it comes to traveling to different parts of the world, are Americans uncultured and stuck in their ways, or is it simply just not attainable?

Compared to other countries on planet Earth, North America is amongst the biggest. In fact, America is the third largest countries by overall land size behind Canada and Russia. More than half of Canada is the woods, and a large part of Russia is Siberia. North America is filled with 50 states and too many cities and towns to count.

Europe is filled with countries galore that feature different people, different languages, and different cultures that would seemingly be interesting to learn about. Experiences in different places isn’t something that can be researched on Google. Going and checking out all of the countries in Europe, South America, and Asia that you can possibly can would certainly be an enriching experience.

Americans are certainly trying to get to different countries and explore. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center concluded that over 3 million Americans traveled outside of the country in March 2021. Not a bad number of people.

The interest is certainly there for the people who haven’t traveled abroad yet. An article published by swns digital found that 66 percent of the individuals they interviewed desired to seek “revenge travel” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down much of international travel.

And while that’s all well and good, Americans can certainly be stuck in their ways when it comes to travel. 66 percent of people want to find that “revenge travel” trip and find something outside of their comfort zone, but how many people will actually do it?