First off: MURICA! USA! USA! USA! Yes, had to do it. We're required by law to chant this whenever confronted with any type of foreigner, especially the ones that like to argue in bold caps that IT'S CALLED FOOTBALL! Seriously you should probably know that at this point we're just arguing because we know it gets your knickers in a twist, but let's move on to the topic at hand, shall we. Travel! Leaving ones home turf to travel through another. Why don't more American's do it?
This stereotype, I will say for most American's is true. Before all you American world travelers can start barking up a storm, we know you exist and are trying to change the stereotype, but let's face it...line up a thousand random American's, and out of that bunch maybe 10 of them manage to do any sort of world traveling on any sort of regular basis, and those ten are probably old retirees. Before you foreigners go about saying, see, look we told you so, it's all true, it's not just because we don't want to and we love Murica. That's far too simple. Ask an American, would you like to travel to xyz, and they'd happily say yes, but that yes, is always curbed by the following reasons why sadly we don't tend to travel.
1. What is time off?
I used to work a job where I worked 50 hour work weeks every single week. Had only one weekend day off, had to come in at 3am for media sometimes, or stay overnight for events. I only got 2 weeks paid vacation, but as a manager, the only way I could actually take that time off would be if I found another manager to cover all that time, and the majority of our schedules ran concurrently, so it was practically impossible. My boss let everybody else including janitorial and cafe staff take their vacation time if they requested it but would routinely tell our team that we couldn't take ours off because this week was important, and we need you for this, and you run this so you can't take that week off. It was ridiculous and I'm pretty sure borderline if not illegal (don't worry I sure as heck don't work there anymore), but having said all that, I was still...on paper anyway...one of the lucky ones with paid vacation. So many Americans don't get that and desperately need the income they are bringing in even with a spouse or significant other working, so the mere idea one could just run off on vacation is one where one is going to probably have to take several financial hits...
2. Not enough time for that time off
Assuming you're one of the lucky ones who even gets vacation time, it is usually max 2 weeks and for the majority it is unpaid time off. Most Europeans get like a month off during the year on which to wile away their days, and there is at least in my opinion anyway, a system there that encourages employees to not run themselves into the ground through work, but to take those vacations and come back rested and relaxed. Not so much in the US. As mentioned above, it always seems to be like some horrible imposition on your employer should you dare try and take a vacation. Let me go further and say...should you dare take like 2 days off in a week because God forbid, your husband or kid is in the hospital. It's practically a crime, and so most just slog through the year and don't ever take what little if any time they are allotted.
3. We live in a giant a-- country far far away
Let me just put this one into perspective. In the state of Texas, one can drive 12 hours....let me repeat that...one can drive 12 full hours from edge to edge and still be in Texas, and that's just one state. We've got a lot of land mass to explore and we like it. That's something foreigners really need to understand. Yes everywhere else on the planet I'm sure is great, but there is nothing wrong with liking to actually explore your own vast country. We also like it because when you only have a few days and not a lot of money, it makes sense to just road trip somewhere and come back without having to hassle through the nightmare that has become airport security, especially when trying to travel abroad. A road trip for someone in Europe might land them in France and Italy via a four hour road trip...we don't have that luxury unless we're going to either Canada or Mexico.
4. Travel wants all your money
Depending on your location, a plane ticket from the US to Europe round trip can cost anywhere from $900 to $1500. From the US to China, we're talking about 3 grand and you haven't even done anything. Of course travel costs can be relatively cheap once you get to Europe or other places taking local transit, sleeping at hostels, if you're lucky to know someone, etc, but that's a fairly decent chunk of change to spend on a flight and not actually have set foot in said foreign country or put a bite of food in your mouth. Europeans are always traveling around because it is cheaper for them to do so and much closer to all these places that aren't that far off form their home base. Passports are cheaper as well.
5. Debt is an SOB
A lot of American's, especially the young college aged ones are already under heaps of debt. It's pretty hard to justify springing for what would probably be a 2 grand vacation for a week at least, when you are battling to keep your lights on at home. It is an ever growing problem and one that has yet to see any real sort of solutions so again, it's much easier to drive and spent $300 on a few days, then to land yourself in more debt trying to fly off somewhere you already can't afford...I mean you can't afford the $300 dollars either, but if you're throwing caution to the wind for some unknown reason, better that, than 2 grand.
Now, if you'll excuse us, there is a soccer game on right now that we want to watch...