I am ashamed to say that I have seen so much more of South Africa than I have of my own country, Canada. Do any others look further afield rather than what is closer to where you live?
I am a huge fan of traveling locally and go adventure all over California and the west whenever I can!
I have to say the same Diane, I travelled a little around Kent and Essex when I was a teenage cyclist plus one trip to Scotland for work but I know absolutely nothing about England and its regions at all. Even London where I was born, I don't recognise much of it anymore.
Well I am from Denmark and if you look at the sizes it is easy to have been all over it and I have.
You make me feel better Paul. I realised just today how hard that is to acknowledge.
It's now roughly 40 years since I've been gone apart from the usual visits to family, I haven't really been back. Although I have my roots in the East End of London and still love the place (but only the memories) as when I take the underground past my old haunts I feel like crying. I know we all have to progress and move on, but every time I think "what have they done to it". That's possibly why I love Paris so much, because there are still pockets of "real" Paris whereas in London I don't know where those places are anymore, or even if they exist.
I am not sure how guilty you should feel, given the size of Canada, and the fact that most of the people live within 100 miles of the US border - i.e., there's a huge amount of the country that is just trees or tundra or Lord knows what (maybe creatures from sci-fi movies ) ;-)... However, this thought is certainly valid for me if you reduced it to the most local of levels - how many people even go to "tourist" or visit-worthy spots in their own city? For us in the Dallas area, of course, JFK's assassination in 1963 was an earthshaking event around the world. Some years after the event, a museum was built in the building from which the fatal shot was fired. I lived about 4 miles away from that building; I drove occasionally through Dealey Plaza that the building faced (and in which the president was shot), and I went to eat often in the West End, the adjacent area to Dealey Plaza...yet neither my wife or I ever bothered to visit the 6th Floor Museum, until a fellow employee from Canada came to visit and he wanted to see it...it's a good thing that he came, because who knows if we would ever have gotten around to it... Bill
Yes, I currently travel internationally much more than in my own country. I need to see distant places NOW, because I may not be able to do it later. I can see the rest of the U.S. when international flights and huge time differences get too hard physically.
Thanks Bill. I also find that people who come here from other countries to live, quickly know more about the surrounding region than I do. Mind you we have had an influx of South African doctors and many are the athletic type. Therefore they have hiked the trails, kayaked the waters and so on. Jessie you are so right, my long haul flights are quickly ending, and so maybe I will see more of that Tundra and Bill mentioned.
>>>Tundra that Bill mentioned. I really need to proof read.
Diane,I travelled around Australia and then criss crossed each state quite a few times before my first venture overseas,when I was 'younger' most of us didn't travel overseas like people do today and travelling to another state was considered a big adventure. I still love exploring off the beaten track places where I live and have driven the east coast of QLD,NSW,Victoria many times stopping off at places I had driven past before. I adore travelling to other countries as there is so much I want to see and experience,I wish I could travel more. Don't feel ashamed,I know plenty of people who haven't explored their own country.Enjoy what you can where ever it may be. Good topic Hugs Dorrise
Thanks Dorrise. Good advice as always:))
Danes who do not like going abroad often tell me that i should stop travelling so much and start seeing more of Denmark. But then we start talking about Denmark and i have almost always seen more of that than they have too. I give lectures in various parts of the country and always spend some time touring around when i am in some danish outback village anyway, so i get to see the country regulary even if i only spend around 30 days a year in the country.
Claus I think you have the most wonderful job.
Grass being always greener on the other side of the fence, we love to extol the virtues of other places forgetting what is available in our own backyards. I'm one culprit!
I have unfortunately seen very little of Germany. Reasons being that when I lived there I was lucky enough to travel a LOT with my parents. Nowadays, when I visit Germany, I do so to see my family, so I am "restricted" to the area they live in. I would love to explore Germany more, but I think that will only happen once I live in Europe again one day and short "weekend trips" are possible.
I certainly have not seen as much of the UK as I would have liked. I suspect there is something in the back of me head that says I'll do that when I become too old to travel overseas to more "exotic" places. I know this is completely flawed logic but it seems to be the way it is. A not inconsiderable factor is that it is so very expensive to travel in the UK.
I traveled in the US when I did not have kids and then camped along the way when they were little. When they were teenagers we started traveling to Europe and loved it and kept going back. I would not want to go to Europe or anywhere else if I was not familiar with my own country. People ask about the United states and to not know more then the corner you live in is kind of shameful. I used to vacation to Montana and now I have lived here for 18 years and yes I have not seen it all. I guess I agree that as I get older, closer to home might be easier so go NOW to any places.
When I was a child/teenager, I visited many parts of my country with my parents, and now, I'm revisiting the country, organizing everything on my own, and with different eyes.
I know eastern Canada well enough (but even then, it depends on which cities/towns/etc), though I've never been out west. The furthest west I've been is Toronto. I've met people in Spain who thought it was funny that I've been to Europe many times (and Spain 3 times) but have only ever been to the US (way closer to Canada than Europe) once, to Disney World in Florida when I was 10.
Just as an addendum to this, I amk currently watching a programme on the TLC channel (in the Philippines, it may be different elsewhere) called Staycation which is effectively about staying at home and discovering things you never got round to before. An excellent idea. I am somewhat drawn back to a long-standing comment on my homepage here on VT which I would like to quote from as it is something I firmly believe in. I realise it is slightly out of contxt here, the context was a walk I took close to my home in London one day, if that assists. "All well and good but back to my point about today's walk. I walked no more than two miles and I passed about five places I have already written VT tips for and about another ten I am going to write tips for shortly, and this is my point. I regularly correspond with new or relatively new VT members, and many of them say that “I don't travel to exotic places, I've got nothing to write about”. With the greatest respect, this is nonsense. Think about it logically. You may go on holiday or away for business and stay in a particular place for a day or two. By all means write tips about it, these are useful, but to say you have nothing to write about even if you do not travel is, frankly, wrong. You know about where you live. You know the best coffee shop, the best cheap restaurant, you may know the history of the local Church or Museum, you will undoubtedly know a local saying or custom or whatever, you know where you live. All these things are of interest to VT readers and members. OK, so it may take a while for people to look at your pages but it is up there and available if anyone wants to use it. Wouldn't that be great, if someone from far away was coming to your town and using your information to decide what to do? Let me give you a great example. VT member wise23girl was very rightly awarded the Local Intelligence Award in the VT Barney awards for 2010 (the VT internal awards, if you are new to the site). She lives in a smallish place in Australia, certainly not Paris or Rome or New York or Bangkok, yet she has wonderfully covered her home town. This is what I am talking about." I'm sorry to sound a bit evangelical about this but I really believe it. Certainly, travel as far and as widely as you can, I certainly try to, but it is not the be-all and end-all. There is no prescriptive way to travel. You "travel" by getting a local bus into the centre of your town. You "travel" by getting a long-haul flight half way across the world to a place you have never been before. Either is equally valid. To get back to the original point (eventually), don't be ashamed of not knowing your own place, you aqre going elsewhere because that suits you. Similarly, if you have never left your own country, don't be ashamed of that either, there is undoubtedly plenty to see there. Here endeth the lesson!
Thank you kind sir, well spoken.
Interesting discussion. I think that the tendency is to be complacent and assume that places closer to home will always be there to explore at some unspecified point in the future - except that this isn't always the case. Like Paul, I didn't really explore England anywhere near as fully as I would have liked when I lived there because I had budget constraints and 'abroad' was both more glamorous - and (as Fergy rightly comments)- cheaper. I also thought that I'd probably live there my entire life, so there was no sense of urgency. Also at that point, I don't think that I had a broad enough frame of reference that would have allowed me to appreciate what was so special about places that I'd grown up with and took for granted. With Australia, I also thought that I'd be there for good, until new opportunities arose. If I'd realised at the time that I'd only have four years there, then I'd have made an effort to get out and explore over weekends and would have made the most of what was to be a limited timeframe of opportunity. Looking back, I could kick myself for not having seen and done more, but then hindsight is 20/20 vision. VT has been an enormous force for good in encouraging me to see my home environment through a visitor's eyes - and in the process, discovering all sorts of wonderful places and things that I would probably never have been exposed to otherwise. In particular, I find that my understanding of South African history has improved immeasurably, and it's given me a much greater appreciation of my (current) home town and country.
Prior to getting married I had seen a reasonable amount of my home country, but my wife being from a different country wanted to explore NZ, and hence I have now been to a lot of places that I probably would not have thought of going to. Likewise I think she has seen a lot more of her country now than she otherwise might have.
I guess for me this is a little from column A and a little from column B. At the moment, I concentrate more on foreign destinations. I love exploring, so I usually hit the ground running. To that end, I often see more of a country that its locals do. Learning the geography and the destinations happens quickly. Learning the culture and the people happens a bit slower, but I usually try to take as much time as I can to do both. The reason (at the moment) that I concentrate outside of the USA is mostly for taxes. If I stay out for long enough, I'm exempt from income taxes (I know IRS Form 2555 very well). BUT, even saying that, I have been to all 50 states. I know many of them extremely well. And when I do return for what ever reason (work, family, etc.) I explore as much as possible.
I've seen far more of Western Europe than I have of my own country, for the simple reason that it's far easier and more economical to roam around Europe than it is in the US. Comprehensive public transport, cheaper accommodations and smaller distances make all the difference.
I've seen every state in the USofA except for 3, Louisiana, N & S Dakota and I still fall back on them as a last resort. We have been exploring more of the world now that we can afford it. This summer for instance, we were set on a 5 week tour if Eastern Europe and Paris but due to scheduling conflict with work and only able to take 3 weeks we have now switched it to WY/MT/AZ and UT.
Seeing all of the US is more intensive than seeing all of, say, Denmark. I've been to 25 of the 50 US states, which I think is pretty good - area-wise, 25 states put together are probably larger than all of Europe. I agree with JessieLang: I'd rather concentrate on faraway destinations now, while I can still travel long distances. I figure I can cover the nearby locations in my walker someday.
Homer you will fry in AZ. I agree with those who think that far off places should be done while we can still get around well.
There are some more downsides of waiting until you are much older. For countries outside of your own the travel medical insurance becomes higher.
To follow up on Laverne's point, Texas - all by itself - has 254 counties covering altogether over 268,000 square miles, making the "average" county size more than 1,000 square miles. Guess how big Luxembourg is? Just under 1,000 square miles...so Texas, by itself, is as big as 254 countries the size of Luxembourg(!)...it's a good thing that gas tends to be cheaper here than most places ;-)... Or to put it another way, Texas is slightly larger than France (the largest country in western Europe)...and there are still 49 more states to go in the US... Bill