Hello American friends (i.e. non Republicans)
I'm from Australia. Us Australians travel a lot, because we are isolated and on an island, this leaves us no choice if we want to see other countries. You my American friends have other landlocked countries you can visit, so can technically travel to other countries without going overseas.
When I do run into Americans overseas and mention I'm from Australia, I virtually always hear "Oh nice, I'd like to go there someday". But you can kinda tell it's lip service and that they probably won't go there. There's no conviction in their voice, it's just polite speak.
Which got me doing a quick Google and I found this article from the Huffington Post.
Although a little old, it makes some interested best estimates of the true percentage of Americans who travel overseas. I also learned there's been a tiny bit of growth in the last 9 years - the BBC reports 40% of Americans now hold passports compared to 35% when the Huff Post article was written. But nothing to significantly alter the fact that out of 4% of Americans who travel o/s, only a paltry 2% of the come to Australia.
So my question are: Why aren't you travelling? Why aren't you travelling here? I'd love to hear reasons. Are they...
2) Time (you only get 2 weeks per year vacation there, don't you?)
3) Prefer to go somewhere else
4) Fear of flying
5) Something else?
I used to travel quite a bit professionally. Traveling overseas and elsewhere is a drug for me. I miss it a lot and would love to travel to Australia regardless of the flight times/expense/critters. That being said, I know a lot of people who have trouble going five minutes down the road. I attribute that to the above plus fear; there’s a lot of fear in the U.S. exacerbated by polarizing influences, and though my inclination is to travel and experience new things and push my envelope, (therefore negating fears) I realize I’m pretty unique.
At different times of my life, I have lived in Germany, the Middle East, and different parts of Asia. And BTW, while living in Japan, I traveled to Australia and New Zealand. But I know most Americans don't share my Wanderlust, whether it be because of lack of curiosity or the low-wage economy that is the norm here.
Despite the above (done partially in jest), Aussies are great and friendly people (in my experience) with a less overbearing government.
Australia is a great country, I loved it...you might be surprised to know that many Americans have never left their own state let alone travel overseas. But my Australian friends get 6 weeks of vacation a year or more so its much easier for them to get away. And, if you're off by say 3% of Americans who travel overseas, it equals almost the whole population of Australia
A few decades ago, I had an unexpected overnight stay in Brisbane because my flight from Fiji to the Solomon Islands diverted with a mechanical issue. The customs person was downright belligerent with me upon presentation of a US passport (it was my first experience with that passport not being accepted by a Western country without a Visa) and angrily granted me permission to enter "until 6 AM the next morning". We were all under the control of Solomon Island Airways, and they were determining the bus and departure times. That aside, I enjoyed the view of a bunch of Queen Anne style homes along the river, and indulged myself in the inevitable toiled swirl direction experiment. I have relatives in NZ, so I will go back.....
I've traveled to Australia for work and found it to be a wonderful experience. But it probably wouldn't have been on the top of my list for several reasons: (1) cost, (2) travel time, (3) cultural similarity to the US. That said, I'd be happy to live in Australia if not for the fact that it's "the ass-end of the world," as you Aussies say.
To be blunt, for the amount of money going to Australia costs and effort it takes, sad to say, it just doesn't intrigue me enough. In some ways the US and Australia have a lot of cultural overlaps and neither do I have any interest in traveling around the rest of the US at this point in time. Most of the US citizens who go to Australia would be those who "want to see a country where they speak English and it's kinda like the USA." No thanks.
Your 5% stat is utter nonsense but it is true a smaller percentage of US citizens travel overseas than other western countries. Some of it has to do with our extensive National Park System or having less mandated vacation time and some of it has to do with being intellectual dullards utterly lacking in curiosity which, I suspect, was the rest point of this post.