I'm a 37-year old Seattle girl who was bitten by the travel bug on my first tour of Europe in 2004. This personal blog follows my attempts to visit as many countries as I can, as often as my budget will allow. Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also worked as a freelance copywriter for an online travel publication. This only served to add even more must-see locations to my already extended list.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.


Shifting my thinking

I'm realizing a strange trend as we plan our trip to Australia.

Ask any citizen of a commonwealth country if they would like to visit down under, and their answer is usually that they have already been there. Australia is a common destination for them.

However, ask an American if they'd like to visit Oz, and though their answer is almost always an emphatic YES, they have never actually gone and are likely never to go. In the same vein, the travel sections of American bookstores have bookshelf after bookshelf of American, European and Mexican cities, but the Australia section never consists of more than ten books. Considering how large Australia is, ten books doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. When it comes to the topic of Australia over here in the American bubble, no one knows much, no one offers much information. It is almost as if Americans view Australia as some kind of Neverland, much revered but never visited.

For this reason, I can't help but feel like this trip is more of a rite of passage than others in the past. When we were planning our first trip to Europe, everyone had opinions and advice. Now, we mention we are planning a trip to Australia, and the responses are limited to, "Wow! Cool!"

I'm beginning to grow curious as to how many - or more aptly, how few - fellow Americans we will encounter on our trip. It is exciting that we could very possibly be in the tourist minority, though I can't help but hope our trip will encourage more Americans to follow suit. Pop the bubble. Pack a bag, buy the ticket and go. Even though it takes a great deal of effort, it is never not worth it.

(As a sidenote, I'd like to thank the Brits and Kiwis for taking on the position of most resented visiting nationality. It's a nice break for an American!)


Lisa-Marie said...

I read some where a while back that only 10% of Americans even have a passport. I can understand, why, there is so much to see on your great big land mass, but it seems so strange to me, as almost everyone I know has one(Lets face it, the UK is tiny, we need to go elsewhere).

Do you think Americans come to the UK and Europe beucause its where their ancestors came from? Certainly alot of those I've met here are in Scotland because they have ancestry here.

I wonder if perhaps they see Australia as being similar to America in alot of ways?

Lisa E said...

I have really strong opinions on this topic! If you ever want me to give you my personal opinion on the American bubble, I'm happy to, but it'll probably end up being a bit long for a comment thread! :-)

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