While traveling around the world last year our family often met people who loved to travel, had been traveling or were about to travel. It was a common topic that bonded us to strangers in foreign lands while sitting in airports, restaurants, camper parks, and queues.
What often struck me was how many travelers from other countries, especially Australians, come to America and do a trip that most Americans have never done. We heard the itinerary over and over again. It was often the same and maybe varied in a stop or two, or by the amount of time they took, but the flow of the trip was usually the same. Here is the sample itinerary:
Fly into New York (Always a destination.)
Drive, train or Bus down the Coast To Washington, DC (Always stop here.)
Drive, train or bus to Atlanta, Georgia (Always a destination! Token southern city.)
Drive, train or bus to Florida (Various locations from Disney to Miami.)
Drive,train or bus to New Orleans,Louisiana (Always a Destination, Token music and food city.)
Fly To Colorado (If ski season.)
Visit The Grand Canyon/Arches National Park, etc.
Drive to Las Vegas (Always a Destination. It wouldn’t be America if they didn’t go to Vegas!)
Drive, Train, bus to Los Angeles/Hollywood (Always a destination.)
Stop in Hawaii
(Sometimes this trip is in reverse order.)
Wow! We heard it from people over and over. Young students taking a summer trip before they start work, couples coming to explore America, and retirees taking a vacation. The concept of a North American Tour was normal for people from other countries but being American, I had never thought of the “North American Tour” on such a grand scale.
Most Americans would be hard-pressed to drive their family to Florida for Spring Break and would never think to stop and look around on the way to get there. Seeing the idea of the American Tour makes me think about the way I live in the United States now that we are back. I will try to appreciate our travels even if it is just out of the county – and not the country.
We tackled the 3 week drive across the country to start our year of traveling. We drove from Kentucky to Los Angeles and sold our car before hopping on a plane to start our Round-The-World adventure. We rafted the Grand Canyon, drove through Kansas, took in a baseball game in St Louis, MO. and saw Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. It was epic and taught us a lot about traveling before we left our home soil. I saw it as the start of our adventure. But I have plenty more to go!
I challenge my fellow Americans to try to hit the States on the above list if you haven’t already. Then try to hit all fifty! Explore your home and surrounding areas! When we can’t travel abroad for whatever reason… travel closer to home.
Traveling is a way of life that can be enjoyed in foreign countries – or right here in the USA!