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    BPL Member


    Hey, I’m brave, I’ll start off this new Forum…

    I’ve traveled for a few years but only started backpacking/camping last year. This has introduced me to a whole new side of Nature that I haven’t known before. For those who haven’t traveled abroad, I would like to “egg you on” for the same reason — traveling will also open up an entire world.

    You know how for 90% of the people, their first reactions are those of fear and uncertainty when you try to talk them into hiking? It’s the media. We hear about avalanches, drownings and people eaten alive by mountain lions. Yet, we hikers know that the risks are quite manageable and the rewards tremendous.

    The same is true for traveling. We see in the news bombings and religious fanatics everyday. Yet, 98% of the people out there just go about their daily lives… the lack of sensation means they don’t make it into the news. Some of the friendliest and most hospitable people I have met are Muslims. I have been to Turkey and Uzbekistan, and have met wonderful people over there.

    I read somewhere that fully 80% of all Americans don’t even have a passport! I really hope you’ll give it a try — especially if you have school-aged children. Imagine what they would have missed if you never took them hiking. Now, imagine how much more you can open up the world for them by traveling with them!

    Most fears are based on… ignorance.

    J R


    Ive done a bit of international travel myself, and one thing that Ive noticed about people in smaller countries is a lack of understanding that America is a HUGE place! With nearly every natural feature in the world. From jungles in Hawaii, to the Arctic in Alaska. You can travel full time in just the lower 48 states alone and never see it all… Unlike some small European countries that can be toured in a long weekend, and trips out of the country are as common as a trip to go buy milk.

    On top of that, international travel is expensive for Americans. Yes, we can drive to Canada – where they speak the same language and have virtually the same culture. Or we can drive to Mexico. But unless your just going to the border towns for cheap booze, you save more money flying to the “resort” areas than you would driving…. and if you can fly, why go to Mexico? Why not any of the other 1000 places in the world? People who fly to Mexico usually end up being more travelled… for the sheer fact that they CAN travel more. They have a bit more spendable income.

    Other than that, we Americans dont have any “cheap” trips to other countries. We are forced to fly over some fairly large distances to get someplace, and when you consider that most Americans havent seen even a 1/4 of what their own country has to offer, its not that hard to beleive that international travel is a low priority.

    BPL Member



    Yes, it is expensive and time consuming for us Americans to travel abroad. HOWEVER, to many of us, it’s more a reflection of our priorities. Think of the huge amounts we spend on hiking gear, sport equipment, and all sorts of other entertainment and recreational venues! Many of us can travel if we want it enough!

    Imagine how much poorer our lives might be if we have never hiked the outdoors! And yet, there are millions of people like that — who haven’t got a clue what they are missing out.

    Travel is similar. Sure, our country is blessed with countless natural wonders, but there are entirely different experiences outside our country as well! Just think of the tremendous history, cultures and yes — natural wonders as well (New Zealand — aka “Middle Earth” — comes to mind).

    In addition to experiencing the world for ourselves, I really believe that taking our children on trips abroad can really broaden their minds. And how does one place a value on that?

    John Davis


    Locale: Isle of Man

    Travelling in Europe is not that straightforward, despite the Euro. In France they speak French; in Germany, German; in Italy…

    You get the message. I travelled to New Zealand twice in preference to a short hop across the Channel. Finally, I went to France last year, opting for four weeks on my bicycle to force a confrontation with my linguistic ineptitude. It was a wonderful holiday and a real adventure.

    It was also quite cheap. Till returning to cycle touring, I had been quite good at spending more on the holiday than on the kit.

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