Do Americans Travel Wrong?

[Hey, guess who sucks at blogging? Me! Sorry for the delay and half-assed-ness today.]

Over at Huffington Post, William D. Chalmers wrote not one but two blog posts about why Americans travel “wrong.” And I’m not going to disagree with him, that most of the problems he enumerates sound like they’d make for a miserable vacation to me.

And of course, I’m not above telling people what to do and how to do it, and having very definite ideas about what is best and worst, right and wrong.

But I’ve got to say, his posts make him sound like a little prig. He has enough money and leisure time, enough status, enough education and enrichment, enough flexibility, etc etc, in his life, that he can travel the “right” way. That’s completely awesome for him. Seriously, he’s very lucky. I’m lucky enough to have most of those things too. But most people don’t. That’s why it’s called “privilege.” It’s only for the rarified, lucky few.

Should the United States mandate better language education, better global awareness, higher minimum wage, more vacation time, and all of the other things that make other nationalities more “right” travelers than us? Well, yes. But barring that, I don’t think it’s helpful to mock Americans for traveling “wrong.” Everybody sort of does the best they can. If you can only afford a few days a year or if your education hasn’t taught you about research and comparison shopping, then you might go somewhere near by or the same place every year. It’s better than nothing. It may be “wrong,” but it’s more wrong, in my book, to stay home.

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