General Question

NewWorldSurvivor's avatar

Is traveling in the United States overrated?

Asked by NewWorldSurvivor (31points) July 24th, 2012

Any other Americans not crazy about traveling in US and would rather visit other countries instead?

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34 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Welcome to Fluther!

US citizen here. I’ve really enjoyed traveling all over the US as I am more familiar with the culture and the history. There are still places I would like to visit and even go back to. Lately though, travels have taken me to other countries. It’s exciting to immerse myself in a new culture and see the sites. For me, it’s like comparing apples to oranges; both are wonderful, but they are different.

28lorelei's avatar

Well, traveling in the US is convenient since you don’t have to exchange currency, get a visa or anything like that. It’s kind of like traveling in the EU if you’re an EU citizen, only you’re traveling from state to state, not country to country. However, traveling around to different countries is pretty awesome as well. You get to see some exciting new cultures and sites. Both are exciting, but not really comparable.

YARNLADY's avatar

I have little to no desire to travel in other countries. The U.S. has everything I could possibly want to see in my life time.

Supacase's avatar

I have driven coast to coast several times and am awed how by how many amazing things I’ve seen. Not just things like the grand canyon, Black Forest, Redwood Forest, Yellowstone, the Badlands, petrified forest, Everglades, Appalachian Trail, and so on.

The great plains, Rocky Mountains, desert, Appalachian mountains, bustling cities, small towns, the lush northwest, rushing rivers, the Montana sky, swampy wetlands, endless beaches, rocky coasts, barren lands scattered with rock formations… And countless other things. They all have their own beauty and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to see it with my own eyes.

So many people near me are ignorant of this. I hear how only the mountains are worthwhile from people who have never looked across a vast flat land of flowing grasses or seen how very different ‘mountains’ can be.

Traveling out of the country is great, too, but don’t underrate what the US has to offer.

Nullo's avatar

Thing about the U.S. is that it’s easy to compress the grandeur of all 50 states into one idea-pellet simply by not thinking about it properly, while the rest of the world gets chunked into many more idea pellets, that are mysterious and therefore more interesting. It helps to think of the States as separate Continental-style countries that they sorta were before we overcentralized.

LuckyGuy's avatar

There are so many things to see and do and generally they’re inexpensive and convenient to get to – if you have a car. There is also tremendous variation in the landscape. You can have crowded cities, wide open spaces, mountains, deserts, lakes, oceans, rivers and everything in between.
And if you go to national parks you can have it all at gift prices.

rooeytoo's avatar

The USA is an amazingly diverse and beautiful country. It is a wonderful place to travel, that is why people from all over the world come there.

Other countries also have much to offer. I don’t know how to decide which is the best. I would say do both!

DaphneT's avatar

Depends on where in the U.S.A. you hail from. Also depends on what your family environment said about traveling in the U.S.A. So you may be conditioned to think that the U.S.A. is the same from shore to shore. You would be mistaken. Very mistaken. Every state offers a different culture, varying climates and geography and important historical and literary sites. Just like non-U.S.A countries.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

The U.S. is diverse in terms of its geography and people. To generalize it makes no sense at all.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t travel to other countries, though.

Response moderated (Spam)
marinelife's avatar

No, I live the variety of terrain and different sections of this country. Tere is a reason so many people from all over the world come here. The Grand Canyon, the redwoods in California, the rocky coast of Maine, the beaches and the Everglades in Florida, the amazing site of Mt. St. Helen’s. There is so much to see in the U.S. I never get tired of it.

andreaxjean's avatar

Traveling in the states is not overrated at all! There are some really beautiful places to see right here at home. For example, Niagra Falls, Havasu Falls, Sedona, Cape Cod, Charleston SC, Gatlinburg TN, and so on!

Some places up in the mountains have breathtaking views. Yeah, the Alps and the Andes are higher in elevation. But why not bask in the beauty of our immediate surroundings?

tedd's avatar

Both can be quite awesome.

codette's avatar

Not overrated. I have taken a few cross-country road trips and they really enhanced my appreciation for this country. I found that it is much more diverse than I’d assumed. The changes in landscape alone are amazing, and I was impressed and proud to realize everything I was seeing was of one nation. An earlier responder mentioned already the beauty of fields of blooming grasses, which is an unexpected wonder that stuck in my mind after driving and camping in the plains one June. There is beauty where you’d never expect to find it.
It seems important, in my mind, to really explore your own home as well as foreign lands. It lends to a more informed perspective and a satisfying appreciation for where you come from. I am assuming of course that you’re a US citizen, but either way I say explore both at home and abroad.

mowens's avatar

If anything I would say it is underrated. I have no interest to see other countries… I haven’t seen all of mine yet. We have the Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone Park, the lesser-known word class rock climbing in Lander Wyoming, you can hike the Appellation trail and so much more that most Americans simply ignore because we have a mentality that something automatically sucks because we are near it. I am sick of Americans being fed up with their country when they haven’t even tried to see ¼th of it.

rojo's avatar

No, it is not. The US has some absolutely wonderful places to visit. Take a look at how many travellers from other countries come here each year.

ml3269's avatar

It is great to travel throughout the USA… comparing it to the EU we have so much in common and there are so many differencies… amazing to see that… :)
But visiting a totally different culture can be helpful to open your mind and eyes.

mattbrowne's avatar

The way to learn more about your own country is visiting countries with significantly different cultures (so Canada doesn’t count and for me Austria doesn’t count).

When you come back, you’ll see things that you never noticed before.

thorninmud's avatar

Traveling within one’s own country can demand a different mindset than traveling in a foreign place. I find that I enjoy domestic travel most when I approach it like a cultural anthropologist, not looking for novelty or exotic experiences or excitement, but more trying to tune into the fine-grained character of the place. It becomes like engaging a person in an attentive and leisurely conversation about their life, instead of just seeing what they have to offer you.

That kind of deep exploration is actually easier in your own country than in a foreign one. Abroad, your attention is held captive by all of the stark contrasts with your own place. The foreignness is exciting, but it also keeps you at arms length, where it’s harder to attune to the subtler reality of the place.

Strauss's avatar

When I was younger, I had the opportunity not only to travel to most of the states, but also to also to live and work in several. It was through working and living in a locality that I was able to learn the most about cultural differences.

josie's avatar

Travelling in the US is great. The only problem is that architecturally there isn’t much older than 300 years. But the natural landscape can be wonderous, and some of the great cities are cool and there is a lot to see and do. And on a bad day it is 1000 times better than, say, the ME.

gailcalled's avatar

Even traveling from my house to the county transfer station (aka “The Dump) is a lovely trip.

It is rumored that Chelsea Clinton and her husband have just bought a beautiful house in Old Chatham. They, Hillary and Bill and the Secret Service had dinner on July 4th at our local watering hole; everyone wondered why. Now we know.

jca's avatar

The exchange rate is great and the landscape is beautiful. What more can you ask for?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Michigan is a beautiful State and well worth the visit.

Sunny2's avatar

I’ve been to all but 5 states and the US is definitely worth visiting; no question. I moved from the west coast to Boston and remember how “old” the buildings looked. Then, coming back from Greece and Italy thinking how “young” Boston looked. I think, if I lived elsewhere, it would take at least 6 trips to the US to see as much as I wanted. I agree with @Nullo, only I’d divide the US into regions. So much to see, so little time.
Same is true of visiting other countries.

mowens's avatar

Kinda raged out there, didnt mean to. Hahaaha

sliceswiththings's avatar

No. I’m an American currently living overseas. People find out I’m American and tell me about their trips, New England, the Southwest, the Rockies, Northern California, etc. etc. The travelers I meet here from all over the world have seen more of my home country than I have; at the moment I’ve been to more countries than states. I want to change that! I can’t represent my country if I don’t know it!

Kardamom's avatar

I’m from the U.S. and I only wish I had the opportunity to experience more of this country. I guess it all depends upon what you like to do and what you like to see.

I’m a big nature buff and I don’t think I could ever get enough of it. I’ve been to Yosemite and it’s probably the most spectacular place I’ve ever seen.

I haven’t had the chance to travel very extensively like some of the other Fluther members, but I would love to go to Monument Valley in Utah and The Blue Ridge Mountains and The Grand Canyon

I also like to go to museums and restaurants and I love looking at different kinds of architecture. This is one of my favorite examples of Craftsman Style Architecture (Pasadena, CA) and this is a wonderful church called The Wayfarer’s Chapel (Palos Verdes, CA) and there are lots of wonderful examples Mid Century Architecture in Palm Springs

You can find everything from ancient Native American dwellings in Arizona and New Mexico, to antebellum mansions in Louisiana andThe Carolinas, to salt boxes houses in the North Easter States, farm houses just about everywhere and super-modern buildings in New York. Here’s a couple of my favorite quirky buildings, The Seattle Space Needle and The Encounter Restaurant at LAX

Although I prefer to take trips to see nature, there’s plenty of wonderful cities in the U.S. that are quite different from one another. Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco, Nashville, Honolulu, Santa Fe. All of these cities are chock full of great restaurants, which is something that’s really important to me. Fancy ones, small ones, Mom and Pop joints, wineries, diners, farm to table establishments, and some places that have been around for 100 years.

If you like music, you can find anything from bluegrass in Nashville, jazz in New Orleans, Classical in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, country and alternative and rock n roll in Austin and Indio.

If you have an interest in television or the theater, you can’t beat New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

If you like the beach, you can’t go wrong in California, Hawaii or Florida.

And for total decadence you can’t beat Las Vegas

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

I’ve been to all fifty states, and all of them have at least one thing to appreciate/enjoy (yes, even places like North Dakota and Nebraska…). I don’t think travel (let alone in the U.S.) is overrated at all. In fact, I wish more people had the time and money to travel. I think it changes your perceptions of peoples, places, and environment, and you generally return changed from the experience.

Kardamom's avatar

@AngryWhiteMale I would love to eat my way across the USA, whilst traveling with one of These

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m not from the US but travel in the US as often as possible (with a trip coming up soon). From an outsiders point of view there is so much variety in the US that it is like visiting a number of countries in one trip. I am sure that, like with anywhere, if you live there, the novelty will wear off and it’s good that you want to explore beyond your own country.

Paradox25's avatar

No way. Damn, there are places in my own state which I’ve never seen yet. America is so big, so how can travel here be overrated? If anything I believe that travel in America is underrated, not overrated.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

@Kardamom, that’s a cool trailer! Very retro… As for eating, that’s what I liked to do back in the days when I was flush enough with cash to actually take trips: go to the local places that served real food, and save the McChains for when I had to stay on the interstates. Sampling the local specialties makes all the difference. From meat-and-threes in the deep South to sourdough bread in San Francisco, from baked beans in Boston to jello salad in Utah, from pulled pork ‘cue in the Carolinas to deep-dish pizza in Chicago, from shoo-fly pie in Pennsylvania to street tacos in Los Angeles, it’s another way to celebrate the diversity that is America. (Of course, these days, I find healthier ways to do this…)

MellisaTurner's avatar

No, It is rated correctly,
13th best country to live in.
37th best in health care,
14th best in longevity,
2nd most in inmates per capita,

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