At the risk of sounding condescending...

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Aug 31st, 2002, 06:29 PM
  #1
Rocco
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At the risk of sounding condescending...

Why is that some Americans just have no desire to go any further than Hawaii, Cancun or even Western Europe???
I figured that this board would be about the safest place to ask this question and although I am not really expecting any real answers. Maybe what I am expecting to learn is the reason behind the more adventuresome souls of those that fearlessly travel to Africa and other places that are not the premier vacation destination for most.
Of course I understand that economics has a lot to do with it, but I think that for every person that would love to go to Africa, that there are two others that are in a position to do so but would rather go someplace "safer" and stay in five star accomodations in places like Maui, Cancun, London and Paris. Where is the adventure in that??? I am also bothered by this type of personality when they ask me a question such as "Why on Earth would you want to go to a dirty place like Africa???" I just about want to slap a person that takes that tone, because as many of us know, Africa is just about the most beautiful place in the world as are other exotic locales that are 20 times less visited than the most popular American holiday destinations.
Personally, I cannot wait to return to South Africa but at the same time wish to see other places that I have not yet seen (going to Patagonia in December) and returning places that I have enjoyed (Hong Kong and hopefully Beijing next March). Don't know if this is because I am younger and I am still friends with some that haven't travelled much beyond Las Vegas, Hawaii, Cancun and if they are lucky Western Europe. Just wish more people were more adventurous and wouldn't have such a stupid reaction when I tell them how beautiful a place like Cape Town really is and stare in disbelief when I tell them that I didn't feel at all threatened by crime in Cape Town (at least no more than I would in my native Los Angeles). Okay, I will get off my soapbox now.
 
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Aug 31st, 2002, 08:54 PM
  #2
rebecca
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Two years ago, when a coworker asked where I was going on vacation, I told him I was visiting Egypt and his response was "What's there to see in Egypt?" Huh? I got the exact same question from my sister-in-law when I mentioned we would be spending our next vacation in China. (substitute China for Egypt). Yikes! Maybe some people have no idea what is actually out there. I find that notion a lot scarier than any places I have visited.
 
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Sep 1st, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #3
Cindy
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I couldn't agree more. I went to Africa for the first time last year, and I spend every day thinking about going again. I would sign up to go in a minute, but I can't find anyone who will go with me. And I hate the thought of spending the night in a tent surrounded by animals all alone. I at least need someone to whom I can say "Did you hear that?"

But everyone I talk to about it is either too timid (like it's really a very scary place!) or wants to go somewhere with culture (I love that argument)or would rather spend the money on three cheap trips to Paris ( again!)or just has absolutely no interest in it (could only be someone who's never been there).

I must admit that the first time I went it was because my son wanted to go, not because I chose the trip. But now I am hooked - big time! I just never thought I would have to go begging for someone to go with me - sure, some people say they will go if I pay their way, but barring a lottery win, that's not happening. And I'm not a person who is hard to travel with - even my son who likes nothing I do says so.

Granted, in my age group (late 40's) there are a lot of people with kids in college or with jobs on shaky ground, and their reluctance to spend the money is understandable.

So, I'll keep trying to find someone until I convince myself to just go by myself - which will happen if it is the only way I'll get there.

Rocco - as for being younger and having friends that haven't traveled anywhere adventurous, my fear is getting older and not having any friends will travel to somewhere which would be more "rigorous". I figure if I don't get them to go now, I probably will never get them to go.

My husband, unfortunately, is among the people who don't understand this, not that he would ever be able to take that long off from work (he owns his own business) or that he would ever be able to spend that long on an airplane. So, I guess it's time to go out and make some new friends!
 
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Sep 1st, 2002, 08:03 AM
  #4
rebecca
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Cindy, where in Africa did you go? What time of year? Africa is next on my list, which is why I am looking intho this forum. You are right about finding someone else in our age group who like more adventurous destinations. If it wasnt for my fearless husband,I would be traveling alone.
 
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Sep 1st, 2002, 08:54 AM
  #5
prefer goin' solo
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Cindy, I would encourage you to try travelling solo. There's a lot of freedom in this and it forces you to meet new people on the way. I've been travelling solo for 25 years now. It started out because I had no one who could go when I wanted to, for as long as I could, or where I was interested to go. Alone, I have travelled in Africa 3 times (southern Africa, West Africa, Egypt). I've also been to Asia, the Middle East and Central America as a woman travelling alone.

And yes, I get a lot of flack from friends and family. But I go anyway and share stories that invariably surprises everyone when I get back. My husband is a happy homebody and his greatest fear is that one day I'll drag him along. He's used to my trips by now and defends my ability to travel alone to those of my family that think that he should be stopping me from going. My grown son thinks I'm nuts, but his friends think I'm cool.

One comment I often get from less adventurous souls is that I'm "courageous". I think I must have been the first couple of times I started travelling alone. Now I'm simply not - I'm just used to it and I've developped strategies for being alone: I'll often meet other solo women travellers and merge itiniraries with them for a day or a few days; I'll take the time to speak with local women as I walk around; and I accept spontaneous invitations into these women's homes. I often feel that I've ended up with a much richer set of experiences from having travelled solo.
 
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Sep 1st, 2002, 09:44 AM
  #6
Celia
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I think there are people who want to go on vacation, and there are other people who want to see the world. The former group don't really understand those of us in the latter group, because when they look at our travels they don't see anything "fun" or "restful" or whatever it is they seek in their travels. When we look at them, we don't see anything "broadening" or "enlightening" or whatever it is we seek in our travels.
 
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Sep 1st, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #7
Rocco
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Unfortunately many of the same people that question MY vacation destinations (last three vacations...my honeymoon beginning in Istanbul, sailing through the Greek Isles and Italy and completing in Rome, a 17 day trip to China hitting Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and the best vacation yet, a 17 day trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe), also boast to me proudly about their frequent trips to Las Vegas--We stayed at the Bellagio!!!--, Hawaii or Cancun. At least I am more civil to them than they are to me, as I struggle through a "How Nice", with a smile on my face. What is really sad is when someone with all the means to see the world has NO interest and instead struggles whether to see some part of Western Europe, the Caribbean, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas or Hawaii, as if there is no place else on Earth visiting.
Anyway, happy travels to everybody and for those seeking travel partners, best of luck.
 
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Sep 1st, 2002, 06:13 PM
  #8
Jan Goss
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Cindy:

If you can't find someone who shares you interest of a trip to Africa, do it yourself.

I am a 62 year old working mother and none of my family was interested in traveling to Africa. I decided what the heck -- I'll do it myself!! I decided exactly what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go and then contacted Southern Cross Safaris in Mombasa and they set everything up for me. I didn't want your usual safari of traveling to five or six different places in a short period of time with other people since they might not want to see the same things I did. Since I wanted to focus on elephants I spent time in both Amboseli and Tasvo East where there are large populations of elephants. It was totally safe, reasonably priced and I spent 16 wonderful days in January 2001 and again in January 2002 in Kenya. I am now in the planning stages of my next trip.

Traveling alone can be a real plus! Had my husband or kids been with me I would never have been able to stop and get acquainted with so many wonderful Kenyans in the lodges and tented camps. My next trip will be more to see my friends there than just to see the wildlife. Everyone in the lodges, tented camps and safari company will go out of their way to be extremely nice and protective of a woman traveling alone.

Don't hesitate to follow your dream.

Jan

 
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Sep 2nd, 2002, 03:57 AM
  #9
Cindy
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Rebecca - I was in South Africa and Zimbabwe in May 2001. We had great luck in having two weeks of absolutely perfect weather - daytimes in the 70's and virtually no rain.

Thanks to the others who offered me encouragement to go it alone. If that ends up to be the only way I can do it I am glad to know it will be fine, because, one way or the other, I will do it.
 
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Sep 2nd, 2002, 07:33 AM
  #10
Mom
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I have been to Maui, the Carribean, and other "safe" places. I have also traveled to India. I would love to travel to other places but with a large growing family my resources are very limited. And with the economy being what it is, I am living vicariously through this forum. My dream is to travel on safari to Africa. Please keep posting your stories about your trips. I love hearing all about them.
 
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Sep 2nd, 2002, 10:05 AM
  #11
ellen
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Many people are afraid of the unknown and I for one am happy that they stay home. My pet peeve about the less adventuresome travelers is that they spend 1 or 2 weeks in Acapulco and then announce that they have DONE Mexico!!! I have been to Mexico 8 times and could travel there exclusively for the rest of my life (well almost)and not consider that I had DONE Mexico or any other place on this wonderful earth after a 2 week trip.
The following are reasons that friends have given me for not traveling;
strange food, afraid to fly, dirt, squat toilets, language, money, sharing bathrooms, US is best, dirty people, and more fear of the unknown than I could ever believe.
Many think I am brave, too. All it takes is money and the desire to go. I am 64 and have trekked in Patagonia--a wonderful experience, scuba dived in Kenya, sea kayaked in the Baja and watched the sunset from a gulet in Turkey. I will never stop traveling until my knees give out, my eyes dim and the fat lady sings. My best answer to your question is, "Travlelers travel but tourists go to Cancun, stay at the Hyatt, eat in the hotel dining room, and consider that they have DONE Mexico.
 
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Sep 3rd, 2002, 03:08 PM
  #12
Thyra
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Well for me, it was a question of kind of "working up" to getting to Africa. I travel a great deal to Europe, also have visited Australia.. but Africa was a big expense.. now that I've done it.. I am completely obsessed!!! Now I want to go everywhere... we've got a trekking trip to Peru on the books for May.. then Europe again (I love European history) then.. Hopefully Botswana.. I am all on fire to go there.. I feel sort of like I had to "graduate" through the Europe stuff, to get into the Africa thing.. but now I just feel unstoppable.. once you go to Africa it does become an addiction, at least for me it has! Happy travels to all.
 
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Sep 4th, 2002, 12:22 AM
  #13
xxx
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To each his own. I love traveling all over the world, but I also enjoy staying in a plush 5 star hotel! Although if I have to choose between 1 week in a 5 star hotel in Hawaii or 1 week in a 2 star hotel in Asia-Africa, South America-wherever, I'd choose the latter. I can relate to what Thyra posted. I've traveled around Europe extensively for years and finally got up the nerve, time off and money to go to Asia. No I feel like I can go anywhere and want to go everywhere! Africa is at the top of my list now.

Back to the original question, going to Hawaii is so much easier than going someplace foreign! A lot of people just want to relax on their vacation and not have to spend the whole time figuring things out (not me!).
 
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Sep 4th, 2002, 04:34 AM
  #14
Cindy
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In reply to xxx above, you will be happy to know that some of the very best 5 star hotels in the world are in Africa. The hotels we stayed in last year in South Africa were by far better than the hotels we stayed in when we went to Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic last year, and they were both trips with 5 star hotels. A lot of people think you have to be roughing it when you go to a place like Africa or Asia, but the worst bathroom I was ever in was in Venice, Italy, not in Africa.

Go to Africa - it is a life-altering trip. I am so glad my son has had the chance to see how priveleged a life he has led so far compared to what he saw in Soweto. Personally, I think that ideally every young adult should be required to take a trip to Africa.
 
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Sep 4th, 2002, 04:44 AM
  #15
xxx
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Yea, I know. That's not really what I meant. Previous posts referenced 5 star hotels in Hawaii, Cancun, etc and how people prefer to go there over more interesting destinations. I know there are 5 star hotels all over the world and I rarely (get to) stay in them.
 
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Sep 4th, 2002, 10:54 AM
  #16
lena
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Hey Rocco,
I think you do sound very condescending. As you say yourself you don't expect any real answers and you just want to let everyone know how "adventurous" you are. I don't think Hong Kong and Beijing are that adventurous really. Capetown happens to be the murder capital of the world, but of course you wouldn't know it if you stay in cordoned area in a 5* star hotel.

Many people have limitations of 2 weeks vacation and finances. In regard to adventure and courage of traveling to offbeaten places, there are so many guide books written that you're not exactly traveling through unchartered territory. Also, people have different interests. Maybe they want to see the museums, cathedrals, and sit in the cafes in Europe. For them it is different as is Hawaii. I think that Australia because of it's size and also relatively recent history would be less "exotic" for Americans than Europe. For me, Africa is not on top of the list because the big draw there is nature, animals, safari, etc., and I have no interest in animals, and there are plenty of natural wonders in US that I haven't seen. Someday I'll go there. I'm not interested in Egypt or India but I would like to visit Turkey and Central Asia (Uzbekistan etc.), Israel, Jordan. Is this adventurous enough?
 
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Sep 4th, 2002, 11:43 AM
  #17
Thyra
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The term "interesting" and "adventuresome" are SOOO subjective. I would put forth the option that any place on EARTH could be interesting to someone.. while I was planning my trip to Africa, a dear friend of mine who is an absolute baseball fanatic, was planning a trip to see all the baseball stadiums of America.. sounds boring as heck to me, but baseball means nothing to me. The above poster isn't interested in animals or nature.. so maybe spending $10,000 on a trip to Africa would not be a good idea. I am a history buff, so I will gladly shell out thousands to visit castles in the UK, where a water skier would think that a waste. I know that a lot of places I think would not interest me right off the top, but once I start researching,, usually something "interesting" pops up, upon deeper inspection. Yes it is adventureous to visit Africa or Asia.. but my mom, finds a road trip to Vegas adventure enough (she's 70+)!
 
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Sep 4th, 2002, 12:45 PM
  #18
xxxx
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Just a comment. If a person has no desire to ever see Africa, the animals are so boring, etc., etc., etc. Why are you on this board reading these comments? xxxx
 
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Sep 5th, 2002, 08:27 PM
  #19
Rocco
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xxxx....agreed! No interest in Southern Africa, no interest in Egypt...so what's the point in being on this forum for such a person???
 
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Sep 9th, 2002, 05:20 PM
  #20
T Brown
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Dude, like, if no Americans want to go to Africa, then why are you asking them here?
 
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