At the risk of sounding condescending...

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Sep 9th, 2002, 10:58 PM
  #21
Arthurnatra
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To Rocco
Don't want to travel alone? I travelled to Cuba last year with Global Exchange who has amazing travel-education program over the world. We were in small group and went to classes and meetings with educators, economists, architects, local people in addition to sight seeing, eating and dancing. Of course Global Exchange has stronge libral bias. There are planty of other educational group (like Oversea Advanture) who offer exotic locale.

I would also beware of travel elitism, which I am guilty of myself at times. But everything is relative. Hong Kong and Beijing are hardly off the beaten path to most serious travelers. Try lonelyplanet.com and you be laughed out of their forum as another causul tourist with your travel credential. (But then again, those guys never trek though antartica or went up K2)
Did you visit a school, a hospital or read a book about China before you go? Or did you just walk on the Great Wall and shopped in Hong Kong? Are you less enlightened if you starred at the Las Meninas in Prado Museum in Madrid for 40 minutes than if you were to chase after blue-footed boobies on Galapagos? I did both and they are both "broadening" experience for me.
 
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Sep 12th, 2002, 07:01 AM
  #22
mr
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Rocco: the point you seem to be missing is that the question you asked could be applied to any nationality. Not everyone in this world has the desire to see the rest of the world, and that's their perogative. Others don't have the money, which is my case. Sure, I would love to visit places like Japan, Turkey, Russia, but I don't have the means right now. Some people are afraid to travel right now, and who can blame them?

Why worry about what others think of your traveling to more "exotic" places? Be glad you have the money and time to do so. Don't forget, you can use your traveling expertise to educate those you meet who are less enlightened.
 
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Sep 12th, 2002, 08:15 AM
  #23
Stu
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Well, all of these thoughts are valid...it is true about subjective interests, and it is of more particular relevance that US workers get an absurdly small amount of annual leave each year (ten days according to my NY-state based brother in law). Add that fact to the time/distance/cost required for someone in - say - Minnesota just to reach one of the coastlines and you can see why many Americans are stay-at-homes.

It is also true that every nation has its sloths and its ignoramuses. That said, I am appalled by the knowledge that a preposterously small number of US citizens even own a passport (seem to recall just 10% but wouldn't swear to it).

In my opinion, it is not healthy for a nation to have so little experience of other countries/cultures. It does appear to those of us outside of the US that Americans actually have very little interest in other countries. Many Americans do not seem to understand the resentment they experience from elsewhere in the world (and I speak as a confirmed Ameri-phile) and the best way to manage this resentment is to get out and engage with the world. This is as true for the government as it is for the individual.
 
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Sep 12th, 2002, 10:22 AM
  #24
Patricia
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I can identify with what Tyra said. She was part of our group of 5 in Kenya in April. I sort of had to work my way up to being interested in seeing places like Egypt and Kenya/South Africa. I just had never thought that much about it. When I saw Egypt, I was hooked. What's there? What isn't?!!! We were awestruck. And the same in Kenya and S. Africa. Can't wait to go back. I don't need 5-star hotels. If it's clean and relatively bug-free, I'm satisfied.

This is to "Mom." We went with 2Afrika out of New Jersey (www.2Afrika.com). Check out their rates. Our 9-day Kenya safari at top-notch lodges was $2,050 out of Atlanta. All but 2 meals. Only 5 of us (they usually take 6). Plus a side trip of 3 nights in Cape Town was only $295, incl. airfare, again top-notch hotel, and buffet breakfast, PLUS a half-day tour of the city. We loved it and were very satisfied with everything. If you want to know more, e-mail me. I know Tyra and her husband loved it too. If I just had some money to go someplace else soon. . . .(!!!)
 
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Sep 12th, 2002, 10:28 AM
  #25
Patricia
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Just wanted to add this, for those middle-aged and above who posted above. I'm 63 and was 61 when I started visiting Africa (hadn't been overseas in 35 years--and then just to western Europe). This was all thanks to the urging of a friend from work who wanted to go to more exotic places. I'm really grateful to her for getting me interested in this kind of travel. If I had any money right now, I'd ask the women late-40s and above that posted here to contact me and we could plan a trip. However, I just got finished paying for Africa and need to save for awhile to go again.
 
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Sep 16th, 2002, 11:25 AM
  #26
Susan
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Message: To Patricia. I am getting ready to go to Africa in October with 2Afrika. I am sooo excited. It's good to hear someone who has been and also with the smae group I am going with. We are going to Kenya. A friend and I are going to celebrate our 60th B-day while there. This trip is our present to ourselves. Let me know if there is anything I should know before I go.
 
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Sep 17th, 2002, 10:16 AM
  #27
Patricia
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To Susan: You'll have a great time. Where are you staying? We stayed at Lake Nakuru Lodge for 2 nights and then a day or two longer at Mara Sopa in the Masai Mara. We went in April, so the weather will be very different, so I can't tell you much about that. Don't worry about dressing up. Not necessary. We took carry-on bags only with one VERY large purse each. Made it as far as Johannesburg, where they weighed them and checked them in--way too heavy. Only packed 3 pairs of slacks, several tops, and a long-sleeved shirt to keep the sun off us. Jacket for cool mornings and evenings, but that was in April. Food was good and plentiful. Stuff you'd find anyplace, for the most part. Not much doing in the evenings, but dinner was late and wake-up call was early. Let me know what you'd like to hear about. Laundry was quick and cheap both places (cheapest at Lake Nakuru). We took the hot air balloon ride ($350--ouch!) and saw little game (didn't care--we were over Africa!!), except for a pride of 22 lions--what a thrill! Don't regret it, even at that price.
 
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Sep 20th, 2002, 07:10 AM
  #28
db
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To Rocco and xxxx, this board is for Africa and Central Asia, not just Africa. So, the guy who has no interest in travelling to the former is allowed to read this board.
Also, just to add my two cents re: travel to exotic places--people think I'm nuts to go to Tahiti (which my husband and I leave for in ten days), but to us it is another vacation, albeit an expensive one. We like the tried and true places, but we also like to see, and relax in, far off places. I learned a long time ago that just because I like to spend money on vacation (more than just trips to the shore in the summer), not everyone does. To them, driving really nice cars and living in fancy houses is of utmost importance. To them, I am a travel snob, and to me they are just regular snobs. To each his own!
I do agree with the guy from the UK re: Americans and their lack of passports, but he also has to remember that the US is much bigger than the UK and has almost every type of landscape, weather, activity, etc. We are fortunate to live in such a place, and just to explore the whole US is an adventure in itself. Anyone who has a desire to visit someplace other than their own backyard should be commended for "getting out there and seeing what the world has to offer."
 
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Sep 20th, 2002, 10:52 AM
  #29
Karen
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I just got back from a private game farm called Kapama - it borders Kruger - with my brother and his family who came over here for a wedding and were initially somewhat reluctant to do the safari. Now that they have, I will be very surprised if they do not come back and if they do not spread the word about the great fun we all had at a great, comparitively speaking, price. Some people just need a wee nudge in the right direction and they fit that description. Less than an hour after we had arrived, my usually cool and collected brother was bubbling over with unseen before enthusiasm. I am sure the word will be spread amongst his friends and associates as soon as he gets back to the US. In the meantime, take heart. Africa, specifically South Africa, has the fastest growing tourist industry in the world right now. If you have not been here, for sure give this continent and this country a chance to show you the best time you will ever have.
Karen
 
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Sep 20th, 2002, 11:56 AM
  #30
Art
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Rocco,
Maybe because Americans would feel they might be targeted by extremists in many African and Middle Eastern countries, many of which have large Muslim communities. After all, there have been many terrorist activities in Africa (the embassy bombings), as well as civil war in others.

South Africa, of course, is different. Cape Town and South Africa are quite different from, say Sudan, so I'm not sure going to Cape Town is a good example.

The other reason may be, as another poster mentioned, is it's much more convenient for European travellers to visit these places because of closer proximity. Hawaii is a natural destination for Americans because it's part of our country. Other places, like the Caribbean and Canada, also don't require visas and customs is not as stringent.
 
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Sep 20th, 2002, 05:19 PM
  #31
Rocco
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DB,
I think I must confess and join you in the ranks of being a "travel snob." I just shudder when somebody excitedly tells me that they are going to Las Vegas, Hawaii or even the more popular Western Europe destinations on some 7 countries in 7 day tour or other.
I do pride myself on going to what I like to think are more exotic locales and really try to steer clear of the American tourist hot spots such as Hawaii, Cancun, Las Vegas and cities such as London and Paris, at least in summertime.
Yes, I could have another nice car in the driveway or a Rolex, Cartier or even Patek Phillipe on my wrist if not for my expensive vacations, but when I am lying on my deathbed, I think I will treasure the memories of my travels to Africa (hope to retire in Cape Town by the age of 45!!!), South America (Chile this December), Asia (China last year and returning next year to run the Great Wall Marathon), Antarctica (2006?) and yes, even Europe, far more than I will value my long since forgotten Rolex or Range Rover.
I absolutely love to travel and although I am not exactly roughing it on my trips I am still experiencing the world enough to not obnoxiously shout out the star-spangled banner and say things like "America, love it or leave it." While I love the USA, I have common affections for other places I have visited as well, and I would never want to give up on exploring the world.
 
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Sep 21st, 2002, 06:24 AM
  #32
db
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Message: to Rocco
I must agree with what you just said; I too cherish my trips, exotic or otherwise, much more than I cherish material possessions. I hope my husband and I can travel as much as it sounds like you have (with a baby on the way, plans will be on hold for a bit)...Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Peru, (been to Venezuela and want to return), Africa is next on my list, and too many more to bore everyone.

Rocco, thank you so much for starting a very interesting conversation! I have enjoyed reading and appreciating everyone's POV. Best of luck in your future adventures. I will be thinking of you when I am up doing late night feedings, and looking forward to when the baby will be old enough to travel the world with my husband and me.
 
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