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For Those of You Left Behind in America This Summer

For Those of You Left Behind in America This Summer

Jul 12th, 2011, 08:17 PM
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For Those of You Left Behind in America This Summer

I'm an ex-pat living in Europe, and people sometimes ask me what I miss most about America. I surprise them by honestly saying "Nothing."

But it does occur to me share with my fellow Americans a piece of America that strikes me as rapidly disappearing, and very much worth saving, if it is at all possible, That is an America before frequent flyers, digital cameras, golden retirements, pseudo-sophistication and non-stop bragging. An America where very, very few people ever traveled to Europe and, when they did, they never once thought for a second they "knew" more than their laughable neighbors. They knew that just somehow they'd been incredibly lucky.

Hence, I share what I think is the best trip report ever. It's from an American I consider an American national treasure: Rance Allen. I'm an atheist, I'm not a patriot, but what Rance Allen does transcends race and creed for me. It's just infectious, contagious all-American fun, beyond celebrity, fashion and putting on airs. That's the best of America. Just being yourself in your own back yard, your eyes on the real prize of living right.

zeppole is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 02:17 AM
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Amen, Zeppole!! Makes me think of "Our Town."

God help me if i ever turn into one who brags about how many times I've been; forgets that the vast majority of people cannot afford huge sums, or loads of time, to travel; that "experiencing the real" whatever, doesn't occur in $500/night hotel rooms, or jsut generally loses perspecive on what reallly counts.

Counting my blessings. Thanks for posting this.
CaliNurse is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 11:07 AM
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Zeppole, bringing your comments to the top for more discussion. Sounds as if you have some ax to grind about American tourists in general. Not sure about "That's the best of America. Just being yourself in your own back yard, your eyes on the real prize of living right." Are you suggesting that we stay home if we do not meet some exacting standards of behavior/comportment in Europe?

I appreciate all of your past informative posts.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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May the day I can no longer explore the world and all its wonders and interesting peoples be far, far into my future. Thank the Power That Be, I have had and continue to enjoy the health and means to go places infinitely more inspiring than my backyard.

I would be curious to know where zep lived in America that he/she misses absolutely nothing. I can think of dozens of places just in California (where I live) that I would ache for if I lived half a world away.
Jean is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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High five hand slap, CaliNurse!

No, latedaytraveler, I am not saying that. If I had wanted to say that, I would have said that! I actually said the almost exact opposite of what you read. I said I love Americans who are themselves, who don't try to fool others into believing they have status, or superior knowledge, class. They are happy with who they are and where they are going, not where they have been. Did you watch Rance Allen? He's really a wonderful example of the American culture that has inspired the world. (I think, sad to say, it is losing out to celebrity and internet bragging.)

Jean, so sorry your American backyard is so uninspiring you are thanking mythical powers that be you can frequently leave it for more infinitely interesting places! Where in California do you live? I was born in New York, grew up in California, and then spent most of my adult life (when I was living in America) splitting my time between living in New York City and living in California (north, south and central). I found my California backyards inspiring. (The weather alone is inspiring in the south.) But when I was in New York, I didn't miss California. And when I was in California, I didn't miss New York. I'm pretty sure one of things that enabled to me to move °half a world away" (and not for the first time either) is the inner ability to turn a page and be on to the next, to take each day and place for what it holds for itself, not to be missing some forever gone yesterday. Anyway, places are always changing. Not the same river twice as Heraclitus said. I hope you eventually figure out how to be happy in your backyard. I'm happy in mine. Never know when you might just have live in it forever!
zeppole is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Wow, did i read something entirely different?

What attracted me to this thread last night was the subject line. I immediately took it as meant for folks who should not have regrets if they are unable to travel away far from home --unaffordable plane fares, accommodation prices, gas prices, family ties,illness, whatever--that it would be a positive take on the "staycation." Don't compare yourselves to those who are able to go; don't think of it as a negative to not be able to leave.

Noting the author, who gives sage and down to earth ( and sometimes sarcastic) advice on the Europe forum, i figured the "left behind" meant in comparison to the fortunate Fodors travelers to Europe (including myself) this summer .

Unlike the author,I love my country, perhaps never more than when i return from a trip out of it. I too grew up in NYC and now live in the Northern Calif Bay Area, two of the greatest places on earth, let alone the USA. I also love little-known but simple places like Fulton Harbor, Texas, to mention one.

Unlike the author, i think would very much miss America--especially its people-- if permanently living out of the country After this most recent trip to Europe, (TR coming eventually) I treasured the good qualities of us Yanks even more! But either way, the message I read in this topic, and the wonderful video of Reverand Rance Allen, is "treasure what you have!"
CaliNurse is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 02:13 PM
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I'm happy enough in my backyard, but it hardly compares to some of the beautiful (and, yes, inspiring) gardens/places I've seen elsewhere. The place that has moved me the most isn't even pretty or particularly comfortable -- Auschwitz -- but it's experience I wish everyone could have and learn from.

As for missing places, I miss just about every place I've ever visited, even places here in California. I never feel as if I've seen everything or learned all that I could/should learn. I'm sorry you no longer have any curiosity or interest in the places in your past, but I guess that insures contentment in your present surroundings.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” –- Mark Twain

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” -– St. Augustine
Jean is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 02:18 PM
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p.s. sorry, i meant, I think** I** (left that out) would miss American. Am not judging or criticizing Zeppole or anyone who choses to live outside their native country-hope it dint sound like that.
I think his or her (Zeppole's) point is to treasure the place you're in, to count the blessings of your own backyard. it is soooo easy to pine for something else, that we forget to see what is right in front of us. But in no way did i take this topic as advice NOT to also plan and dream of the next trip!!
CaliNurse is offline  
Jul 13th, 2011, 02:47 PM
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Hi Zeppole, yes I did watch the video - I guess I am not that into music. I am one of those whose glass is half full, not half empty. To me those who have the most and who have traveled widely are the least likely to brag about their expriences or possessions. I am sure you would agree.

Leaving for London in an hour. You bring up a provocative subject worth exploring. All the best...
latedaytraveler is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 03:02 PM
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I am appalled this got moved to the Fodorite Lounge -- someplace I never want to be! -- and if anybody misunderstood my post, they can re-read CaliNurse since she understood exactly what the point was. About all I can add the differs from what she said is that it is possible to live in America and miss what's good about America when Americans themselves give up on it. What America is at its best has never been about place or attachment to place. It is a country of people who gave up place to move to America and learned to make a romance of the open road.

Jean, you are willfully being a pain -- almost as big a one as the dreadful St. Augustine! -- and if makes you feel good in your dreary backyard, knock yourself out! Were Mark Twain alive today he'd be penning scathing screeds about the oh-so-self-regarding people who vacation in Europe. Maybe you should take a trip up or down the road to the Krishnamurti Center -- just try not to get too attached to Ojai!

laedaytraveler, sorry Rance Allen doesn't fill your glass to the brim, but I must say I absolutely DISAGREE with you that the people who have traveled "widely" are the modest people you think they are. Assume nothing!
zeppole is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 04:06 PM
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It's a big country with a lot of people - one person's America can have very little relation to another's America. It really all depends on who you hang around with. The America that some people think is disappearing is alive and well in some places and in some spheres. And in other places and other spheres, that America never really existed to begin with. The country is too big to make generlizations.

I do agree with the general advice of not trying to keep up with the Joneses and to find happiness in your life regardless of your circumstances. If people have the means and desire to travel, then travel (or own a large house or a new car or a fast boat or or or...) But people should do what they do because it adds value and interest to their lives, not because others are doing it or they want the bragging rights.

As for the attitudes of people who have travelled widely - some are modest, some are not. And some people who have never gone out of their county are the biggest braggarts around. Whatever. Some people are cool, some people suck. It's just life.

As a native Californian, there are plenty of things I am sure I would miss about California if I was away for a long period. I would miss walking in redwood forests, seeing sea otters and harbor seals swimming in the ocean in Pacific Grove, hearing the clank clank of the Giant Dipper at the Boardwalk as the cars climb to the top of the first hill and the screams as the cars plunge to the bottom. I would miss seeing lowriders cruise their classic cars on Sunday afternoons. I would miss the Sunday Night Oldies show on the radio. I would miss hanging out in the driveway on a summer evening grilling skirt steak from Freedom Meat Locker. I would miss the carnitas from La Colmena.
november_moon is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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The same thing is happening in Europe Zeppole..How are you going to handle it and how are you going to

Are you going to move to a different continent in search of utopia?
kismetchimera is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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Moved to the Lounge!

An ironic, fitting and hilarious fate.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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Turn the page, Zeppole. Be on to the next. WELCOME TO THE LOUNGE!!!
Iregeo is offline  
Jul 14th, 2011, 10:42 PM
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Phew, what a relief, when I saw the title I'd thought I'd slept through the Rapture
alanRow is offline  
Jul 15th, 2011, 09:24 AM
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alanRow, just head out to your backyard/garden. Apparently, it's happening there now.
Jean is offline  

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