"Well, Mom, it wasn't Europe..."

May 2nd, 2006, 08:43 PM
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"Well, Mom, it wasn't Europe..."

Just got back from a "sunbreak" vacation (we need those in the NW) to Tucson and when DD asked how it was I said something like, "Well, it was Ok..." to which she (this is my "Italian daughter") replied, "Well, Mom, it wasn't Europe..."

And it got me thinking...except for S.F. and Manhatten, really, every time I take a vacation in the U.S. I'm let down. Even Hawaii, which I've been to several times and think is pretty, is somewhat boring to me.

Am already planning a trip to France and Spain for DH and my 25th anniversary and am excited about that. But I'm starting to wonder--why bother--except for nature breaks in this area--which is a gorgeous area in terms of natural beauty, I really only seem to have an incredible time when I go to Europe (and I've been around the world and lived in Asia)--it has what I really love--art, architecture, great food and culture.

Anyone else experience this?
artlover is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 08:53 PM
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There are plenty of nice places in the USA, but perhaps the added exoticism of Europe appeals to your, or the historical context (things in Europe have been around for a long time, whereas most of the USA is new).

Then again, if you go to places like Tucson for your USA vacations, I can understand why you'd be disappointed. Just the thought of Tucson makes my eyelids heavy.
AnthonyGA is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 09:01 PM
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You need to pick better American vacation locations.
degas is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 09:21 PM
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The fact that you like SF and Manhattan indicates that you are someone who enjoys exciting urban areas with lots of cultural offerings, and probably walkable cities. Tucson just doesn't qualify, or so I surmise, as I've not been there. I'm sure you could have a great trip in Montreal or Toronto or Boston as well.
WillTravel is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 11:44 PM
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I would echo WillTravel's thought; particularly with respect to Boston. It's a city that I like even more each time I visit.
Flyboy is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 11:55 PM
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Maybe it's just that the US is so familiar to you. Even though its a huge and varied country, you are still in your own country.
We live in Europe, and our children have been to many European countries, but if I ask them what holiday they liked best, it's New York and Florida.
Tulips is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 02:45 AM
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Also, the US is full of those darned Americans.
Carrybean is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 03:21 AM
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I know exactly how you feel.

I guess for me it's all the research and planning that goes into a European ( or Asian, etc)trip that is exciting; learning something completely different than the American way of life.

I've been to most places in the US and have had terrific vacations here. But I know how you feel; there is nothing like the adrenaline flowing when you are somewhere far away from home.

We rarely take any extended US vacations; just weekends or half weeks. All vacations are abroad somewhere.

I do agree though our country has some beautiful spots and should be explored.
tripgirl is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 03:23 AM
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I used to plan and save for two annual vacations in Europe; wouldn't even think of another destination..... until we took a chance with a 10-day trip to States out west; Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota. It was one of our best vacations ever and since then, we have plan so that one of our vacations to destinations out west USA. We live in the Northeast USA and there is tremendous beauty around here as well. I have met people from Norway, Denmark and Germany visiting my town who think this area is gorgeous. It seems it is all about perspective!
Viajero2 is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 03:27 AM
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Spend some time in Chicago.....
sallyjane3 is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 03:43 AM
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As a Canadian I have hesitated to travel widely in the US, especially in recent years.

My specific concerns are:

1. Will my clothes look right or will they laugh at me?

2. Will I encounter hostility and rudeness from political ideologues, because of my citizenship?

3. Am I at risk from thieves, muggers, murderers, terrorists, germs, food poisoning, reckless drivers?

4. Will I be able to make myself understood in English, the only world language other than French that I speak fluently.....

No wonder I usually choose Europe, where I invariably feel, though still a tourist, to be perfectly at home.
tedgale is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 03:49 AM
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not so unusual...travel is about going somewhere different and while it is possible to find somewhere different closer to home, something more different often has more appeal for some people. therefore, i don't at all see this as a US vs Europe issue.

people here in europe love to ski in the US or canada while americans and canadians dream about skiing in france, switzerland or italy.

americans dream about the beaches of spain or greece while most europeans go there just for "cheap sun" but will spend a lot of money to go to the caribbean, hawaii or florida for a "real" holiday.

many to most britons or germans see paris as just another city and would never plan a weekend there while americans find paris a place of magic.

i can go on and on but i think you get the idea.
walkinaround is online now  
May 3rd, 2006, 04:19 AM
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My husband and I talk about this all the time. For me, it's the ancient history and architecture. I know there's stunning scenery in the US but we always talk ourselves out of a US destination by recalling the cities in Italy or France (and many other places) that we've always wanted to see.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 04:27 AM
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tedgale, come to Austin! None of your insecurities will be exploited here.
kathgilliam is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 04:31 AM
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I tend to agree with the OP. I think our culture, while it has some regional flavor, is basically familiar, and so the domestic trips are less exciting. I do look forward to visiting the Southwest to see the landscape and ancient ruins in the mesas.

A few years back I finally made it to Mexico -- not the beach resorts nor the border towns, but Mexico City and, on subsequent trips, Oaxaca, Puebla, and Merida. It's a fascinating destination which rivals much of Europe. If you do not want to cross oceans, or change time zones too dramatically, or if the season is wrong, you might want to visit Mexico.

May 3rd, 2006, 04:35 AM
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walkinaround has a great point about Europeans coming to the Carribean can Florida for "real" vacations...
my favorite recent personal experience of this is with some close Italian friends who live on Bella Capri, where they own and operate several shops. This spring, to "get away" they went on a Carribean cruise, and finished up with 4 days in Miami Beach. They said they had a fantastic time! Meanwhile, I am scrimping and saving pennies to afford to get back to Italy this year.... and they are slightly bemused by this! They coming back next spring for a trip out West.

I have traveled most of the Continental US and also Hawaii. I love visiting the Western States, but these past few years, with limited vacation time, I seem to always choose Europe (most times Italy)... and I haven't regretted it so so far. An Italian friend here in NY teases me and says it's the old paintings, yound men, and fresh ingredients!
May 3rd, 2006, 04:37 AM
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I think Sandi is right. It's history - that you can just feel in the air, and see in the architecture. Also the language/culture(s) that vary so much in such short distances. Amazing to us in the US, where cultural differences are less pronounced.
noe847 is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 04:55 AM
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I have met several European students who spent a year in the U.S. and loved it. Then they showed me their pictures, and I found out why! When Europeans come to the U.S. they seem to make such an effort to see so much of the natural beauty of the country... many of the places I would see in their pictures I have not been to (and definitely want to visit at some point). I think the U.S. (North America in general) is excellent for natural wonders trips. So I suppose it depends on what you want to do.

I read this article a while ago that because Germans have a hard time going fast on the Autobahn anymore (with the congestion) they now sometimes vacation in Montana so they can drive fast. Now I am not from Montana so I can neither confirm nor deny this. However I will say often you find the most beauty around you by looking through the eyes of someone who has never been there. My boyfriend's cousin from Belgium loved Big Boy restaurants in Ohio... which I still despise but it gives me perspective on how the things I might like abroad could be trivialized by locals!

I want to see all the world, so I try to think of my non-European experiences as different, not better or worse.
lizzy911 is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 05:05 AM
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Artlover, 100% agree with you. I feel exactly the same. I'm from London and find myself living in Houston. I'm interested in art and architecture, literature, languages, music and culture. Although I have travelled all over the US and think its scenery is spectacular, give me Europe any time. I also lived for years and years in Japan and found a good combination of natural beauty and culture there. Something to do with America doesn't have enough History! Sorry guys.
gertie3751 is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 05:17 AM
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For me this was an issue of time. Before studying abroad in Spain, my travel was limited to Oklahoma (family) and Minnesota (camp). I love both of those places and still enjoy going back. However, I went to Spain and it was all so new to me, especially the smells.

Since that first trip, I have traveled a lot and once I got over my whole "darn, I should have just gone back to Spain" mentality, I started to be able to really appreciate the US. I adore New York, and after living in Boston for 5 years, I am happy to say that it is definitely one of the greatest cities I have had the pleasure of getting to know. I loved Hawaii, and it did impress me as much as anywhere in Europe.

I think there is something to be said for traveling long distances to get somewhere and for going to a place that has been built up in our minds for years as some sort of cultural mecca. That is what Europe is. And that is what the US is for others (well, not so much a cultural mecca, but somewhere to travel to, yes).

I love to ski and do so in the Pyrenees as much as possible. Once on a lift I was talking to a woman who asked where I had learned and I said "Colorado and New Mexico." She asked me a million questions, and once off the lift, was telling her friends "she has skied in Colorado." Yes, it is a ski wonderland, but I was surprised that it was such a destination for European skiers when the Alps and Pyrenees are right there.
laclaire is offline  

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