Wednesday, October 14, 2015

EVERYTHING COMES WITH CHIPS! Another Fun Blog on the Joys of the UK

Knowing that I am always looking for first-person summaries of travel abroad, a friend of mine -- a Brit living in the States -- just sent me along the following post, which seems to have gone viral.  It is a set of one-liner observations made by an American, Scott Waters, who has made several trips to the UK.

Overall, it is not bad and, I must admit, many of his observations resonate with mine, and it made me glad that I leave for the UK again in a couple weeks, for my tenth trip to this wonderful country!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Motherhood Around the World

My wife recently came across this blog -- Motherhood Around the World, which is run by Joanna Goddard and her excellent Cup of Jo blog -- and sent it to me.  It is really interesting, as it explores, from a first-person perspective, the oft unique and also common challenges women face raising children around the world.  I find particularly interesting the posts where someone has moved to a different country and are raising kids in a place culturally foreign to their originally known way of life.

To go to the website, click here!  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Take this Test to Determine Your American Dialect

Continuing the topic of dialogues, I came across this Dialect Test at the New York Times website.  I was impressed, as it has yet to fail in predicting where you are from in the States, based on how you talk.  Check it out.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Whole Bunch of British-isms, Care of Yorkshire!

As those who read my travel blog know, I am as much obsessed with the nuances of vocabulary across different countries and regions as I am behavior.  My wife recently sent me this link, and I just love it.

It is by Daniel Dalton, titled:

26 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Yorkshire!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

We Live in a Globalized Society and Yet Americans Don't Travel Abroad

My wife and I at the Colosseum
My wife and I recently returned from a two week conference and vacation in Italy and were sharing some of our stories at a party when one of our friends said, "You know, I really need to go abroad!"  To which I responded, "Yeah!  You really do.  I mean, you already travel to Mexico and the islands, so why not go somewhere different?"  At which point the guy sitting next to us jumped in saying, "But there is already so many things to see in the States; why would I travel to see other peoples's countries first?  Do they come here?"  "Sure they do," I replied -- thinking in my head, oh god, how did the conversation turn into this -- "But, wouldn't you want to see the Sistine Chapel for yourself, or the Sognefjord or Budapest or Chennai  or Taipei?  I mean, those are rather fantastic places as well."

They both just looked at me. "Oh, look," I said, "I think I need to refresh my drink…."

Driving home I said to my wife, "I just don't get it; with all the latest advances in global travel, going places is as easy as it can get.  So, why don't more Americans travel abroad?"  Then, just this past week, I came across a possible answer: it was a 2011 article by Natalie Avon titled, appropriately enough, "Why More Americans Don't Travel Abroad."  A quick read, it is very insightful.

According to Avon, only about 30% of Americans have a passport, and of those who do, 50% only go as far as Canada or Mexico.  Why?  According to the experts, there are a handful of reasons which, when combined, help to explain why more Americans don't travel abroad.  She states:
Tourism experts and avid travelers attribute Americans' lack of interest in international travel to a few key factors, including: the United States' own rich cultural and geographic diversity, an American skepticism and/or ignorance about international destinations, a work culture that prevents Americans from taking long vacations abroad and the prohibitive cost and logistics of going overseas.
While the explanation seems reasonable -- for example, one of my friends, an Engineer of some 25 years, only gets two weeks of vacation a year -- it is, nonetheless, sad.  As best as anyone has figured, heaven or not, we only get one go-around in this life.  For those fortunate to gather enough coins together to actually travel, it seems a pity not to see another corner or two of this incredibly diverse and beautiful planet on which we live!  But, that is just the opinion of one lonely traveler.