If you keep up with this blog then you know I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to lots of different places, domestic and international. As I reflect back over my travels, I realize that I prefer traveling out of country over traveling to somewhere in the states.
A few months ago I posed a question on Facebook which asked why black men don’t travel as much. While the answers varied and only targeted one demographic, the response of “I haven’t seen enough places in the states yet” stuck with me. When I initially read it, I thought why, you really aren’t missing much.
My preference for international travel can be explained in the following 3 reasons:
1. The cultural experience: now don’t get me wrong, the United States is a melting pot of all types of nationalities and cultures but it’s not the same as experiencing the culture in its natural element. With every country I travel to, I try to have a convo with a local to gain insight as to what life is like in that country on a daily. After almost every convo, I’m left with a new outlook on life and further more a greater appreciation for the life we are able to live in the states. (Although not always the most perfect life) When I travel domestically I don’t walk away with that same feeling. To see the excitement that some people get in other counties to meet someone from the states and to hear how much they admire our life here is always eye opening. Other countries see the US as the most powerful country in the world, despite all the struggle and turmoil present here. So often I hear people talk about wanting to come here for a better life. Little do they know, many of us want to come to their home country for the exact same reason.
2. It’s typically less expensive: The myth that most believe is that international travel is expensive. WRONG! From my posts, you have seen that travel deals are out there depending on where you live. But the true deals come when you actually get abroad. As you read in past posts, I’ve been able to have fresh meals in other countries for as little as $1.50. You can’t even get a full fast food meal for that price in the states. Furthermore, transportation in other countries is dirt cheap and you can always bargain. The same goes for buying gifts and other trinkets while abroad. This point especially is important to me! (Hence the name of the blog) I don’t believe that one should have to go broke while on vacation, however when vacationing in the states I often find myself leaving the Destination stressed because so much money was spent. That’s a bit counterintuitive don’t you think? It’s vacation! The point is to relax and to recharge. Not to leave feeling like sheesh, I have to work overtime now to replace what I spent.
3. International Food: this one is pretty self explanatory. Again, here in states you can find food from pretty much any country. But it’s just not the same. Often times by the time it gets to us, so much is added to it as far as chemicals, preservatives, etc. YUCK! When you taste the local foods of another country, they are prepared the same way the locals would eat them at home. Unlike when prepared here in the states, they aren’t prepared to serve people in a commercial setting. I’ll never forget going to eat at a restaurant in Cuba and actually watching the cooks take out fresh fruits and veggies, cut them up, and cook them as the orders were placed. I didn’t see anything pre cooked or taken out of a box or bag. This was even true for the drinks. I literally watched as the bartender cut and diced a fresh pineapple for a pina colada. WOW! It really doesn’t get any fresher than that.
This post was in no way to make anyone feel bad for not enjoying international travel, but to provide greater insight to the benefits of it. So if you haven’t obtained a passport, then check out the very first post on this site to see the steps needed to get one. Once you do, don’t hesitate to go see the world. Trust me you won’t be disappointed.
As always, Happy Traveling ✈️