I’m always looking at how many nationalities I meet in my travels that aren’t my fellow countrymen and although I thought I knew why Americans were in the minority of encounters, I didn’t have proof. The fact that I get a lot of advice and pep talks from friends who don’t have much, if any, experience with international travel is very amusing considering the fact that I’ve spent more time outside the US than inside over the last several years. I accidentally stumbled over a 3 year old report that confirmed my suspicions and makes me realize that not only are we, as a nation, less educated linguistically and in the subjects that matter in the global market place but we don’t seem to care. And we have a complacence about our ignorance of and prejudices toward other cultures and nationalities which we take for granted doesn’t carry lasting impact and long term implications for our future in world standings.
Oddly, this information doesn’t surprise me but it does bother me.
I think it’s time Americans look outside the box and realize that the contentment of the limited view from inside is a condemnation of those traits that once defined our pioneering spirit. Here’s the link if you are interested.
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/02/04/americans.travel.domestically/