farmn arkansas

Choosing To Travel the U.S. And Not the World

Andrea is American and while we're proud to say that between us we've seen quite a bit of the United States, the country still has so many amazing places that we've yet to explore. In today's guest post, Paula Londe shares why she sticks to the States on her travelling adventures.

I’ll start with a telling joke:

What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual

What do you call someone who speaks one language? American.

With that reality/perception, why would I choose to “limit” travels to my native country and not get out and explore the world? Because as it turns out, there’s a lot to see and do in this great land. AND it’s spectacularly gorgeous. When they wrote songs about “purple mountains majesty” they were right; they just have better vocabulary than most of us normal folk.

Y Mountains

Y Mountains

Cost is Always a Factor

My trips are 100% funded by my job, which is the case for most people, yes? Travel writers have the incredible opportunity to benefit from endorsed and compensated adventures. That makes international travel quite viable. But with my one-income household, every penny has to stretch a long way. And I like to travel. A lot. That’s not just a statement about my enthusiasm for travel, but also its frequency. I take five to six trips from Spring through Fall. Exploring the U.S. instead of the world makes this feasible. Some of my friends save up for one major trip every year or two. I think that’s fabulous. I also would go crazy waiting that long between excursions. And nobody wants that to happen.

sunflower farm georgia

A sunflower farm in Georgia

Getting to Know My Own Culture

One of the great treats of travel is to learn about a place’s culture, foods, traditions. Did you know that America has these, too? And amazingly they vary by region—and even within region! Go to an antique store or flea market to see what’s common across the country and what’s indigenous to the area. You’ll learn a lot in a fun setting, where you’ll also likely bring home at least one souvenir. This very practice of going to antique shows across the country has taught me that there was one ugly pattern of dishes sold in every state and no one wants it anymore. Can’t say I blame them! Don’t know how all those stores are going to get rid of them…

farmn arkansas

A farm in Arkansas

The Land beyond the City

Living in a city we lose sight of the stunning beauty that comprises America. The Grand Canyon, prairies, mountains, caverns. The roads and communities that lead to them and support them. It’s a chance to get out of your bubble world and see what else the country has to offer.

new hampshire waterfall

A waterfall in New Hampshire

The City beyond the Land

If you’ve seen one city, you haven’t seen them all. Whether you’re a country mouse who’s seen New York and now doesn’t want to go to San Francisco, or a city mouse who thinks you don’t need to see Philadelphia because surely it’s just like home. They do each have a museum with magnificent art, local history that impacts how America became the country we are today, and quirky stops like a Salt and Pepper Museum that just make you smile.     

barn tennessee

A barn in Tennessee

But What ABOUT Seeing the World?

Go! There’s no one stopping you. But maybe first think about what lies in your back yard.

And if you’re lucky, you can do both!

Bio: Paula Londe is a marketing strategist during the week and avid photographer on the weekends. With a goal to visit all 50 states, she writes about her adventures and shares history, observations and laughter at Americana The Beautiful. Follow her on Twitter @AmericanaBtiful.

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8 years ago

I’ve never really posted much on my home country either … for shame as Canada is such a beautiful place. I need to correct this in the future. I love the USA and hope to explore more of it in the future. Kinda aching to get back to California. 

8 years ago

I can really relate well to this post!  I’m from Canada but I’ve only posted a couple photos of the day from Fredericton and that’s literally it.  I haven’t done much travel back home in recent years although I would like for that to change soon 🙂

Americana the Beautiful
8 years ago
Reply to  Nomadic Samuel

I just saw pictures of the lantern festival in Montreal. Yowza! That is soooo on my list of experiences, well, to experience! Have you been?  Love your avatar, BTW!
Paula, Americana the Beautiful
@AmericanaBtiful:twitter

8 years ago

I’m not American, so for me travelling the US isn’t exactly my back yard 🙂 I think it’s such a big continent that the different states almost act as seperate countries in regards to their culture, food, sights, etc. No reason NOT to want to more of it. I do think that travelling in countries not your own sometimes can be more exotic because the differences are less subtle though. Does it have to be either/or? I think a healthy mix of travelling at home (whereever that might be) and abroad would be my preferred way of travelling.

Americana the Beautiful
8 years ago
Reply to  Sabrina

 Great point that each state is like a different country. And I agree, travelling everywhere is ideal…that’s why I play the lottery every once in a while!

8 years ago

I need to start playing the lottery too 🙂

Americana the Beautiful
8 years ago

“I’ve always found it amusing how people get more excited when we tell
them we’re going to a different country than us traveling to Yellowstone
or the Grand Canyon.”
What a great observation!

What are your favorite nooks and crannies of California? I’m thinking of going to Yosemite for my 40th. any suggestions?

Paula, Americana the Beautiful
@AmericanaBtiful:twitter  

Paula, I live in San Diego so I’m a bit partial to the San Diego/Orange County/LA area attractions.   I actually just finished a guest post on CA National Parks and Wonders so those are some of my favorites.  Yosemite is absolutely beautiful but just don’t go during holiday weekends or the height of summer.  We also have a 21 Spanish missions which are great to visit.  The drive along Pacific Coast Highway in Central CA is breathtaking.  I’d be more than happy to answer any questions and tips depending on what you want to do in that area – just email me.… Read more »

What a great post with beautiful photos!  I’ve always found it amusing how people get more excited when we tell them we’re going to a different country than us traveling to Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon.   We love exploring our country’s national and state parks and we hope that our kids remember and enjoy these road trips just as much as a trip overseas.  We’re lucky enough to live in California and even that has so many hidden gems we have yet to discover.

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