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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I’ve been all over this country, as a tourist and as a person who traveled extensively for several different careers – from hostels in Seattle to North Myrtle Beach hotels and resorts, from the big cities and tourist traps to the quiet mountains, east coast beaches and the low country area – and you are right! There is not a state in this country that does not have absolutely gorgeous scenery. And the ones that are really good are as good as anything in the world. The great thing is, that’s the way it is all over the world!

Sure we’ve got passports full of exotic stamps, but after September 11 we scrapped plans to travel through Africa and decided we wanted, no, NEEDED to see our own country. Full reasoning here We hit the road and spent the first year of our Trans-Americas Journey road trip in the United States confirming that what we love about our country is still true and discovering some new things to add to that list. Then we explored Canada and crossed the border into Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. As we continue to head south the… Read more »

Well said. We’re using Bret’s 10 year old daughter, Alex, as the motivation behind visiting different parts of America- but really, it’s all of us who want to see it. As far as I’m concerned (raised in NYC, living in Georgia) the American West is completely wild and full of adventure. We went to Wyoming in February and hope to go to New Mexico next year.

I was born and raised in the USA and I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on traveling through America. I sometimes feel somewhat guilty that I don’t put enough emphasis on visiting other countries and though I would love to, I really do want to concentrate on the US and you put into this article all my reasons why haha. I also have the goal to visit all 50 states (I’m up to 32, if I count ones from childhood travels). I would also suggest, if you want to add another challenge to your travels, that you try to hit… Read more »

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.

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