Sixty-four percent of Americans have never left the United States. One of the richest and most influential countries in the world contains 204,096,000 people who have never been abroad. Why is it that there are so many of us shut off to the rest of the world? We may have read plenty of books about other places and we may watch television shows about other overseas places but that does not cultivate us or make us more aware of the rest of the world. So what causes some of us to be so reclusive? I’m not saying we should go and live somewhere outside of the US (although that would certainly be more effective than a quick day trip to Mexico or Canada), but to properly become more aware of other cultures and ways of life, one at least needs to visit a place for a week and immerse himself or herself.
Another peculiar thing about the US is that we spread our culture like a plague through social media and other facets of multimedia (film, music, etc.) and yet we rarely reciprocate. Yes, there are plenty of immigrants that brought their separate cultures to this diverse Melting Pot; however, there are still far too many racists, homophobes, and other socially intolerant people to call America culturally accepting. The fact that the States were made based on the idea of diversity and cultural acceptance is being completely flaunted by intolerant people. For example, it seems ridiculous that American Muslims are being attacked simply because of Islamophobes. Think about it: if more Americans traveled and educated themselves about other places rather than relying completely on “scary” American news and how they portray certain races. Of course, not all news broadcasters display current events in this way, but in order to understand what is a more realistic or reliable news source, deeper research or education is necessary. This is why travel is important: deeper education on the real world.