Having a passion for travel has taught me a thing or two over the years, one of them being that domestic travel is underrated here in America. Within the States, we have developed a domestic travel vs abroad travel type grading system, and I am here to tell you it does not have to be that way! Domestic travel is just as exciting, adventurous and memorable as traveling abroad. The language barrier might not be as extreme, but the sights, sounds and journey, can rival any Euro trip out there.
We’re Not Europe
One of the big reasons why I used to think domestic travel could never measure up to a trip abroad was because I hung around with too many Europeans! When you do travel abroad you meet so many people who have been to dozens of countries, and they are only 18 or 19 years old. The big, and obvious reason for this is because a two hour plane ride in Europe gets you across the continent, while a two hour plane ride here in the states gets you to grandmas house for the weekend.
It doesn’t take a National Geographic writer to figure this one out, but the next time Pierre from France starts giving you shit because you’ve only been to Canada and England, just tell him you’ve been to over 15 states, and that’s more culture then he’ll ever see.
Okay, so maybe that was a bit dramatic. But you get my point!
The Proper Mindset
Get Excited: Now that we took care of Pierre, we’ve got to back up that talk with appreciating domestic travel. You say you are taking a small weekend trip just a few hours from the city, but treat it like a trip abroad! Imagine the nice road trip with your friends, all the exciting people you will meet, and who knows what will happen after you’ve had a few adult beverages. I guarantee people your age act the same whether you are in Fort Walton Beach, Florida or Dublin, Ireland.
Do the Research: We all do this when we travel abroad, so why don’t we when we travel domestically? Before you take that weekend getaway, do a bit of research on your final destination. Find the local spots, attractions and entertainment that make that place special. You’ll be surprised what a podunk town in the middle of Iowa can offer.
Be a Tourist: Who cares if it’s cheesy, if you’re not a townie or a local, that means you’re a tourist! Embrace the tourist inside, and have fun with it. Take photos, buy from the gift shops, and go to a karaoke bar. After all, when is the next time you will be in “insert random city here”?
America the Beautiful
From coast to coast, north to south, America is truly a beautiful place. The rocky mountains of Colorado, the mighty Mississippi, and New York City are just a few of the thousands of memorable destinations America has to offer its travelers. With every state, city and town bringing a different flavor to the mix, wherever you call your final destination, it is sure to broaden your world views.
There is no need for a passport stamp, or currency exchange when you travel domestically here in the states, but you will certainly create memories, new friends and maybe even find your new favorite travel destination.
America has so much to offer, and when you begin to see the opportunities right here at home, and give them the respect they deserve, your next trip to the podunk town in central Iowa, just might be better than Paris, France.
I’m just sayin.
______Joe Anhalt currently lives in Chicago, Illinois working full time as a Copywriter and Creative Content Strategist for SpotHero. You can connect with him on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.