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Marseil
Marseil

March 8th, 2007, 3:46 pm #1

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness, all foes to real understanding. Likewise, tolerance, or broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in our little corner of the earth all one's lifetime. ---

Mark Twain
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 8th, 2007, 4:59 pm #2

I certainly can agree with that Marseil. I think one of the best things about the internet is that it has removed the physical barriers between people of different countries. You and I and Eric and converse here with ease even though we are thousands of miles apart in different parts of the world. I often think how much the great men of the past could have accomplished if they had a resource such as this available to them.
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TGOBG
TGOBG

March 8th, 2007, 11:48 pm #3

what you said about the internet is true, but you have to have unrestricted access to get a true overview of the world.
If you are in a country that controls the access then you are like the person peering through a keyhole at an elephant you might just think it is grey or fuzzy or whatever based entirely on the narrow perception you have. I dont have the answers to all the problems, but i am sure that if you can give the world access to all the information they can use, people would be able to solve a lot more of their own, and the US could stop being the world police.

Or they will all surf the porn sites 24/7 and starve to death
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Marseil
Marseil

March 9th, 2007, 10:57 am #4

I certainly can agree with that Marseil. I think one of the best things about the internet is that it has removed the physical barriers between people of different countries. You and I and Eric and converse here with ease even though we are thousands of miles apart in different parts of the world. I often think how much the great men of the past could have accomplished if they had a resource such as this available to them.
Ok, technology has brought us means to exchange with distant people.

But, it does not replace real travels. Real travels bring a valuable experience in terms of unexpectedly meeting new people, experiencing different ways of thinking, different values sets, different behaviors, ... and also, food, smells, etc....

All the best technology will never replace the relaity!

Marseil.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 9th, 2007, 1:46 pm #5

Oh I don’t dispute that at all that Marseil, foreign travel is certainly the best way to understand the world. But for many people, perhaps the majority of people, foreign travel is not practical for economic and logistic reasons. I’m just saying for those who can’t do it, the net provides a way to converse with people in other lands that they did not have before.
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Eric UK
Eric UK

March 9th, 2007, 2:09 pm #6

I agree that travel to other parts of the world can be good for you and broaden your knowledge of other peoples' ways of life etc. However, I don't think that visiting other countries on a package holiday necessarily does that. Sometimes, visiting as a tourist, you see the unpleasant side of the local people, who's principal activity is to bleed as much money as possible from the captive customer in as short a time as possible.

On the other hand, I have been very fortunate to visit many countries on business, when I met the "real people", away from the tourist areas. Having said that, it is difficult to get away from the tourist areas of Hong Kong. When you are able to talk to people who aren't hell bent on selling to you, you get to talk about what really goes on in their lives.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

March 9th, 2007, 4:27 pm #7

Good point Eric. Yes those guided tours are really just sight-seeing trips- you may see Big Ben in London or the Louvre in Paris but you don’t really meet the people this way. In fact you would have to spend considerable time in a country to understand the people there. Very few tourists have the time to do this.
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Marseil
Marseil

March 9th, 2007, 5:11 pm #8

Actually when I think of traveling, I don't even think of guided tours.....

There are endless discussions about the right way to travel:

. guided tour: you'll see all the landmarks, but never meet the real people. Then all depends on the type of guided tour, the extreme being the often Japanese ones that show travelers Europe in a week, when we Europeans think you'd need several years in each place to actually catch what's going on.

. business trip: all depends on the standards of living of the country you're visiting. Being on a business trip often makes you live in airports, **** hotels, upper end restaurants, business meetings, etc.... You will meet real people but they may actually represent a very small minority, and not give you an exact view of the reality of the country.

. travel on one's own. Easy to organize in the large majority of places. Will give you an opportunity to meet people, but sometimes you may miss the cultural details or explanations that could be supplied by a tour guide. Then all depends on the means of transportation you choose: a car is always convenient but generally isolates you from most of the population. Walking is often a nice way to meet poeple. And for long distances buses and traisn are generally a better way to meet people than planes.

To each his own....


Traveling is not a matter of means, at least for those of us who have the chance to live in the developed (ie rich) world. I know many people who choose to save all their money for traveling rather than owning a house, cars, etc....

Unlike what most Americans may think, most people from the developed world travel abroad. The most extreme, to my feeling, are the Dutch. The Netherlands have a 10 million population but you find Dutch travelers abolutely everywhere on the planet.

Marseil.


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shadow
shadow

March 9th, 2007, 6:12 pm #9

I think travel is exhausting. It is also expensive, especially if you have children. If I am going to get exhausted I would rather do it right here at home by riding my bike in the beautiful hill country of central Texas, or riding on the hike and bike trail in beautiful down town Austin, Texas, where you are in a natural park with trees, water, and wildlife, and people, smack in the middle of the city. Either way, it is all so very lovely. It goes for miles and miles, and at night I go home to my bed. How much did I spend? Nothing! And I have traveled outside all day, seen people everywhere, and had a great time.

I get a sense that you might be very anti-American, Marseil. (per your last two paragraphs)
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Marseil
Marseil

March 9th, 2007, 10:48 pm #10

Dear Shadow,

Your first point is your position, and you're in disagreement with Mark Twain statement, at the beginning of this thread. This is your plain right, and you've your way to enjoy yourself. Very good for you. Let me just say my pleasure is different from yours.

My last two paragraphs were essentially an answer to Nat's statement, a couple of posts earlier in this thread:
"But for many people, perhaps the majority of people, foreign travel is not practical for economic and logistic reasons."

When I write:
"Traveling is not a matter of means, at least for those of us who have the chance to live in the developed (ie rich) world. I know many people who choose to save all their money for traveling rather than owning a house, cars, etc.... "
I'm not anti-American in any way. I'm just reporting I've met many poeple who put their passion of traveling ahead of some other expenses.

And when I write:
"Unlike what most Americans may think, most people from the developed world travel abroad. The most extreme, to my feeling, are the Dutch. The Netherlands have a 10 million population but you find Dutch travelers abolutely everywhere on the planet."
I had in mind the generally accepted figure (although I was not able to find a hard statistics to substantiate it) saying 20% of Americans own a passport when 80% of Europeans own a passport. And keep in mind Americans don't need passport (so far) to travel to Canada and the Carribean, and Europeans don't need a passport to travel within the EU, Switzerland a couple other places. Nothing anti-American in this.

Can we agree to disagree?

Marseil.
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