[LMB] foreign travel (was: Re: OT: Pronunciation of Megaera)

Ed Burkhead ed at edburkhead.com
Sat Jun 26 22:24:10 BST 2010

What Katrina said about USian vacations is surely true.

The standard annual vacation is two weeks a year.  If you stay with a
company for a long time (usually 8-10 years) then you might get a third week
of vacation a year.  With a few, very few, companies you might get a fourth
week of vacation when you go over 15 or 20 years.

If you change companies, then you usually start over with two weeks a year.

And, in some companies we have to choose our time block before Christmas of
the previous year so everyone can be assigned their primary vacations with
no doubling-up-overlaps.

Jacki from Canberra pointed out very clearly that travel to Europe or the
U.S. is way more expensive for her than a trip to Europe would be for us
USians.  And, that's true.

A quick search of flights comes up with $1,400 usd per person for flights to
Europe.  (I'm sure good searching can substantially beat that but let's
start there.)  So, for us to take a vacation to Europe, we need to start
with $4,200 usd cost to get our two-week exposure to the foreignness of
Europe.  Then we add on the price of transportation and lodging

Can you wonder that travel to Europe seems unreasonable to the majority of

I've had one (1) personally financed trip to Europe.  It was 38 years ago
during a college summer vacation.  About 10 weeks with a student Eurail pass
and a moped for transportation and camping for accommodations.  Glorious!

As a side benefit of the U.S. Army, I was able to live in Germany for almost
three years.  Another 18 years in the Army Reserve rewarded me with another
six or eight weeks in Northern Europe.  Those trips involved, mostly,
working 12-16+ hours a day and sleeping in primitive conditions with
sight-seeing not taking very much of those weeks.  The Reserves provided
another three visits to Panama and one to Guatemala, again working 16-18
hours a day, and they were very rewarding.

But I'm a world traveler compared to most USians.  Through most of my work
life, that two (occasionally three) week limit has made trips to Europe seem
a big waste of money.

We did send our daughter on a 12 day trip to France last year with her
school's French teacher and a few fellow students.  Cost about $3,000-$3,500
for one kid.  (I'd like her to be a world traveler as her life goes on.)

This year, we spend our two week vacation seeing the highlights of the
American Southwest.  Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, the Painted Desert, Monument
Valley, Natural Bridges National Monument, Arches National Park and the
Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway were the biggies.  Total cost about

If we had the ability to put together two year's vacations, as Jacki from
Canberra did, we'd be doing a LOT more world travelling.  Can you believe
it?  EIGHT WEEKS?!?!?!  WOW!  (I'm insanely jealous.)  Even a four week
block could make a trip to Europe worthwhile.

Well, Canada, at least, is on our future travel agenda.  Mexico -- not till
its drug wars get under control (and I'm acutely aware of the US drug
addicts' involvement in fueling that with their drug addiction money).

<Big sigh from a wishful world traveler>

At least it's a joy to rub ideas together with you far-away people, here on
the forum.


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