Prague Hotels Articles

April 24, 2010

Should travelers explore their home country first or travel abroad as often as they can?

Filed under: Prague Tours — Tags: , , , , , — frague @ 5:35 am

This question is so classically helium. My answer, in short, would be yes. But, I guess that doesn’t answer the question. I feel that one should take risks in life. Traveling abroad has its risks, especially if you don’t speak the language, but the rewards far outweigh any possible downside.

I’m 45 years old and though I’ve traveled quite a little bit, I still don’t consider myself all that well traveled. I have, after last summer, now been in every state in America save for Alaska and Hawaii. I have seen a fair amount of Canada and spent a little time in Mexico. As for crossing the Atlantic, I’ve been to the other side twice. I spent a week in Prague, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I’ve also been to England and hope to go again. (Technically, I suppose you could say I’ve been to the Netherlands, but it was only the airport in Amsterdam). Not too bad, but I’ve still got a million places to go.

Any and every opportunity that I’ve had, I’ve taken to see various parts of the United States. It’s taken most of my lifetime, but I’ve now seen most of America. (And, yes, I will make it to both Alaska and Hawaii at some point). But, if I chose to limit my travels to only America until I felt I’d seen it all, I would have missed out on some great opportunities.

In 2004, I traveled to Czech Republic for my first ever trip away from North America. When I got to Prague it was like being taken back three or four hundred years. Yes, Prague has quickly Westernized since the iron curtain came down. But the architecture, the cobblestone roads and everything else immediately takes the imagination to old Europe. There’s the Castle (the oldest castle still standing in Europe) where, during the middle centuries of the previous millenium, all royalty were crowned, regardless of country. There’s the square, where the famous standoff between the local citizenry and the Soviet military in 1968 took place. There were many touristy places to see-museums, the Jewish cemetary where Franz Kafka is laid to rest. But, I also got the chance to take in a lot of local color-neighborhood pubs with Czech beer (maybe the best beer in the world).

In ‘05, I went to England for a three-day music fest featuring Fairport Convention and a number of other folk acts. My significant other and I also got a day and a half in London. That is a week I will always treasure. I only wish I’d had more time in London, but I’ll find an excuse to get there again.

I guess my problem with the question is the way it is worded. Should travelers explore their home country first or travel abroad as often as they can? I’d say both. Over my lifetime, I’ve been able to take in most of America. Let’s face it-it’s a big country. But, since the question is worded the way it is, I think everyone would benefit from travel abroad as often as they can. Opportunities to travel abroad don’t necessarily come as often as those to travel within one’s homeland. When those opportunities do come, I feel one is best served by seizing them.

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