PLEASE NOTE: In the original posting of this piece the author’s bio box and link were inadvertently omitted.
In the ongoing story of the history of our world the US appeared just
a few short chapters ago. Yet in our short time we?ve developed into a
prodigious character, albeit one who still stumbles around on its fawn
legs from time to time. We are a young country; a great country. We
have accomplished much in our short existence, and for those of us
living here as well as for many around the world the American Dream
indeed exists. We here in the States pursue it every day, at work and
at home, manifested in our bank accounts and our toys. For those
abroad looking in, the US is the gravitational center of the global
economy and global finance; of ingenuity and invention; of the ideals
of freedom that radiate throughout the world. We in the US know this ?
and we are an extremely self-centered people for it.
The American Dream is grounded in getting ahead: a nicer home, a newer
car, more money to spend on the things that we are told contribute to
a fuller, more gratifying life. We need a job that affords us the
benefits of health insurance and a 401(k). We need to save for our
children?s college educations. Plan for retirement. Prepare our wills.
Focus on those things by which we can measure a secure material
future. Which doesn?t leave much to explore the world beyond our own
present. Travel is an end unto itself, and thus is not a priority in
the pursuit of the American Dream.
Still, how many of us have heard friends and relatives talk of
traveling the world? The intrigue, the curiosity, the vague sense of
romance exists, but for too many traveling is a wish, a dream for
Someday. I can?t get away from work. The kids have school, and camp,
and their friends. There?s not enough money. There?s not enough time.
But we?ll go, someday. Now is just not a good time. Maybe in a few
In essence traveling is simple. Pack some things and go. But we
Americans have a hard time with that ?go? part. We?re too burdened,
too weighed down with our lives to make it out the door.
Ironically, only by seeing how the rest of the world lives will some
of us ever learn to leave our burdens behind.
Kevin Kato has hiked, biked, boated and otherwise locomoted through forty countries across six continents, mostly in legal fashion. His recently-published e-book ‘For Now: After the Quake’ recounts his experiences in Fukushima, Japan the days and weeks following the Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011. Check out his other books and his varied and wayward musings at http://www.kevinkato.com – and look for his upcoming travelogue ‘Cambodia: Then, And Then Again’, guaranteed to make you believe you too can travel without a decent guide book and survive.
Jerry Nelson is a freelance photojournalist from America. His latest book of photography, Suenitos tells the story of the only daycare inside the dangerous Hidden City. Now based in Argentina, he continues to turn his lens on social justice issues around the globe. Connect with Jerry on MosaicHub, Facebook or LinkedIn today. Follow this link to read more of his work on Huffington Post and Examiner. Have a story that needs to reach national media? Email him today.
As photo editor for the Internet’s largest collection of Travel Articles, Outbounding, he is always looking for rising stars in photography. Contact him today about submitting your images.
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