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(Daily Mail)   Half a million Brits face ruined vacations due to huge passport backlog. Americans ask, "What's a passport?"   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 256
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5938 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Jun 2014 at 10:04 AM (28 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



256 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-06-09 08:15:24 AM  
The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.
 
2014-06-09 08:17:25 AM  
I'm an American, and I'll have you know I do have my International Crepe Passport.

s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com
 
2014-06-09 08:19:35 AM  
1/2 a million?
Heathrow laughs at your small amount of ruined vacations.
 
2014-06-09 08:25:41 AM  
That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?
 
2014-06-09 08:27:36 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.
 
2014-06-09 08:29:15 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.
 
2014-06-09 08:30:11 AM  
I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".
 
2014-06-09 08:43:06 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.
 
2014-06-09 08:47:56 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


They also speak the same language in all of that.  I've been to Canada and the Bahamas back when you didn't need a passport, so I've never had one though I probably will get one sooner or later.
 
2014-06-09 08:51:20 AM  
Is this the first time an invasion by the crown has been spoilt by a bloody passport problem?
 
2014-06-09 08:58:38 AM  

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


The neat thing about America is you can do that also.

And you don't need a passport.
 
2014-06-09 09:07:11 AM  
dittybopper: 
  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.

Actually, you're missing the Schengen agreement which allows all of the citizens of those countries to travel between them without a passport, just their national ID.  (That said, the UK and Ireland aren't part of that agreement.)
 
2014-06-09 09:11:13 AM  

dittybopper: Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

The neat thing about America is you can do that also.

And you don't need a passport.


This is a weird thing I hear people say a lot and it just isn't true. I travel for a living - primarily internationally but significantly within the USA. The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

That's not a criticism - I just don't understand why people always claim that there's a breadth of different values that there simply isn't when compared to travelling outside the country.
 
2014-06-09 09:59:04 AM  

Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.


I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.
 
2014-06-09 10:06:08 AM  

dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.


And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.
 
2014-06-09 10:08:37 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


I just got mine renewed, it took about two weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:08:55 AM  
It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.
 
2014-06-09 10:10:04 AM  
WTF is wrong with people? Know when your passport expires, and take care of it off-season.
 
2014-06-09 10:10:36 AM  
it's that thing you don't need to travel across the US.
 
2014-06-09 10:10:38 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


What if you don't travel to experience climate change?

"Oh, wow, its like hotter than at home, how novel." not.
 
2014-06-09 10:11:14 AM  
my voice is my passport, verify me
 
2014-06-09 10:12:06 AM  

dittybopper: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.


No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.

Comparing different states to different countries is just moronic.
 
2014-06-09 10:12:40 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


More importantly, you can drive for more than 4 hours and not change countries.  If we had to go past a border guard every time I crossed into Pennsylvania, more Marylanders would certainly have passports.   It's also why we only speak one or two languages.  I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires and only run into Two languages.  (If I miss Brazil an that weird part of Canada).
 
2014-06-09 10:13:05 AM  
Multipass?
 
2014-06-09 10:13:28 AM  
You don't need a passport to go to the International House of Pancakes!  French toast, danishes and Belgian waffles! All the Europine countries lay before me! Where shall I fly to first?
 
2014-06-09 10:13:46 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.
 
2014-06-09 10:13:53 AM  

dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.


And even if that's true, he's still right.  U.S. culture is varied, but in a fairly narrow band when you compare us to South America, Asia, or anywhere in Africa.  Even most of western Europe is radically different than anywhere here.
 
2014-06-09 10:14:00 AM  
Wasn't Passport a Microsoft thing?
 
2014-06-09 10:14:15 AM  

spawn73: No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.


But I think you need a national ID.  Will any state ID (like a drivers licence) do the trick?
 
2014-06-09 10:14:16 AM  

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


You just can't help those people.
 
2014-06-09 10:14:27 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


Call it about 3 weeks. Now, if the country you're visiting requires a visa prior to entering, you have to send your passport off to their embassy in the US to get a visa put into it. That could take another 2 weeks.

Not all countries require that and issue you a visa when you land. So, you need to check their websites for the requirements well ahead of time when you plan a trip.
 
2014-06-09 10:15:02 AM  

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


I got mine about two years ago in 4 weeks, standard processing.  I might have been lucky on that, though.
 
2014-06-09 10:15:25 AM  

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


I did that in DC a few years ago.  I dropped my paperwork off in the morning, and went to the zoo.  It was ready by 2 PM.  I think it cost a bunch of money though.
 
2014-06-09 10:15:59 AM  
Families face the threat of not being able to go on holiday as an overwhelmed Passport Office struggles to issue travel documents in time.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.
 
2014-06-09 10:16:52 AM  

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


but the difference between France and Monaco? Or Germany and Denmark?
 
2014-06-09 10:16:57 AM  

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


You and your bullshiat NYC Privilege.
 
2014-06-09 10:17:03 AM  

Tigger: This is a weird thing I hear people say a lot and it just isn't true. I travel for a living - primarily internationally but significantly within the USA. The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.


I've been to South Korea and Canada ( British Colombia ). Korea is like going to another planet, but Sydney, BC is almost like home, IMHO.

/ Pacific Northwest
// I feel more (culturally) at home with Canadians in BC than with Southerners here in the US...
 
2014-06-09 10:18:44 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


I got one about 4 years ago and everyone was telling me that it would take months to be processed. It took 2 weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:18:51 AM  

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


It's completely wrong.  I think dittybopper began with a good point - that the lack of multilingualism or passport holders among Americans is less an indicator of American anti-intellectualism and more an indicator of differing geography, history, and culture.   But I think he went off course with the differences in culture.  I think there is a surprising amount of cultural variation within the United States, but I don't think it's nearly as much as the difference between, say, Big Stone Gap, Virginia and Phuket, Thailand.
 
2014-06-09 10:18:56 AM  

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


yeah, I used to spend a lot of money in Canada.
Now, fark them.
They allowed us to pull that post 9-11 bandwagon patriot bullcrap.
fark them

I'll spend my money locally.
And I'll not be donating one red cent more than I have to to the federal govt. without the IRS's guns to my head.
Assholes. We had a nice country here until you lost your shiat in 2001.
 
2014-06-09 10:19:29 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


CSB: 
I got a passport in a day about 9 years ago - discovered 3 days before my trip to Europe that my passport had just expired. I drove 6 hours to Chicago (where there's one of the few actual passport offices) overnight, waited outside until they opened, then was first in line to sign up. I had brought a picture from a 24-hour Walgreens and all my papers, etc. Once they had my paperwork, they said it'd be done in 6 hours, and it was! I had to pay like double the normal price, plus all that driving, but I did get to enjoy a nice day in Downtown Chicago by myself, and it just so happened to be the day when all the museums were free.
 
2014-06-09 10:19:46 AM  

The Southern Logic Company: It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.


You may know what it is but 3 months means you were doing it wrong.
 
2014-06-09 10:19:58 AM  

fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires


You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.
 
2014-06-09 10:20:24 AM  

phenn: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

Call it about 3 weeks. Now, if the country you're visiting requires a visa prior to entering, you have to send your passport off to their embassy in the US to get a visa put into it. That could take another 2 weeks.

Not all countries require that and issue you a visa when you land. So, you need to check their websites for the requirements well ahead of time when you plan a trip.


You are better off checking the US governments travel site as they tend to have a more up to date country and travel requirement list.
 
2014-06-09 10:20:26 AM  

fireclown: I did that in DC a few years ago.  I dropped my paperwork off in the morning, and went to the zoo.  It was ready by 2 PM.  I think it cost a bunch of money though.


I had to do it about a year ago. Was going on a vacation, and couldn't find it for the life of me. I was still within the window to do the expedited, but it was actually cheaper to go in person by about 50 bucks because you didn't have to pay for the express shipping and handling. So I just strolled on in because I knew i could get it for sure, vs having the wife freak out a few days before the trip if it wasn't there yet.

Guy I know actually wrote a pretty good story about it  http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2013/07/ren e wing_your_passport_visit_the_incredibly_efficient_new_york_city_passpo rt.html
 
2014-06-09 10:20:26 AM  
State to state, no papers?


www.ibiblio.org
 
2014-06-09 10:20:45 AM  

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


You used to be able to go to Mexico without a passport too. I did that when I was in high school. Different times then (heh, now that I think about it, it was 20 years ago this past spring... wow).

Most Americans just have little need for a passport. Going out of the country can be expensive, especially if you aren't going to Canada or Mexico. If you can get a nice beach in Florida or California and good skiing in Colorado, there's not always going to be much reason to go outside the country for travel. Sure, there's other cultures and other things to experience but that's not always a priority.

Hell, even when you go outside the country with your passport you don't always get stamps in the thing. My passport looks like it's done nothing but sit in the drawer at home and it's been used. I kinda feel cheated when I don't get a stamp.
 
2014-06-09 10:20:59 AM  

LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.


When I got my son's, it took about four weeks to get it. But that was in 2004.  Have no idea what the wait times are now.
 
2014-06-09 10:21:44 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


There are a lot of variables now but if you are a clean record, natural US citizen you can do a rush order for $$ and get it in 48 hours if needed. If not in a rush plan on 3 to 4 weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:22:13 AM  

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


Largely depends on the person's age.  'Experiencing diversity of culture' is more of a young person's goal.  Older vacationers just want a temperate climate to park their RVs.
 
2014-06-09 10:22:21 AM  

www.taurusarmed.net


"THIS IS MAH PASSPORT!"

 
2014-06-09 10:22:29 AM  

mrhollywoodgates: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

CSB: 
I got a passport in a day about 9 years ago - discovered 3 days before my trip to Europe that my passport had just expired. I drove 6 hours to Chicago (where there's one of the few actual passport offices) overnight, waited outside until they opened, then was first in line to sign up. I had brought a picture from a 24-hour Walgreens and all my papers, etc. Once they had my paperwork, they said it'd be done in 6 hours, and it was! I had to pay like double the normal price, plus all that driving, but I did get to enjoy a nice day in Downtown Chicago by myself, and it just so happened to be the day when all the museums were free.


There's worse ways to spend a day. Chicago is a fun town.
 
2014-06-09 10:22:33 AM  

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.
 
2014-06-09 10:24:03 AM  

wxboy: fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires

You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.


Touche.
 
2014-06-09 10:24:26 AM  
Driving in southern Arizona between Tucson and Tubac I had to pull out my passport for a highway checkpoint, miles away from the Mexican border.

I didn't have to use a passport (a driver's license would work, too) but I had it on me so I used it.
 
2014-06-09 10:25:17 AM  

Nabb1: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.


Thanks.  No need for a rush, not leaving until January.
 
2014-06-09 10:25:23 AM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Tigger: This is a weird thing I hear people say a lot and it just isn't true. I travel for a living - primarily internationally but significantly within the USA. The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I've been to South Korea and Canada ( British Colombia ). Korea is like going to another planet, but Sydney, BC is almost like home, IMHO.

/ Pacific Northwest
// I feel more (culturally) at home with Canadians in BC than with Southerners here in the US...


I've been to Korea a ton. If it's any consolation it doesn't ever start to make much more sense than the first time.
 
2014-06-09 10:25:52 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


Exactly this...

We have a bigger country than the many countries that make up Europe, and have diverse cultures and climates.
 
2014-06-09 10:26:33 AM  
www.mindfully.org

i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-06-09 10:26:37 AM  

Mr. Oizo: Driving in southern Arizona between Tucson and Tubac I had to pull out my passport for a highway checkpoint, miles away from the Mexican border.

I didn't have to use a passport (a driver's license would work, too) but I had it on me so I used it.


I've heard of impromptu checkpoints pretty far up into Gringolandia.  Was this at a checkpoint?  Are you latino?
 
2014-06-09 10:27:13 AM  
Holy shiat Europe, we get it..it sucks that a country like Italy is economically equivalent to 1 of our 50 states, California.  Get over it
 
2014-06-09 10:27:41 AM  

Nabb1: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.


I just got one last year and it took about 3 or 4 weeks to get it. Maybe a little less. It was a lot faster than I was expecting.
 
2014-06-09 10:29:37 AM  
Good.  The kind of person who doesn't think to get a passport until 4 weeks before their already-booked flight is the kind of person who shouldn't be traveling abroad.
 
2014-06-09 10:31:41 AM  

Gdalescrboz: Holy shiat Europe, we get it..it sucks that a country like Italy is economically equivalent to 1 of our 50 states, California.  Get over it


their GDPs are similar  but Italy has 60MM people where Cali only has like 35 or so...
 
2014-06-09 10:31:56 AM  

spawn73: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

What if you don't travel to experience climate change?

"Oh, wow, its like hotter than at home, how novel." not.



Well, some people also have a greater interest in geographical discovery.  Some people like visiting natural wonders and state parks.  Sometimes people just want to hang out on a sunny beach on the Pacific coast, ski in the Rockies, hike trails in the Ozarks, Mountain bike the slick rock in Moab, fish big game tuna off the coast of the Carolinas, or ride the river down the Grand Canyon.
 
2014-06-09 10:31:57 AM  

Another Government Employee: LineNoise: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I think they say up to 6 weeks if you do it the standard way, but everyone I know who has done it says it is way faster than that. Expedited will cost you a hundred bucks or so more, and i believe they say it will take 2 weeks.

However, if you live in\near NYC or a couple of other places and have proof of travel, you can go to the passport office in person with your stuff, and get one cut same day, in a couple of hours. Its honestly the most insanely efficient operation I have ever seen.

When I got my son's, it took about four weeks to get it. But that was in 2004.  Have no idea what the wait times are now.


I had to get a new passport a couple years ago. It took three weeks, no expediting. Last year we got our toddler a passport during one of the big government backlogs, so we had it expedited. Took about 2 weeks. And regarding same-day service at a passport office, check carefully. We have one here in San Francisco, but in order to take advantage of that service, you need to prove you'll be traveling within two weeks.
 
2014-06-09 10:32:31 AM  

wxboy: fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires

You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.


I worked for a marketing company here in colombia and our office was next a hostel and one morning there was a Pontiac sunfire with canadian plates in my spot.

Our guard was trying to get this fat canuck chick to move it and she could not understand him pointing and saying no.

I told her she needed to move one spot over and she cursed me out.

Evidently her and a friend had driven down here with the idea they would have a adventure with a handsome Latino not realizing that they ground chuck in a country of filet mignon.

They also realized they could not sell it because ain't no Pontiac here
 
2014-06-09 10:33:05 AM  

monoski: The Southern Logic Company: It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.

You may know what it is but 3 months means you were doing it wrong.


When I finally got my acceptance for working in China I had 4 months to get my passport, get my approval from the PRC to get a visa and then get my actual visa.  I applied the day after my acceptance and mailed it off.  About a month later I got a letter from the State Department (iirc) saying I needed further information before they could process my passport.  I had it checked out by a lawyer and the document was legitimate; I had to provide more personal details including the hospital name where I was born, my Father's employment when I was born and then I had to list every address I have ever lived at for more than a month.  Boy, that was fun since my dad was in the Navy until I entered High School and I had moved 16 times total.

The process of getting my passport nearly cost me my job.  After paying the cost to have it expedited, getting approval from China for entry and paying a shady Chinese Visa processing company nearly 500$ so I could get the sticker in my passport I was two weeks late and had to cancel classes.  White Knight a more deserving agency next time.
 
2014-06-09 10:33:18 AM  

Seraphym: State to state, no papers?


[www.ibiblio.org image 438x280]


Montana. And an RV. Like a whole 'nother country ..
 
2014-06-09 10:33:48 AM  

fireclown: Mr. Oizo: Driving in southern Arizona between Tucson and Tubac I had to pull out my passport for a highway checkpoint, miles away from the Mexican border.

I didn't have to use a passport (a driver's license would work, too) but I had it on me so I used it.

I've heard of impromptu checkpoints pretty far up into Gringolandia.  Was this at a checkpoint?  Are you latino?


Haven't you heard? The border patrol's authority extends 100 miles inland. I'm sure it's just coincidence that the area included contains the vast majority of the population.
 
2014-06-09 10:34:08 AM  
We know what a Passport is. It's a "truck" that no one wants to drive.

upload.wikimedia.org
 
Ant
2014-06-09 10:34:49 AM  

Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.
 
2014-06-09 10:34:58 AM  

SirDigbyChickenCaesar: my voice is my passport, verify me


sneakersthemovie.com

/came here for this
 
2014-06-09 10:35:15 AM  

BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?


If you go to your U.S. Represenative's office and tell them you're in a hurry they can get you a passport in 2 days. When I needed to renew my passport I gave it to them on a Friday afternoon and had it on Sunday.
 
2014-06-09 10:35:20 AM  
Why is everyone treating this like an either or question.

Travel around the US it is great. Tons to see tons to do.

Travel around the world. Tons to see tons to do.

The US has some diversity, but nothing like you will see going abroad.

You can travel to Puerto Rico without a passport, but it is much more Americanized than Mexico (once you get out of tourist areas).

First stamp in my passport was from Guam (on my way to Yap and Palau). The customs agent had to go find a stamp when I asked. Apparently not many Americans ask for stamps from a US territory.
 
2014-06-09 10:35:46 AM  
Old school Passport.  Not valid in Virginia or DC.


g-ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2014-06-09 10:35:55 AM  

untaken_name: fireclown: Mr. Oizo: Driving in southern Arizona between Tucson and Tubac I had to pull out my passport for a highway checkpoint, miles away from the Mexican border.

I didn't have to use a passport (a driver's license would work, too) but I had it on me so I used it.

I've heard of impromptu checkpoints pretty far up into Gringolandia.  Was this at a checkpoint?  Are you latino?

Haven't you heard? The border patrol's authority extends 100 miles inland. I'm sure it's just coincidence that the area included contains the vast majority of the population.


We have a border patrol? someone needs fired
 
2014-06-09 10:38:00 AM  
I got mine renewed last year, only took two weeks.  I had a friend who got one for the first time last year, only took two weeks.  I do remember hearing about a big backlog a few years back here, though.
 
2014-06-09 10:39:11 AM  

fireclown: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.


I'm guessing he's lives in a boarder state that offers them, like Michigan. I bought a "Passport Card", which has the size/look of a driver's license, costs much less than a passport, and can be used only for land travel between the US and Canada or Mexico (and apparently the Caribbean, so maybe that's for cruises?). I bought one when I applied for my passport because you never know when you want to go gambling in Windsor. I thought if anything, it would be a nice back-up form of identification should I lose my driver's license.
 
2014-06-09 10:39:18 AM  

Joe Blowme: untaken_name: fireclown: Mr. Oizo: Driving in southern Arizona between Tucson and Tubac I had to pull out my passport for a highway checkpoint, miles away from the Mexican border.

I didn't have to use a passport (a driver's license would work, too) but I had it on me so I used it.

I've heard of impromptu checkpoints pretty far up into Gringolandia.  Was this at a checkpoint?  Are you latino?

Haven't you heard? The border patrol's authority extends 100 miles inland. I'm sure it's just coincidence that the area included contains the vast majority of the population.

We have a border patrol? someone needs fired


Well, somebody's gotta give documentation-challenged pre-citizens rides into town. Also, who's going to man the checkpoints 80 miles inside the US if they're all on the actual border?
 
2014-06-09 10:40:08 AM  
I was rather astonished when my wife went to get a passport card last month; the USPS office was actually able to take her picture as part of the application process. In the past, you had to get your 'official' pictures taken somewhere else and bring them in with your application.
 
2014-06-09 10:40:57 AM  

Disaster Transport: fireclown: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.

I'm guessing he's lives in a boarder state that offers them, like Michigan. I bought a "Passport Card", which has the size/look of a driver's license, costs much less than a passport, and can be used only for land travel between the US and Canada or Mexico (and apparently the Caribbean, so maybe that's for cruises?). I bought one when I applied for my passport because you never know when you want to go gambling in Windsor. I thought if anything, it would be a nice back-up form of identification should I lose my driver's license.


Border. Sorry need coffee...
 
2014-06-09 10:41:35 AM  

fireclown: spawn73: No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.

But I think you need a national ID.  Will any state ID (like a drivers licence) do the trick?


No, the ID has to establish your nationality. You can have a drivers licence without being a citizen, so that would not be good enough.

Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.
 
2014-06-09 10:42:31 AM  

Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.


No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.
 
2014-06-09 10:44:06 AM  
I'm on my third passport, so getting a kick, etc.

/American
//was in Europe last month
 
2014-06-09 10:45:09 AM  
My uncle had some friends from France come to the states a number of years ago. The one lady was an English teacher, and taught her students about the states. They arrived in New York, and set off on a 3 week driving tour of the states. The teacher really wanted to see California, and could not understand why it was too far away to fit it into the trip. That is, until it was explained to her that driving to California would be like driving to central Turkey from her home. Then she understood how small and wimpy Europe is, and how large and kick ass the US is.
 
2014-06-09 10:45:34 AM  

Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


This.
 
2014-06-09 10:45:43 AM  

Tigger: Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.

No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.


I think the poster was saying that culture variation within the US is just as broad as the variation in Europe. I don't buy it.  The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.
 
2014-06-09 10:47:55 AM  

fireclown: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.


Yea, the passport needed for the carribean\mexico\canada thing is post 9/11. The US got all tough on people coming in without passports, so those countries in turn said, "fine, if you are making our people buy passports, we are doing the same to you"

The enhanced drivers license basically covers you for canada\mexico, and I believe tmost of the carribean if traveling by sea. Its a little cheaper than a passport, and is also your drivers license. so if you are say a trucker who heads into canada every other day, its just so you don't always have to make sure you have your passport on you. Its pretty common in border areas, where people might on a random night decide to pop over to canada or wherever without advanced planning.

That said, how strictly they enforce checking your passport at entry points varies, some aren't even manned along the canadian border at all times. If you do end up over there and get stopped coming back, it isn't like you have to start a new life in canada. As long as you look and act american, and have some other ID, the worst they will do is waste your time and yell at you a bit. If you look a little spanish and don't have a drivers license though, your experience may vary.
 
2014-06-09 10:49:38 AM  

wingnut396: Tigger: Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.

No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.

I think the poster was saying that culture variation within the US is just as broad as the variation in Europe. I don't buy it.  The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.


But the peculiar thing to me is how often I see that stated. I've never really understood what drives that. There's usually some sort of internal psychological value to being wrong for the individual who is wrong; however, in this case I don't know what it could be.
 
2014-06-09 10:51:48 AM  

wingnut396: The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.


in Milan they throw bananas at black athletes like thiiiiis and in Amsterdam they throw them like thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis.
 
2014-06-09 10:52:36 AM  
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-06-09 10:52:51 AM  

mattberg: My uncle had some friends from France come to the states a number of years ago. The one lady was an English teacher, and taught her students about the states. They arrived in New York, and set off on a 3 week driving tour of the states. The teacher really wanted to see California, and could not understand why it was too far away to fit it into the trip. That is, until it was explained to her that driving to California would be like driving to central Turkey from her home. Then she understood how small and wimpy Europe is, and how large and kick ass the US is.


I get lots of European cyclists on my road during the summer (it's in the local tour books as being a picturesque cycling route) that ask me how far it is to the Rockies and it's happened enough that I looked it up so I can pretend I'm an informed citizen and tell them it's nearly 4000km. Sorry Dutch folks but you probably aren't squeezing it into your holiday.
 
2014-06-09 10:54:08 AM  
i live overseas and needed to renew mine months in advance so i could get a new residence permit.  took photos to the consular agency in my city, filled out a form, gave them the money and my old passport and 11 days later my new passport was delivered to me via UPS.  was VERY efficient.

/Turks could learn a few things from the USA about expediting things in an efficient manner
 
2014-06-09 10:56:55 AM  

Khellendros: U.S. culture is varied, but in a fairly narrow band when you compare us to South America


I'm not sure I could argue that South America contains more internal diversity than that between France and Germany.

It's basically the same people and the same issues, with your choice of rainforest or arid mountain.
 
2014-06-09 10:58:07 AM  

Tigger: wingnut396: Tigger: Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.

No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.

I think the poster was saying that culture variation within the US is just as broad as the variation in Europe. I don't buy it.  The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.

But the peculiar thing to me is how often I see that stated. I've never really understood what drives that. There's usually some sort of internal psychological value to being wrong for the individual who is wrong; however, in this case I don't know what it could be.


I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

The same people bragging about how diverse the US is are probably the ones who push the hardest for English to be declared the official national language.

/This is America we speak American.
 
2014-06-09 10:59:21 AM  
img.fark.net
Also asks what's a passport.
 
2014-06-09 11:00:45 AM  
I got a passport with the hopes of seeing the world.........................

..............I still haven't made it any further away (internationally) than Vancouver, BC.
 
2014-06-09 11:02:23 AM  

Disaster Transport: fireclown: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.

I'm guessing he's lives in a boarder state that offers them, like Michigan. I bought a "Passport Card", which has the size/look of a driver's license, costs much less than a passport, and can be used only for land travel between the US and Canada or Mexico (and apparently the Caribbean, so maybe that's for cruises?). I bought one when I applied for my passport because you never know when you want to go gambling in Windsor. I thought if anything, it would be a nice back-up form of identification should I lose my driver's license.


We got passports cards when we last renewed our regular passports.  They are good for driving and cruising the Caribbean, but not for flying. I still carry them when going overseas, because if I lose my real passports, I likley will still have some for of official State Department issued ID.
 
2014-06-09 11:04:32 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.


Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.
 
2014-06-09 11:05:08 AM  

Fano: Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.

but the difference between France and Monaco? Or Germany and Denmark?


This is like a group of white guys walking up to a group consisting of a black guy, two Asian guys, an Hispanic guy and a white guy and saying "Look, they have two Asians. That group is no more ethnically diverse than we are."
 
2014-06-09 11:05:35 AM  

akula: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

You used to be able to go to Mexico without a passport too. I did that when I was in high school. Different times then (heh, now that I think about it, it was 20 years ago this past spring... wow).

Most Americans just have little need for a passport. Going out of the country can be expensive, especially if you aren't going to Canada or Mexico. If you can get a nice beach in Florida or California and good skiing in Colorado, there's not always going to be much reason to go outside the country for travel. Sure, there's other cultures and other things to experience but that's not always a priority.


That's my reasoning. Going out of the country would be nice, but I make a slightly below average salary and get one week of vacation per year. How much quality "experiencing other cultures" time can I get with that? I really don't get how so many are able to do it unless they're wealthier retirees, spoiled college kids, or people who do it for work.
 
2014-06-09 11:05:42 AM  

This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.


That what is good about the US and Europe, the scenic often occurs in populated areas.
 
2014-06-09 11:08:24 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.


Only if you count useless frozen space. Heck in the US we bomb the shiat out of or put casinos up in our deserts. And the desserts are good too.
 
2014-06-09 11:09:51 AM  
I'm currently waiting for my passport, so I'm getting a kick...

/vado in Roma nel'autunno per 3 mesi
 
2014-06-09 11:10:30 AM  

browntimmy: That's my reasoning. Going out of the country would be nice, but I make a slightly below average salary and get one week of vacation per year. How much quality "experiencing other cultures" time can I get with that? I really don't get how so many are able to do it unless they're wealthier retirees, spoiled college kids, or people who do it for work.


One week?  That's awful.  I get a little over 4 weeks, and if I stick around my employer for another decade or two, it maxes out at nearly 6 weeks.
 
2014-06-09 11:10:35 AM  

This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.


You could argue that Canada is more diverse culturally with 2 national languages and a large area that speaks french almost exclusively.

No one lives where most of the scenic happens in the US either. Typically people moving in ruins the scenic.

It's all ridiculous anyhow. Get a passport and travel. In the US or outside it. Lots to see out there.
 
2014-06-09 11:11:49 AM  
To clear things up:

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-06-09 11:12:36 AM  

mattberg: My uncle had some friends from France come to the states a number of years ago. The one lady was an English teacher, and taught her students about the states. They arrived in New York, and set off on a 3 week driving tour of the states. The teacher really wanted to see California, and could not understand why it was too far away to fit it into the trip. That is, until it was explained to her that driving to California would be like driving to central Turkey from her home. Then she understood how small and wimpy Europe is, and how large and kick ass the US is.


I was in Britain several years ago. I asked our guide how far it is from the tip of Cornwall up to the tip of Scotland. He said it was about 700 miles. I responded that sounds like a full day's drive and he seemed astonished that a person could actually drive 700 miles in a day. I guess they don't have an interstate highway system like ours. I mean, we drove on some nice, fast motorways there, but they must not go everywhere. It definitely seemed like we didn't have the same sense of scale. The same goes with history. He showed us things that were 200-300 years old and we were impressed, but he seemed unenthusiastic about that because he could walk down the street and appreciate an 1,800 year old Roman ruin.

He also didn't seem to grasp that, if he visited the US, he couldn't visit the East Coast cities and also take a few hours to buzz by Memphis, Tennessee to see Graceland. He was a big Elvis fan.

Another interesting tidbit from that trip: Our bus driver was a older Liverpudlian named John who claimed that he went to school with the Beatles, and that his father managed one of the clubs or pubs or whatever that the Beatles often played at in that time.

So, we have huge space while they have huge history. Both are advantages.
 
2014-06-09 11:13:53 AM  

This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.


I've travelled across Canada everywhere except the far north (I'll get there!) and there is plenty of diversity but I do have to agree on the emptiness. You get outside the major cities and civilization starts to rapidly thin out and after an hour you will go long stretches without seeing another human being which is totally awesome. The plus side is that you can enjoy the scenery without the gaudy touristy crap but the downside is that sometimes you really want a sandwich and it will take you an hour or two to find one. It's ridiculous that we have such a huge amount of space and almost nobody living on it let alone serving sandwiches.
 
2014-06-09 11:13:59 AM  

fireclown: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

I just got mine renewed, it took about two weeks.


Yes, getting a passport is rather straightforward. Getting a visa for some countries - especially the ones we've recently pissed off - can take much longer.
 
2014-06-09 11:14:11 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

You could argue that Canada is more diverse culturally with 2 national languages and a large area that speaks french almost exclusively.

No one lives where most of the scenic happens in the US either. Typically people moving in ruins the scenic.

It's all ridiculous anyhow. Get a passport and travel. In the US or outside it. Lots to see out there.


But really, who gives a shiat about cultural diversity? No one travels to England to check out the paki diaspora.
 
2014-06-09 11:14:25 AM  

justanotherfarkinfarker: Rigby-Reardon: Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Only if you count useless frozen space. Heck in the US we bomb the shiat out of or put casinos up in our deserts. And the desserts are good too.


Yet a large portion of the US population refers to 3/4 of the US as "flyover country".
 
2014-06-09 11:14:26 AM  

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


90% of Brits vacate in Dubai...so cultural experience is surely the reason.
 
2014-06-09 11:14:36 AM  
Yeah, cuz like Americans don't travel and stuff!  It's just meth and Wal-Mart for us toofless folks!
 
2014-06-09 11:16:25 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: Yet a large portion of the US population refers to 3/4 of the US as "flyover country".


I've always referred to it as "drive-thru country."

/alternately "bat country"
 
2014-06-09 11:17:45 AM  
fastfxr:
90% of Brits vacate in Dubai..

What the actual shiat are you talking about?
 
2014-06-09 11:17:59 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: Tigger: wingnut396: Tigger: Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.

No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.

I think the poster was saying that culture variation within the US is just as broad as the variation in Europe. I don't buy it.  The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.

But the peculiar thing to me is how often I see that stated. I've never really understood what drives that. There's usually some sort of internal psychological value to being wrong for the individual who is wrong; however, in this case I don't know what it could be.

I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

The same people bragging about how diverse the US is are probably the ones who push the hardest for English to be declared the official national language.

/This is America we speak American.


God forbid we have a way for everyone to communicate with each other which can only serve to bring us closer to the imaginary melting pot. But keep telling yourself its all about racism

/one language... i vote for Klingon
 
2014-06-09 11:18:57 AM  

cgraves67: I was in Britain several years ago. I asked our guide how far it is from the tip of Cornwall up to the tip of Scotland. He said it was about 700 miles. I responded that sounds like a full day's drive and he seemed astonished that a person could actually drive 700 miles in a day. I guess they don't have an interstate highway system like ours. I mean, we drove on some nice, fast motorways there, but they must not go everywhere. It definitely seemed like we didn't have the same sense of scale. The same goes with history. He showed us things that were 200-300 years old and we were impressed, but he seemed unenthusiastic about that because he could walk down the street and appreciate an 1,800 year old Roman ruin.


Someone here once said "In Europe 200 miles is a long drive. In America 200 years is a long time."

Different places, different senses of scale.
 
2014-06-09 11:19:07 AM  
thamike:

/alternately "bat country"

Can't stop there.
 
2014-06-09 11:20:45 AM  

Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


Really?  I have neighbors from Guanzhou.  And Puerto Rico.  I work with a woman from the Philippines.  My stepmother is Thai.  And I'm not talking "grandparents are from", these are all actual immigrants.  And that's just off the top of my head without really thinking about it.

And I live and work in white-bread Bumfark upstate New York.

/Son is ethnically Korean.
//Well, half, at any rate.
 
2014-06-09 11:22:30 AM  
The extent of many American's international travel:

www.disneyfoodblog.com
 
2014-06-09 11:24:23 AM  

EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.


True.  However, if I lived in America, I would probably like to travel to other countries, if only to lower my chances of being shot.

/trolling, trolling, trolling
 
2014-06-09 11:27:05 AM  
A lot of Americans ask, "What's a vacation?"
 
2014-06-09 11:31:30 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: You could argue that Canada is more diverse culturally with 2 national languages and a large area that speaks french almost exclusively.


Canada is as diverse as Belgium, and in the same way.

Texas is the US's Quebec.
 
2014-06-09 11:32:28 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: Why is everyone treating this like an either or question.

Travel around the US it is great. Tons to see tons to do.

Travel around the world. Tons to see tons to do.

The US has some diversity, but nothing like you will see going abroad.

You can travel to Puerto Rico without a passport, but it is much more Americanized than Mexico (once you get out of tourist areas).

First stamp in my passport was from Guam (on my way to Yap and Palau). The customs agent had to go find a stamp when I asked. Apparently not many Americans ask for stamps from a US territory.


Guam requires a passport?
 
2014-06-09 11:33:24 AM  

This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: You could argue that Canada is more diverse culturally with 2 national languages and a large area that speaks french almost exclusively.

Canada is as diverse as Belgium, and in the same way.

Texas is the US's Quebec.


I dunno...  I've never had a Texan get angry at me for speaking English....
 
2014-06-09 11:33:35 AM  
Meh, once you've been to Europe and seen the old buildings and such you don't have to go back. I'd like to go to Japan for giggles and maybe South Korea, but the rest of Asia isn't nearly as appealing.

For some reason, Africa and South American don't interest me much. Maybe Uruguay, to visit the old time gauchos and get in on some of that crazy BBQ scene they have going on down there.
 
2014-06-09 11:33:56 AM  

Tigger: fastfxr:
90% of Brits vacate in Dubai..

What the actual shiat are you talking about?


Well they obviously couldn't vacate in Britain, because they'd still be there.
 
2014-06-09 11:34:05 AM  

RTOGUY: Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

I've travelled across Canada everywhere except the far north (I'll get there!) and there is plenty of diversity but I do have to agree on the emptiness.


I was mostly pointing out that Canada lacks a tropics or a desert, but the US has everything Canada has.
 
2014-06-09 11:34:13 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: justanotherfarkinfarker: Rigby-Reardon: Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Only if you count useless frozen space. Heck in the US we bomb the shiat out of or put casinos up in our deserts. And the desserts are good too.

Yet a large portion of the US population refers to 3/4 of the US as "flyover country".


Define "large portion" because I've only seen it referenced like that in NY or LA. TYMMV depending on where you live, I guess.
 
2014-06-09 11:37:04 AM  

Rigby-Reardon: justanotherfarkinfarker: Rigby-Reardon: Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Only if you count useless frozen space. Heck in the US we bomb the shiat out of or put casinos up in our deserts. And the desserts are good too.

Yet a large portion of the US population refers to 3/4 of the US as "flyover country".


"Flyover country" includes the second and 5th-10th most populous states in the Union. Just those 7 states are 29% of the US population, or around 100 million people.
 
2014-06-09 11:39:02 AM  

wxboy: fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires

You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.


4x4icon.com

/probably obscure for you
 
2014-06-09 11:39:54 AM  

spawn73: Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.


not true. Their driving licence is sufficient.

/Swede who crosses the bridge to work and only takes his ATM card with him, never had a problem.

Headso: but Italy has 60MM people


Holy crap! I knew that Italians were short, but that's craycray.
 
2014-06-09 11:41:53 AM  

GDubDub: A lot of Americans ask, "What's a vacation?"


Its a 3 hour drive with children who have to pee and a wife who wants to make a "quick stop" at the outlet mall...turning that drive into a 7 hour ordeal.

Its waking up 45 minutes later than you normally would on a work day and immediately grabbing your phone/laptop to see what emails you missed.

Its $4 for a bottle soda and kids running up to you to get $20 for tokens every 9 minutes.

Its standing in line for an hour and 45 minutes to enjoy a 3 minute long ride.

Its...beautiful


/Got a vacay coming next week.
//Can't wait.
 
2014-06-09 11:41:59 AM  

Nabb1: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.


You can actually get one if a few hours if you drive to one of the offices that has the machinery on site. I can't recall if you have to show your airline ticket, but you do have to pay an extra fee. I did this with my ex since she didn't have one yet and we left with her passport after about a four hour wait.
 
2014-06-09 11:42:33 AM  

Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: Rigby-Reardon: Why is everyone treating this like an either or question.

Travel around the US it is great. Tons to see tons to do.

Travel around the world. Tons to see tons to do.

The US has some diversity, but nothing like you will see going abroad.

You can travel to Puerto Rico without a passport, but it is much more Americanized than Mexico (once you get out of tourist areas).

First stamp in my passport was from Guam (on my way to Yap and Palau). The customs agent had to go find a stamp when I asked. Apparently not many Americans ask for stamps from a US territory.

Guam requires a passport?


Probably not. First trip off the mainland and I was excited to use my passport. We did have to go through a customs area, but it was area for US citizens. Customs agent left the area to get the stamp.

Probably could have used my drivers license.
 
2014-06-09 11:43:00 AM  
Was over in southern France at the begining of the year.  Me, my wife, 4 year old son, and 2 year old daughter for three months near Aix (actual village was Ginasservis ).  Only showed my passport at the border check in the Paris-De Gaulle airport on the way over there, and then in both P-D G and JFK on the way home.

No customs check going to Paris.  My bags stayed in the system (didn't have to pull them "off the plane" after I checked them in the U.S.).  Coming back through JFK was a nightmare though (seriously, fark that airport). All of my bags were pulled off the plane so I could say "I declare nothing" and not even opened up in front of me, only to be put back on the plane. All seven check on bags that my wife and I had to drag through the airport.

Traveling across borders over in Europe I did not see a single border patrol.  Just signs (we went to both Italy and Spain...just hopped across the border to say "I have been to Italy/Spain") and toll booths.

We did not have any issue getting the passports.  The only issue we had was trying to get a long term visa for my wife.  The project was supposed to be 6 months to a year.  While I could get one for working, the damn company was being stubborn on getting her one for "being my wife" so we just hell with it and opted for the short term 3 month visa.  That took over a year to figure out.  We really wanted to stay, but we were just so tired of the BS and paperwork, we just broke down and went for 3 months.  At least my son got to go to school and make some friends and learn some French (and not an "international" school, an actual french school in a small village).

There is talk about going back, but we are on the fence about it.  It was a wonderful experience but the travel is just exhausting and at the end of three months we were ready to be back home.
 
2014-06-09 11:44:15 AM  
So let's say the average, middle-class person, be they Brit and the US citizen have a travel radius of, oh, I don't know, 1,500 miles.  If you're in the US, chances are you're not going to get off the continent without traveling less than twice that distance.  Sure you can make it down to South America, but that's about your only option for cultural diversity - I mean let's be real, Canada isn't all that heterogeneous except for maybe Quebec.  But if you're in the UK, you'd fall just shy of getting to Rome (by about 200 miles), which means you'd be able to see the lion's share of continental Europe plus the Nordic countries without breaking much of a sweat.  I don't think US citizens are necessarily limited by the desire to travel and see other cultures so much as they are by simple geography and economics.  I feel fortunate to have been to Italy once as well as Australia, and I'd love to see a lot of other places around the world, but mostly when it comes to vacation planning, a trip to a New Jersey beach or a Kentucky distillery is an order of magnitude less expensive than flying across an ocean.
 
2014-06-09 11:46:31 AM  
I have a US passport and a UK passport.  While you can renew a UK 10-year passport up to 9 months in advance and carry the time left over to the new passport (i.e. have a new UK passport valid for 10 years and 9 months), stupidly you can't do it with a US passport.  That may not sound like a big deal, but there are many countries who won't let you over the border unless you have at least six months left on your passport.  So if you have a US passport with 25 weeks left on it and fly in to one of those countries, tough luck gringo, go home and pay for a new 10-year passport that's only accepted for 9 years and 6 months.
 
2014-06-09 11:50:06 AM  

Rixel: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

True.  However, if I lived in America, I would probably like to travel to other countries, if only to lower my chances of being shot.

/trolling, trolling, trolling


Depending on where you live in America, and where you visit in Europe, your chances might actually increase.  By like several times.
 
2014-06-09 11:52:59 AM  

Nabb1: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.


24 to 48 hours but you have to go to a state department office in person.  Plus it's a fark ton of money.

/Had to do a 24 hour renewal because I didn't know a lot of countries want the passport to be valid for at least 6 months beyond when you arrive in their country.
 
2014-06-09 11:54:21 AM  

thefonz37: So let's say the average, middle-class person, be they Brit and the US citizen have a travel radius of, oh, I don't know, 1,500 miles.  If you're in the US, chances are you're not going to get off the continent without traveling less than twice that distance.  Sure you can make it down to South America, but that's about your only option for cultural diversity - I mean let's be real, Canada isn't all that heterogeneous except for maybe Quebec.  But if you're in the UK, you'd fall just shy of getting to Rome (by about 200 miles), which means you'd be able to see the lion's share of continental Europe plus the Nordic countries without breaking much of a sweat.  I don't think US citizens are necessarily limited by the desire to travel and see other cultures so much as they are by simple geography and economics.  I feel fortunate to have been to Italy once as well as Australia, and I'd love to see a lot of other places around the world, but mostly when it comes to vacation planning, a trip to a New Jersey beach or a Kentucky distillery is an order of magnitude less expensive than flying across an ocean.


The only problem with your radius is the cost to travel to London, Paris, or Amsterdam from any major US airport can at times be cheaper than flying to a small US airport that is 1500 miles closer. Hub to hub flights occasionally be found for an unbelievably low price.

When my wife and I got married we decided to have the ceremony in Puerto Rico because it was about $300 round trip from Minneapolis at the time (lots of guests flying too, wanted tropical on the cheap). Miami flights were $100 more. Cancun was $200 more.
 
2014-06-09 12:04:10 PM  
Back in the day it was possible to score cheap fares for international flights by booking courier flights, but those have largely disappeared. You can often find less expensive airfares by going through flight consolidators, but you have to comparison shop for the best deals. Being flexible on dates helps too.
So far, I've been to 26 countries on 4 continents, and I have more trips planned. Don't let excuses keep you from seeing the world.
 
2014-06-09 12:08:22 PM  

Forbidden Doughnut: Tigger: This is a weird thing I hear people say a lot and it just isn't true. I travel for a living - primarily internationally but significantly within the USA. The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I've been to South Korea and Canada ( British Colombia ). Korea is like going to another planet, but Sydney, BC is almost like home, IMHO.

/ Pacific Northwest
// I feel more (culturally) at home with Canadians in BC than with Southerners here in the US...


Vancouver feels a lot like Seattle, except with fewer guns and more politeness. Everything east of Snoqualmie Pass, on the other hand, feels like another country.
 
2014-06-09 12:08:42 PM  

fireclown: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

More importantly, you can drive for more than 4 hours and not change countries.  If we had to go past a border guard every time I crossed into Pennsylvania, more Marylanders would certainly have passports.   It's also why we only speak one or two languages.  I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires and only run into Two languages.  (If I miss Brazil an that weird part of Canada).


I think international travel is great, I just got back from Paris and Nice. I've always thought it was unfair to blast Americans for not traveling across the Atlantic or Pacific routinely, and not needing to learn more than English! Since in reality you rarely run into foreign speakers. Now, if someone in DC had to know a different language for each to visit Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, that would be more fair.
 
2014-06-09 12:08:55 PM  

dittybopper: Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

The neat thing about America is you can do that also.


If you think that experiencing the true cultural diversity of our planet is something you can do inside the borders of your own country, you are sorely missing the point.
 
2014-06-09 12:11:41 PM  

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


It doesn't hurt that in Europe you can drive for an hour or 2 and be in another country. Here, I can drive 15 hours and still be in the 'states.

Location, Location, Location.

\I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel
 
2014-06-09 12:12:00 PM  

jxb465: Nabb1: BunkyBrewman: That reminds me... how long does it take to get a passport nowadays?

The last time I did it, which was almost ten years ago (I guess it's time to renew), the turnaround was about three to four weeks. If you could show a genuine need to expedite it and paid an extra fee, you could get it with a turnaround time of a few days.

I just got one last year and it took about 3 or 4 weeks to get it. Maybe a little less. It was a lot faster than I was expecting.


Ms. Datanerd's renewal last year took about that long.
 
2014-06-09 12:12:38 PM  

Rigby-Reardon: Hub to hub flights occasionally be found for an unbelievably low price.


Not usually when the kids are not in school.

I had to get extra pages put in my passport at one time, because I worked in Hong Kong and made the most of the location.

I'm USA bound in NYC Metro now for economic and domestic (family) reasons. It is not for the lack of desire, it is because I can't take time off to fly around the world, neither can my wife.
 
2014-06-09 12:14:01 PM  

walkerhound: wxboy: fireclown: . I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires

You'll need a ferry to get past the Darien Gap.

[4x4icon.com image 800x600]

/probably obscure for you


Yeah, I know if you really want to do it, you can get through.  You just have to hack your own path.
 
2014-06-09 12:14:10 PM  

CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel



A high speed rail project would fix your problem.
 
2014-06-09 12:15:47 PM  

H31N0US: Rigby-Reardon: Hub to hub flights occasionally be found for an unbelievably low price.

Not usually when the kids are not in school.

I had to get extra pages put in my passport at one time, because I worked in Hong Kong and made the most of the location.

I'm USA bound in NYC Metro now for economic and domestic (family) reasons. It is not for the lack of desire, it is because I can't take time off to fly around the world, neither can my wife.


I had a few friends who preferred travel to housing, so they became airline pilots. The pay is not as great as it was in the past, but they enjoy the benefits of the occasional several day layovers in foreign countries.
 
2014-06-09 12:15:54 PM  
This reminds me, I have to call the passport office, because they lost my Certificate of Naturalization... At least they sent me the passport.
 
2014-06-09 12:17:09 PM  

Khellendros: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And even if that's true, he's still right.  U.S. culture is varied, but in a fairly narrow band when you compare us to South America, Asia, or anywhere in Africa.  Even most of western Europe is radically different than anywhere here.


It's only narrow to the familiar. South America to a south american is also a narrow band, asia to an asian is a narrow band.
 
2014-06-09 12:18:41 PM  
i.imgur.com

// As a Brit, Honolulu felt more like New York than Glasgow felt Istanbul.
 
2014-06-09 12:20:20 PM  

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


Having traveled to Toronto earlier this year, I would say yes, you need a passport.
 
2014-06-09 12:20:59 PM  

vudukungfu: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

yeah, I used to spend a lot of money in Canada.
Now, fark them.
They allowed us to pull that post 9-11 bandwagon patriot bullcrap.
fark them



is Canada now supposed to be the U.S.'s EA (Empires Anonymous) sponsor?
 
2014-06-09 12:22:59 PM  

This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.


Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?
 
2014-06-09 12:26:06 PM  
Half a million Brits face ruined vacations due to huge passport backlog. Americans ask, "What's a passport?"

Why wouldn't we know what a passport is?  There's a lot of travelling possible in the USA, and just look at our two closest neighbors.  Just because we don't have a passport doesn't mean we don't know what they are.  Subby, it's like you and a mortgage or a car title.  Doesn't mean you don't know what they are.
 
2014-06-09 12:26:52 PM  
Shouldn't the daily fail feel happy about this ? It means more British will see more  beautiful turquoise waters,or some bullshiat like the benefits street.
 
2014-06-09 12:30:42 PM  
Personally, I hate it when I see someone from the U.S. who has never ventured far outside of their own hometown but can't wait to get to Europe or Asia. Not that there is anything wrong with going to those places, it's just that the U.S. is huge and varied (geographically and to a lesser extent culturally). I hear way too many young people (and Farkers) go on and on about how great Europe is while they have experienced virtually nothing in the U.S. We bought a travel trailer last year and have decided that our girls will see all 50 states before they graduate. When we travel, we try to find more obscure sites to see. State parks and national forests etc. We do hit more common tourist areas as well. My hope is that my kids will have an appreciation for this country, so they won't fall into the trap of believing that we are somehow inferior to the rest of the world.
 
2014-06-09 12:33:42 PM  

fireclown: I've heard of impromptu checkpoints pretty far up into Gringolandia.  Was this at a checkpoint?  Are you latino?


There are permanent ones. Like the one in Sarita, TX, where everyone stops. Fortunately, I had my green card with me, otherwise they wouldn't have believed I was an alien.
 
2014-06-09 12:36:38 PM  

Fano: Tigger: dittybopper: Tigger: The similarities culturally between Soiux Falls, SD, New York City and the Appalachians are far greater than the difference between any one of those places and anywhere in Europe or Asia.

I'm willing to bet that in your travels you stay in chain hotels, eat in chain restaurants, and work at corporation locations, so mostly, you don't get the local color.  You get the bland, averaged out experience.

And you would be totally and completely wrong.

But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.

but the difference between France and Monaco? Or Germany and Denmark?


Or Greece and Norway?
 
2014-06-09 12:38:29 PM  
Meh.  Other cultures are cool on TV.  I doesn't mean have to visit them.

/typical American, never had a passport
 
2014-06-09 12:40:52 PM  

spittman: Personally, I hate it when I see someone from the U.S. who has never ventured far outside of their own hometown but can't wait to get to Europe or Asia. Not that there is anything wrong with going to those places, it's just that the U.S. is huge and varied (geographically and to a lesser extent culturally). I hear way too many young people (and Farkers) go on and on about how great Europe is while they have experienced virtually nothing in the U.S. We bought a travel trailer last year and have decided that our girls will see all 50 states before they graduate. When we travel, we try to find more obscure sites to see. State parks and national forests etc. We do hit more common tourist areas as well. My hope is that my kids will have an appreciation for this country, so they won't fall into the trap of believing that we are somehow inferior to the rest of the world.


I would only argue that young college age kids should take that opportunity to see the far reaches of the globe. Once they have their own family, job, responsibilities, etc. those trips are harder to take.

I agree that there is plenty to see in the US, but those trips are easier to take with their whole family later in life with the travel trailer.

I don't think a majority of Americans have an inferiority complex. I would say the opposite is true. Would maybe cut down on those we have poor people, why do we send aid money to X country posts I see on Facebook if people had a global view instead of a Merica, Hell Yeah! View.
 
2014-06-09 12:41:56 PM  

mattberg: My uncle had some friends from France come to the states a number of years ago. The one lady was an English teacher, and taught her students about the states. They arrived in New York, and set off on a 3 week driving tour of the states. The teacher really wanted to see California, and could not understand why it was too far away to fit it into the trip. That is, until it was explained to her that driving to California would be like driving to central Turkey from her home. Then she understood how small and wimpy Europe is, and how large and kick ass the US is.


That's a variation of the tale many people claims to be true: dumbass Europeans come visit and expect to be able to drive from NY (or FL) to CA in a day. The story is apocryphal.
 
2014-06-09 12:46:35 PM  

spawn73: dittybopper: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.  And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.

No, people in the Schengen area doesn't need a passport to travel to other countries within the Schengen area.

Comparing different states to different countries is just moronic.


Sure, but Schengen != Europe.

Most importantly, the United Kingdom (the subject of this article) is not, in fact, part of the Schengen Area.
 
2014-06-09 12:50:48 PM  

akula: ou used to be able to go to Mexico without a passport too. I did that when I was in high school. Different times then (heh, now that I think about it, it was 20 years ago this past spring... wow).


yeah, just flash a driver's license back in the day.

going to Mexico this weekend (puerto penasco, what what?).  had to get the kids' passports.  ours are from 2005 or so but only have a stamp from I think ireland.  i don't england stamped it.  fookin'ell wankers.
 
2014-06-09 12:51:05 PM  

Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?


It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.
 
2014-06-09 12:51:26 PM  

aerojockey: Meh.  Other cultures are cool on TV.  I doesn't mean have to visit them.

/typical American, never had a passport


That's okay. I had a passport and both times that I scheduled a trip to Europe (about six years apart) the place I was going was bombed and the U.S. highly recommended not going there due to fears of beheadings of Americans and the other gruesomeness going on in Europe at the time. After the second time, I decided I would only travel to US aligned first world nations in the Western hemisphere.
 
2014-06-09 12:53:06 PM  

stellarossa: That's a variation of the tale many people claims to be true: dumbass Europeans come visit and expect to be able to drive from NY (or FL) to CA in a day. The story is apocryphal


I would hear similiar stuff all the time when I was overseas. No big deal people are morons everywhere.

One time it really shocked me is when a historian from Turkey we were taking a tour from at Ephesus was planning on staying in philly when teaching at PSU. I explained it was a 3.5 hour drive, and he thought I was full of shiat, as they were in the same state.
 
2014-06-09 12:54:25 PM  
more like

"what's a vacation?"
 
2014-06-09 12:54:43 PM  

dittybopper: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

But many do.  In fact, about 1/3rd of all Americans, or 110 million, have a valid passport:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/01/30/record-number-of -a mericans-now-hold-passports/

The *TOTAL* population of the UK is only about 64 million.

The other thing to consider is that the United States is roughly the same size as all of Europe:

United States:  9.826 million km2
Europe:  10.180 million km2

The US is almost 97% the size of Europe.   And while a citizen of any European nation needs a passport to travel to any of the other nations in Europe, a US citizen doesn't need a passport to travel to a different state from where he or she resides.


That hasn't been true for a long time f,or most countries in Europe just need ID what is acceptable differs slightly between nation i.e. between UK and Ireland then minimum ID like a driver licence is all that is required.
 
2014-06-09 12:54:48 PM  

pkellmey: That's okay. I had a passport and both times that I scheduled a trip to Europe (about six years apart) the place I was going was bombed and the U.S. highly recommended not going there due to fears of beheadings of Americans and the other gruesomeness going on in Europe at the time. After the second time, I decided I would only travel to US aligned first world nations in the Western hemisphere.


Ah, yes.  The Great European BeheadFest.  I remember it well.  It was a dark time...

/!??
 
2014-06-09 12:55:38 PM  

akula


Hell, even when you go outside the country with your passport you don't always get stamps in the thing. My passport looks like it's done nothing but sit in the drawer at home and it's been used. I kinda feel cheated when I don't get a stamp.


It's funny: some border/customs people try to place the egress stamp next to the ingress stamp, some look for a fresh page, and I think some look for the stamp of a country they don't like so they can stamp over it.
 
2014-06-09 01:00:05 PM  

Englebert Slaptyback: akula

Hell, even when you go outside the country with your passport you don't always get stamps in the thing. My passport looks like it's done nothing but sit in the drawer at home and it's been used. I kinda feel cheated when I don't get a stamp.


It's funny: some border/customs people try to place the egress stamp next to the ingress stamp, some look for a fresh page, and I think some look for the stamp of a country they don't like so they can stamp over it.


Very, very common in Southeast Asia

/I have a hard time proving I went to Cambodia
/Thanks, Thailand customs!
 
2014-06-09 01:04:19 PM  

thamike: pkellmey: That's okay. I had a passport and both times that I scheduled a trip to Europe (about six years apart) the place I was going was bombed and the U.S. highly recommended not going there due to fears of beheadings of Americans and the other gruesomeness going on in Europe at the time. After the second time, I decided I would only travel to US aligned first world nations in the Western hemisphere.

Ah, yes.  The Great European BeheadFest.  I remember it well.  It was a dark time...


Think "discos" and you'll realize it was a dark time.
 
2014-06-09 01:15:30 PM  
Ya, no shiat "what's a passport?"... If I can't afford to drive to the Circle-K how am I suppose to afford to leave the country? Economy is toilet, prices of everything are higher than ever, good times?
 
2014-06-09 01:22:09 PM  

Cheesehead_Dave: The extent of many American's international travel:


I'm American.  I've effectively flown around the world 3 times.  Literally twice - Left out of the east coast, entered through Alaska down to Seattle.  When I was touring Europe we met a woman who had literally never been further than 30 miles from her home.

FLMountainMan: It's completely wrong.  I think dittybopper began with a good point - that the lack of multilingualism or passport holders among Americans is less an indicator of American anti-intellectualism and more an indicator of differing geography, history, and culture.   But I think he went off course with the differences in culture.  I think there is a surprising amount of cultural variation within the United States, but I don't think it's nearly as much as the difference between, say, Big Stone Gap, Virginia and Phuket, Thailand.


You make a good point here, but there's less difference between NYC and Berlin, Germany.
I think that the important thing to realize is that US Citizens can, on average, travel further and experience more different cultures without ever needing a passport*, but by the same token getting to a truly different cultures costs proportionally more.

A North Dakotan who makes a winter vacation to Florida is traveling further than a UK Citizen visiting Portugal/Spain for much the same purpose.  There's probably less cultural difference for the US trip, but the distance is roughly double.  One doesn't require a passport, one does.

I could visit a different state or territory every year, visiting something unique each time, and never leave the country(except for flying over Canada to Alaska, international waters to Hawaii), for an entire career.  Surf in California.  Go dog sledding in Alaska(and see the Northern lights).  Visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, see the art in NYC, go gambling in Mississippi.  Visit Yellowstone in Wyoming.  Swing by the Hoover Dam on the way to Las Vegas, Nevada. So on and so forth, going by stereotype touristy things.

A lot of Americans essentially go to the same spots thought, but then again a lot of European vacations are 'go to the same beach resort every year' for numerous families.

I have a passport and have traveled internationally.  But visiting every state in the country would still be a substantial investment in both time and money, but a couple OOMs less than visiting every country in the world(and I have quite a few of those marked off).

*And if you really, really want different start visiting Native American reservations.

fireclown: What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.


It's a driver's license that also counts as proof of citizenship.  Basically you need to prove you're a citizen(with all the joy that that requires) in order to get one.  Some states required basically no documentation to hand out a license, so illegals reportedly got them left and right, and we can't have that because of terrorists.

Tigger: But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


I know I'm butting in, but I hooked onto Europe, not SE Asia.  In the USA you can get nearly as much cultural difference wandering between the states, while enjoying still speaking the same language, as you can wandering around Europe.

Going to Asia exposes you to a vastly different experience, but you can get even that if you visit certain enclaves.
 
2014-06-09 01:25:12 PM  
CheapEngineer:
\I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel

Travelling via air is fine and efficient. 9-11 was 13 years ago, and security is not the hassle it is made out to be at just about any airport anymore. The TSA has done a couple of stupid things, but things have gotten smooth, and efficient for the most part in the security checkpoints.

Hell, the biggest issue with security these days is the morons in the travelling public who take 15 minutes to get their shiat through the scanner, and then walk through with various metal items all over their body.

Don't make up bullshiat excuses. Just admit you are too poor or are scared to fly.
 
2014-06-09 01:26:18 PM  

thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.


Not sure of the veracity, though it is from Harvard:

img.washingtonpost.com
 
2014-06-09 01:34:20 PM  
Firethorn:
Cheesehead_Dave: The extent of many American's international travel:

I'm American.  I've effectively flown around the world 3 times.  Literally twice - Left out of the east coast, entered through Alaska down to Seattle.  When I was touring Europe we met a woman who had literally never been further than 30 miles from her home.



I work with several co-workers who talk about their extensive international travel, which is mostly flying to another airport and then proceeding to the ship so they can view coasts of other countries without actually requiring anything but minimal interaction with the culture. I think people often confuse traveling with culture, but when I was last in Canada, their McDonalds restaurant looked a lot like ours.
 
2014-06-09 01:37:48 PM  

Rixel: This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?


Canada's population and cities are more diverse than the US, without question. However, I would agree that the US has greater regional differences from place to place than Canada. So in a way you could say that it is more diverse while being less diverse, if you know what I mean. :)
 
2014-06-09 01:39:12 PM  

Rigby-Reardon: When my wife and I got married we decided to have the ceremony in Puerto Rico because it was about $300 round trip from Minneapolis at the time (lots of guests flying too, wanted tropical on the cheap). Miami flights were $100 more. Cancun was $200 more.


One thing to be aware of with 'lots of guests' is that it might actually be cheaper to charter a flight, and that way you fly directly to your destination and don't have to worry about baggage limits and such so long as you don't overload the plane.

I'd set the bar at no less than 50 though if you're looking at people buying coach sets.  Didn't make sense with 12 for a trip from Florida to NY(though I did check for my family).

It's really nice when it happens for work because I'm USAF and thus have generally have a runway less than a mile away to/from anywhere I go.  No transfers, no TSA, no long drives just to get to/from the airport.
 
2014-06-09 01:44:21 PM  

Rixel: This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?


Yes.

I've banked at Canadian banks. I can even claim heritage there if need be. But the US extends from the tropics to the poles, has deserts and rainforests (both tropical and temperate), and ranges from alpine mountains to sub-sea level. Canada does not.
 
2014-06-09 01:49:37 PM  

pkellmey: I think people often confuse traveling with culture, but when I was last in Canada, their McDonalds restaurant looked a lot like ours.


When I say 'touring Europe', I mean it.  We hit up a lot of the castles, but that's because I like castles.  We deliberately went for small bread&breakfast places, ate at local restaurants, etc...

Though I'll admit that sometimes food can be touchy and you want a taste of home.

And don't most cruise ships make regular calls on various ports where they let the guests off to see the sights and such?
 
2014-06-09 01:51:26 PM  

The Southern Logic Company: monoski: The Southern Logic Company: It took me three farking months to get my passport, I KNOW what a passport is thank you very much.

You may know what it is but 3 months means you were doing it wrong.

When I finally got my acceptance for working in China I had 4 months to get my passport, get my approval from the PRC to get a visa and then get my actual visa.  I applied the day after my acceptance and mailed it off.  About a month later I got a letter from the State Department (iirc) saying I needed further information before they could process my passport.  I had it checked out by a lawyer and the document was legitimate; I had to provide more personal details including the hospital name where I was born, my Father's employment when I was born and then I had to list every address I have ever lived at for more than a month.  Boy, that was fun since my dad was in the Navy until I entered High School and I had moved 16 times total.

The process of getting my passport nearly cost me my job.  After paying the cost to have it expedited, getting approval from China for entry and paying a shady Chinese Visa processing company nearly 500$ so I could get the sticker in my passport I was two weeks late and had to cancel classes.  White Knight a more deserving agency next time.


That sounds like a mess. I don't knight for the passport agency at all, as with most govt agencies they are a mess. My only thought was there are expediters out there like attorneys who specialize in the crazy post 9/11 red-tape and if I needed one fast I would have started there.
 
2014-06-09 01:51:26 PM  

pkellmey: I think people often confuse traveling with culture, but when I was last in Canada, their McDonalds restaurant looked a lot like ours.


Visit one in Delhi.  For real.
 
2014-06-09 01:51:40 PM  

Firethorn: Cheesehead_Dave: The extent of many American's international travel:

I'm American.  I've effectively flown around the world 3 times.  Literally twice - Left out of the east coast, entered through Alaska down to Seattle.  When I was touring Europe we met a woman who had literally never been further than 30 miles from her home.


I chaperoned my daughter's middle school trip to Washington DC a couple of years ago. For some of the students in my group, it was the first time they had ever left my town.
 
2014-06-09 01:53:54 PM  

uttertosh: spawn73: Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.

not true. Their driving licence is sufficient.

/Swede who crosses the bridge to work and only takes his ATM card with him, never had a problem.


Hmm yes indeed. That's a consequence of the Scandinavian passport union though.
 
2014-06-09 01:55:19 PM  

thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.


Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.
 
2014-06-09 01:57:42 PM  

Rixel: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Not sure of the veracity, though it is from Harvard:

[img.washingtonpost.com image 850x418]


That's an interesting graph.  Got a link to the original article?  I'd like to see the methodology for measuring diversity.
 
2014-06-09 02:00:41 PM  

Cheesehead_Dave: I chaperoned my daughter's middle school trip to Washington DC a couple of years ago. For some of the students in my group, it was the first time they had ever left my town.


There's a difference between a middle school student never having been out of town and a grown woman with children, getting ready to be a grandmother, never having been.

Meanwhile my family is strewn all over between New York, Florida, and Alaska.
 
2014-06-09 02:00:45 PM  

Firethorn: ...
Going to Asia exposes you to a vastly different experience, but you can get even that if you visit certain enclaves.


Sure, you can experience Asian cuisines in the various Koreatowns, Chinatowns, Little Indias and so forth in major American cities. but nothing here can replace walking on the Great Wall of China (a lot steeper than you might think) or seeing the grandeur of the Forbidden City or the Taj Mahal for yourself. There's also the little cultural experiences that can't be replicated in the US, like  sleeping in labyrinthine squalor in Chungking Mansions in Hong Kong, or trying fried snake in the Taipei night market, traveling between rural villages in the :Philippines by jeepney.

Europe can wait til you're older because getting there isn't difficult and the cities can accommodate older people. SE Asia or India or North Africa really .should be done by the young who can handle the stress and the hassles more easily and who have the freedom to spend months backpacking
 
2014-06-09 02:00:55 PM  

spawn73: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.


How did you reach that conclusion about Belgium and the USA? How does having a French speaking minority make Canada diverse?
 
2014-06-09 02:01:14 PM  

Firethorn: Rigby-Reardon: When my wife and I got married we decided to have the ceremony in Puerto Rico because it was about $300 round trip from Minneapolis at the time (lots of guests flying too, wanted tropical on the cheap). Miami flights were $100 more. Cancun was $200 more.

One thing to be aware of with 'lots of guests' is that it might actually be cheaper to charter a flight, and that way you fly directly to your destination and don't have to worry about baggage limits and such so long as you don't overload the plane.

I'd set the bar at no less than 50 though if you're looking at people buying coach sets.  Didn't make sense with 12 for a trip from Florida to NY(though I did check for my family).

It's really nice when it happens for work because I'm USAF and thus have generally have a runway less than a mile away to/from anywhere I go.  No transfers, no TSA, no long drives just to get to/from the airport.


We did look into this, but we had guests flying from many different airports mainly Minneapolis and Chicago. 65 total guests. Did not make sense for us.

Now mother-in-laws round trip direct flight was $208.00 from Chicago to San Juan. Could not believe you could fly 2000 miles for that little. (4100 round trip).
 
2014-06-09 02:05:14 PM  

spawn73: uttertosh: spawn73: Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.

not true. Their driving licence is sufficient.

/Swede who crosses the bridge to work and only takes his ATM card with him, never had a problem.

Hmm yes indeed. That's a consequence of the Scandinavian passport union though.


hmph... okay, you're correct about me crossing the bridge, but my standard ID card takes me to everywhere else (UK excluded), and I'm sure that the Danish driver licence allows Danes to do the same. The passports I hold I've only used to get into (and out of) the UK. The funny thing is that often when arriving back from the UK, I grab my bag and walk out without showing ID to anyone.
 
2014-06-09 02:06:45 PM  

spawn73: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.


Yeah, I think bringing up the population discrepancies muddies the water.  Los Angeles and New York City are more diverse than Belgium and have about the same number of people.  Canada's "diversity", outside of a few metro areas, consists of honkeys vs. injuns or Franco vs. Anglos.
 
2014-06-09 02:13:04 PM  
I love all the, my neighbor is from China, and I rode in a taxi which was driven by a guy from India posts.

Yes that is correct, you were in a car with a guy from India for 10 miles, now you can cross "see the Taj Mahal" off your bucket list.
 
2014-06-09 02:13:09 PM  

fireclown: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.


Or, say, southern Ontario.  ;)  We had tickets to go to a Buffalo Bisons (Toronto Blue Jays farm team) a couple of weeks ago.  Passports required!  My dumb brother got up that morning and realized his was expired.  So no game for him.  We go to Buffalo for hockey and baseball (and occasionally football) games all the time - it's cheaper, easier to get tickets, and generally a shorter drive, definitely less traffic as long as the border is smooth.  It seems funny that most of us have a passport so we can go to hockey games.

The enhanced DL is a drivers license with more security features - but it's no good for flying.  So you may as well just have the full document.
 
2014-06-09 02:16:42 PM  

Mr. Eugenides: Rixel: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Not sure of the veracity, though it is from Harvard:

[img.washingtonpost.com image 850x418]

That's an interesting graph.  Got a link to the original article?  I'd like to see the methodology for measuring diversity.


Don't quite have access to the original, but I picked up the chart from this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/16/a-revea li ng-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-ethnically-diverse-countries/
 
2014-06-09 02:17:35 PM  

Firethorn: When I say 'touring Europe', I mean it.  We hit up a lot of the castles, but that's because I like castles.  We deliberately went for small bread&breakfast places, ate at local restaurants, etc...

Though I'll admit that sometimes food can be touchy and you want a taste of home.


We tried to get as much local flavor as we could, but with two small children it was hard to avoid the  "golden arches" entirely over there while we were out and about (especially if we were hours from home).  Which sucked because it was three times more expensive and their burgers tasted terrible.

We were lucky one night and got our landlord to babysit for use so we could go the local fancy restaurant.  It was wonderful but definitely not something that the kids would want to eat.  Luckily the village had a bakery and pizza place, so we had enough to keep them satisfied for our time over there without having to resort to "american" food.

We did drag them to castles (Carcassonne was amazing) and the Gorges Du Verdon (European version of the Grand Canyon), as well as some Mediterranean beaches and beautiful mountain vistas.  There was only one weekend we did go someplace (because it was pouring rain the entire weekend) in the entire 3 month stay.
 
2014-06-09 02:17:50 PM  

Rixel: Mr. Eugenides: Rixel: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Not sure of the veracity, though it is from Harvard:

[img.washingtonpost.com image 850x418]

That's an interesting graph.  Got a link to the original article?  I'd like to see the methodology for measuring diversity.

Don't quite have access to the original, but I picked up the chart from this article:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/16/a-revea li ng-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-ethnically-diverse-countries/


My, bad.  Original is located here:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=319762
 
2014-06-09 02:18:53 PM  

Fano: I've always thought it was unfair to blast Americans for not traveling across the Atlantic or Pacific routinely, and not needing to learn more than English! Since in reality you rarely run into foreign speakers.


Really?  Where do you live?

I'm in Atlanta, and Spanish and Korean are spoken everywhere around me.  On my floor at work---I work for a university---there are two Turks, four Chinese, one Croatian, three Russians, three French, one Dane, and maybe a few others I've forgotten (I don't interact with everyone on my floor).  While one can get by just knowing English, it's certainly not the only language spoken in the U S of A.
 
2014-06-09 02:19:29 PM  

Burr: There was only one weekend we did NOT go someplace (because it was pouring rain the entire weekend) in the entire 3 month stay.


FTFM
 
2014-06-09 02:21:00 PM  
One could spend a lifetime of vacationing and not see all America has to offer. I've been to all of the contiguous 48 States and still haven't seen all I want to. America is so vast and wonderful I don't feel the need to vist anywhere else.
 
2014-06-09 02:24:17 PM  
I'm only up to 25 stamps in my current passport. I'm hoping to get a few more in the coming year. For now I have: Canada, Honduras, Ecuador, BVI, Haiti, Bahamas, Mexico, Iceland, Greenland, Faeroe Islands, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark, UK, Ireland, Tahiti, Micronesia, Morocco, Italy, Greece, Portugal/Azores, Spain, Dubai, and a few others. It's sometimes hard to get people to even stamp the passport these days too,
 
2014-06-09 02:27:57 PM  
 
2014-06-09 02:29:50 PM  
I've always thought Locked Up Abroad was a better travel brochure than the Travel Channel.
 
2014-06-09 02:29:59 PM  

Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: spawn73: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.

How did you reach that conclusion about Belgium and the USA? How does having a French speaking minority make Canada diverse?


By traveling across both countries.

The French speaking are Romanic, the English speaking Germanic. Different cultures.
 
2014-06-09 02:32:30 PM  

uttertosh: spawn73: uttertosh: spawn73: Some countries don't have ID cards, eg. Denmark, so Danes needs to bring their passport regardless.

not true. Their driving licence is sufficient.

/Swede who crosses the bridge to work and only takes his ATM card with him, never had a problem.

Hmm yes indeed. That's a consequence of the Scandinavian passport union though.

hmph... okay, you're correct about me crossing the bridge, but my standard ID card takes me to everywhere else (UK excluded), and I'm sure that the Danish driver licence allows Danes to do the same. The passports I hold I've only used to get into (and out of) the UK. The funny thing is that often when arriving back from the UK, I grab my bag and walk out without showing ID to anyone.


http://www.eu-oplysningen.dk/euo_en/spsv/all/83/

There's a guide here for the Schengen area, and it specifically says that if you're from a country without a national ID card, then you need a passport, ie. Denmark.

It also explains the Scandinavian passport union, and its consequences.


I don't really know what your standard ID card is. All I can say is that not all countries have national ID cards.
 
2014-06-09 02:38:40 PM  

spawn73: Land_of_the_Magic_Dragon: spawn73: thamike: Rixel: Huh? I think that statement is dubious at best.  Ever been to Canada?

It's about the same size, but the population is short by about 280 million.  I'd say the size is negligible (we're talking maybe 100,000 sq miles), because of the serious population discrepancy. Considering the sheer numbers, I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.

How did you reach that conclusion about Belgium and the USA? How does having a French speaking minority make Canada diverse?

By traveling across both countries.

The French speaking are Romanic, the English speaking Germanic. Different cultures.


Not really. Sharing a common language doesn't make us a the same. Yankee in New England is nothing like a someone in the heart of Texas. English may be are main language but it doesn't mean we are all the same. You need to travel more if you think all Americans are the same.
 
2014-06-09 02:39:59 PM  

BorgiaGinz: Sure, you can experience Asian cuisines in the various Koreatowns, Chinatowns, Little Indias and so forth in major American cities. but nothing here can replace walking on the Great Wall of China (a lot steeper than you might think) or seeing the grandeur of the Forbidden City or the Taj Mahal for yourself.


I was concentrating on culture at the time, but you are correct with this.

It's just that when you need to add a zero to the price of a travel package to get there you need to pick and choose.

For the price of visiting ONE of the world wonders you mention I could visit 3-5 stateside ones.  Heck, traveling by camper is popular here, and you can do that without visiting the same area twice or leaving the states for years.
 
2014-06-09 02:44:52 PM  

FizixJunkee: Fano: I've always thought it was unfair to blast Americans for not traveling across the Atlantic or Pacific routinely, and not needing to learn more than English! Since in reality you rarely run into foreign speakers.

Really?  Where do you live?

I'm in Atlanta, and Spanish and Korean are spoken everywhere around me.  On my floor at work---I work for a university---there are two Turks, four Chinese, one Croatian, three Russians, three French, one Dane, and maybe a few others I've forgotten (I don't interact with everyone on my floor).  While one can get by just knowing English, it's certainly not the only language spoken in the U S of A.


DC and yes, let me amend my comment to mean monolingual nonenglish speakers. It is rarely necessary to NEED to switch to that language. I also hear plenty of tourists walking around speaking lots of different languages to their friends and family. Unless you are about to make up a story about how useful it would be to speak Croatian or Danish in the US.
 
2014-06-09 03:12:53 PM  
The US is super diverse. shiat I was born in south Louisiana to a French/Sicilian mother and a Jewish/Colombian father. And that was in 1969 when things were less diverse. New Orleans is very culturally diverse as is San Francisco and new York. I guess most of you canucks have been to Wisconsin. I find most Canadians to be super white bread.

I am colombia right now enjoying the Andes and my inlaws.

400$ round trip from Orlando four hour flight

300$ for a furnished apartment for ten days

1000$ spending cash

200$ for fancy hipster hotel in Bogota for some me time

2000$ for 12 days and that included a side trip to Medellin to get liquored up.
 
2014-06-09 03:28:34 PM  

fireclown:  I can drive a car from the North of Canada to Buenos Aires and only run into Two languages.  (If I miss Brazil an that weird part of Canada).


ᐋᒃᑲ.

LineNoise:

Yea, the passport needed for the carribean\mexico\canada thing is post 9/11. The US got all tough on people coming in without passports, so those countries in turn said, "fine, if you are making our people buy passports, we are doing the same to you"

Not exactly.  The US passport is only required to re-enter the US.  The only reason Canadian border guards check your passport is so that you don't get stuck in Canada.  We didn't choose to go to this tighter security situation.

This text is now purple: Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.


You clearly haven't seen much of either country.

thefonz37: I don't think US citizens are necessarily limited by the desire to travel and see other cultures so much as they are by simple geography and economics.  I feel fortunate to have been to Italy once as well as Australia, and I'd love to see a lot of other places around the world, but mostly when it comes to vacation planning, a trip to a New Jersey beach or a Kentucky distillery is an order of magnitude less expensive than flying across an ocean.


It boggles my mind how Americans can completely dismiss Mexico, which is all attached and all to the US.

thamike:I'd say it's safe to bet, purely on statistics, that the U.S. is more ethnically and racially diverse than Canada.

And yet you'd lose that bet.  Fully 7% more of Canada's population is immigrant compared to the US.   We have the highest immigrant population of any country in the G8.  And there is no negligible difference between the portion of that that is of western origin.

Jument: Canada's population and cities are more diverse than the US, without question. However, I would agree that the US has greater regional differences from place to place than Canada. So in a way you could say that it is more diverse while being less diverse, if you know what I mean. :)


Yeah, with that statement I'm pretty sure you haven't seen much of Canada.
 
2014-06-09 03:49:36 PM  
Wait till you go to the airport and the only form of identification you have is a passport and the officer on duty tells you that is not a government issued ID, and that he can't let you board without a valid government issued ID,  Then you tell him, it is a passport issued by the US Department of State.  He responds,
" Sir you'll need to stand over there."  While he puts on his latex gloves...
 
2014-06-09 03:52:10 PM  

pjbreeze: Wait till you go to the airport and the only form of identification you have is a passport and the officer on duty tells you that is not a government issued ID, and that he can't let you board without a valid government issued ID,  Then you tell him, it is a passport issued by the US Department of State.  He responds,
" Sir you'll need to stand over there."  While he puts on his latex gloves...


I've never had that happen.  ESPECIALLY not at an airport.  Heck, I used to use my passport at bars (just to be a jerk) and never had any trouble.
 
2014-06-09 03:53:45 PM  

spawn73: Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.


So the Acadian-speakers in southern Louisiana don't count because why?
 
2014-06-09 03:54:58 PM  

fireclown: pjbreeze: Wait till you go to the airport and the only form of identification you have is a passport and the officer on duty tells you that is not a government issued ID, and that he can't let you board without a valid government issued ID,  Then you tell him, it is a passport issued by the US Department of State.  He responds,
" Sir you'll need to stand over there."  While he puts on his latex gloves...

I've never had that happen.  ESPECIALLY not at an airport.  Heck, I used to use my passport at bars (just to be a jerk) and never had any trouble.


In college, I watched students try using their passport and being laughed out of the bar. I think location has a lot to do with it.
 
2014-06-09 04:00:05 PM  

spawn73: http://www.eu-oplysningen.dk/euo_en/spsv/all/83/

There's a guide here for the Schengen area, and it specifically says that if you're from a country without a national ID card, then you need a passport, ie. Denmark.

It also explains the Scandinavian passport union, and its consequences.


I don't really know what your standard ID card is. All I can say is that not all countries have national ID cards.


Okay, thanks for that. I simply assumed that driver license confirmed national identity and was valid as a form of ID, as it holds photo, DOB, signature, and social securities detail.

Glad of the correction! :-)
 
2014-06-09 04:06:04 PM  

spawn73: I don't really know what your standard ID card is. All I can say is that not all countries have national ID cards.


It's the tax office's ID, simply stating name, DOB, Height, Signatire, SS number.

Oh, it's not compulsary by any means, but to have a card that is 99% as good as passport ID, but doesn't fark you in the ass to get replaced (400Kr, same-day), that's worth vounteering for!
 
2014-06-09 04:14:34 PM  

uttertosh: spawn73: http://www.eu-oplysningen.dk/euo_en/spsv/all/83/

There's a guide here for the Schengen area, and it specifically says that if you're from a country without a national ID card, then you need a passport, ie. Denmark.

It also explains the Scandinavian passport union, and its consequences.


I don't really know what your standard ID card is. All I can say is that not all countries have national ID cards.

Okay, thanks for that. I simply assumed that driver license confirmed national identity and was valid as a form of ID, as it holds photo, DOB, signature, and social securities detail.

Glad of the correction! :-)


I guess the problem with a drivers license is that it only conveys which country it was issued in, and that you're allowed to drive a car there. But it doesn't divulge your nationality.

In the real world it would probably work fine though, as long as you don't look like a Roma or North African.
 
2014-06-09 04:18:45 PM  

This text is now purple: spawn73: Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.

So the Acadian-speakers in southern Louisiana don't count because why?

 Well, there's a difference between going to China Town, or going to a part of a country that has a different culture and language top-down.
I'm not sure how the Acadian-speaking areas work. Whether they just constitute a minority, or a real "country within a country". I haven't been there, and aren't familiar with them.But I'd be surprised if you couldn't find the same products in the supermarket, have people understand English etc.
 
2014-06-09 04:21:17 PM  

uttertosh: spawn73: I don't really know what your standard ID card is. All I can say is that not all countries have national ID cards.

It's the tax office's ID, simply stating name, DOB, Height, Signatire, SS number.

Oh, it's not compulsary by any means, but to have a card that is 99% as good as passport ID, but doesn't fark you in the ass to get replaced (400Kr, same-day), that's worth vounteering for!


All Danes have a SS card.

But for some reason it just has your name, address and SS number. Ie., nothing to actually identify you as the actual owner of the card.

I'm sure there's good reasons for not including a picture and signature, but I can't really think of any now.
 
2014-06-09 04:26:57 PM  

Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.


Or try Bar Harbor, Maine and then New Orleans, LA. followed by a side of Taos, NM and then the Amish Country around Lancaster, PA. and finally Honolulu, HI and then Juneau, AK. There is amazing diversity here both culturally and geographically.

Nothing beats a nice Euro vacation for something uniquely different, but it's completely possible to stay in the States and have a fascinating time exploring around.
 
2014-06-09 04:38:32 PM  

Disaster Transport: Disaster Transport: fireclown: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

IIRC, the need for a passport to get to Canada is a post 911 thing. 

What the heck is an Enhanced Drivers License? Is that some kind of state department issued DL that you can get if you live in a border state so that you don't have to carry a passport around all the time?  I figure it gets to be a pain if you lived in, say Buffalo.

I'm guessing he's lives in a boarder state that offers them, like Michigan. I bought a "Passport Card", which has the size/look of a driver's license, costs much less than a passport, and can be used only for land travel between the US and Canada or Mexico (and apparently the Caribbean, so maybe that's for cruises?). I bought one when I applied for my passport because you never know when you want to go gambling in Windsor. I thought if anything, it would be a nice back-up form of identification should I lose my driver's license.

Border. Sorry need coffee...


No one should get hassled on Fark for anything they say between 7 AM and 11 AM for this very reason. Also between 2 AM and 5 AM because we are all 3 sheets to the wind.
 
2014-06-09 04:40:32 PM  

Teknowaffle: CheapEngineer:
\I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel

Travelling via air is fine and efficient. 9-11 was 13 years ago, and security is not the hassle it is made out to be at just about any airport anymore. The TSA has done a couple of stupid things, but things have gotten smooth, and efficient for the most part in the security checkpoints.

Hell, the biggest issue with security these days is the morons in the travelling public who take 15 minutes to get their shiat through the scanner, and then walk through with various metal items all over their body.


Glad to hear it's improved.

Don't make up bullshiat excuses. Just admit you are too poor or are scared to fly.

And you wasted all that logical, informative response with this pile of shiat.

Go fark Yourself.
 
2014-06-09 04:43:34 PM  

wingnut396: Tigger: Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.

No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.

I think the poster was saying that culture variation within the US is just as broad as the variation in Europe. I don't buy it.  The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.


I don't think it's nearly as broad, but there are a lot of cultural variances. Hawaii and Alaska are really different from mainstream USA (mostly because they are foreign countries that we stole).

/USA!
 
2014-06-09 04:56:19 PM  

Tigger: wingnut396: Tigger: Ant: Tigger: I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.

Different regions of the US have different cultural practices. Go to Atlanta and then to Seattle, and tell me those aren't two different cultures.

No one is disagreeing with that.

I was disagreeing with the ridiculous notion that the variance of culture within the US is the same as between the US and the rest of the world which is laughably untrue.

I think the poster was saying that culture variation within the US is just as broad as the variation in Europe. I don't buy it.  The variation between Amsterdam and Milan are far greater than Houston and NYC for instance.

But the peculiar thing to me is how often I see that stated. I've never really understood what drives that. There's usually some sort of internal psychological value to being wrong for the individual who is wrong; however, in this case I don't know what it could be.


A lot of it is Americentrism. Pig ignorant folks who refuse to see anything of any value offered by different countries and cultures. Is it a real surprise that it's a thing here? I have a friend (believe me, it's slim pickings) at work who refuses to watch any foreign movie or listen to music from anywhere except US/UK. I told him he's missing out on a lot of fascinating stuff that could really expand his knowledge base and appreciation of the rest of the world, he's like "meh". We both are big science fiction/ science nerds so we get along because of that, he is just stubborn as shiat about even making an effort to experience anything not American. It's pretty infuriating.
 
2014-06-09 05:05:23 PM  

spawn73: All Danes have a SS card.


mine isn't an SS card, just an ID card you get from the tax office... now even I'm confused. What was the original question again? ;-)
 
2014-06-09 05:14:55 PM  

uttertosh: spawn73: All Danes have a SS card.

mine isn't an SS card, just an ID card you get from the tax office... now even I'm confused. What was the original question again? ;-)


Dunno. But thats why Danes have to carry passports, and you don't.
 
2014-06-09 05:15:40 PM  

spawn73: All Danes have a SS card.



I sailed aboard the SS  Card. Horrible ship, great trip. The buffet was lousy, and the toilets backed up.

But there were no Frenchmen nor Welsh, so I call it a win.
 
2014-06-09 05:21:16 PM  

HopScotchNSoda: I sailed aboard the SS Card. Horrible ship, great trip. The buffet was lousy, and the toilets backed up.

But there were no Frenchmen nor Welsh, so I call it a win.


worst limerick evar.
 
2014-06-09 05:53:46 PM  

thamike: CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel


A high speed rail project would fix your problem.


How? The TSA would be in charge of security for it, too. Just like Amtrak and Greyhound.
 
2014-06-09 06:02:57 PM  
People are the same all over. There is probably the same % of people in America and the UK that go to exotic places on holiday like The Maldives or Borneo. Most Brits tend to go to the Spanish beach resorts, islands and Florida in my experience.

There are just as many Brits going to all-inclusive resorts and eating buffets of British food as Americans going to six flags and the redneck riviera.

The only difference is Brits get 3 times as much paid holiday. But the kids only get a month off in the summer so EVERYONE goes at the same time.

People are people, no need for anyone to get defensive or feel superior. It's your holiday, do what you like.
 
2014-06-09 06:17:12 PM  

nekom: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

They also speak the same language in all of that.  I've been to Canada and the Bahamas back when you didn't need a passport, so I've never had one though I probably will get one sooner or later.


The same language? Wha? o_O

Georgian accents =/= Boston accents =/= Midwestern accents

Also, Tennessean accents are more foreign and thick sounding than some Indian Tech Help hotlines I've been on.
 
2014-06-09 06:43:16 PM  

untaken_name: thamike: CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel


A high speed rail project would fix your problem.

How? The TSA would be in charge of security for it, too. Just like Amtrak and Greyhound.


I don't know where you live, but here in Chicago, and everywhere else where Amtrak has major stations / termini, Amtrak Police have told TSA, in no uncertain terms, to take a flying fark. TSA wanted to patrol yards and stations, but Amtrak Police have strictly and consistently forbidden them.
 
2014-06-09 07:04:41 PM  

Tigger: But if you want to believe there's as much cultural variation within the US as there is between the USA and, say, South East Asia then I can't really stop you. It's just a bit weird.


You realize that there are entire cities in the USA comprised entirely of individuals from South East Asia right?  Who cook the same food & speak the same language here as they did there?  Who live in communities comprised of other 1st & 2nd gen immigrants of the same origin?  Who practice the same religion and follow the same traditions as they did there?

There are plenty of reasons to leave the USA, "experience other cultures" is not one of them.
 
2014-06-09 07:06:57 PM  

spawn73: This text is now purple: spawn73: Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.

So the Acadian-speakers in southern Louisiana don't count because why?
 Well, there's a difference between going to China Town, or going to a part of a country that has a different culture and language top-down.
I'm not sure how the Acadian-speaking areas work. Whether they just constitute a minority, or a real "country within a country". I haven't been there, and aren't familiar with them.But I'd be surprised if you couldn't find the same products in the supermarket, have people understand English etc.


Belgium is a country of 11 million people. The US is a country of 300 million people. You are seriously deluded, friend. Here's a list of ethnic enclaves within the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_enclaves_in_North_America n _cities

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be a list for Belgium.
 
2014-06-09 07:20:23 PM  

untaken_name: spawn73: This text is now purple: spawn73: Belgium is more racially and ethnically diverse than USA. I consider Canada to be so as well by virtue of Quebec.

So the Acadian-speakers in southern Louisiana don't count because why?
 Well, there's a difference between going to China Town, or going to a part of a country that has a different culture and language top-down.
I'm not sure how the Acadian-speaking areas work. Whether they just constitute a minority, or a real "country within a country". I haven't been there, and aren't familiar with them.But I'd be surprised if you couldn't find the same products in the supermarket, have people understand English etc.

Belgium is a country of 11 million people. The US is a country of 300 million people. You are seriously deluded, friend. Here's a list of ethnic enclaves within the US: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ethnic_enclaves_in_North_America n _cities

Oddly, there doesn't seem to be a list for Belgium.


I don't know you really, but maybe you could be my friend.

Frankly, I don't think its odd that you don't have a clue. That fits well into my stereotype of Americans.

---

Ethnic enclaves in Belgium, there are none!

Please don't ever try to look things up before posting, I like you the way you are.
 
2014-06-09 07:22:57 PM  

HopScotchNSoda: untaken_name: thamike: CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel


A high speed rail project would fix your problem.

How? The TSA would be in charge of security for it, too. Just like Amtrak and Greyhound.

I don't know where you live, but here in Chicago, and everywhere else where Amtrak has major stations / termini, Amtrak Police have told TSA, in no uncertain terms, to take a flying fark. TSA wanted to patrol yards and stations, but Amtrak Police have strictly and consistently forbidden them.


http://www.dhs.gov/photo/amtrak-bag-check-tsa

http://www.dhs.gov/photo/k9-inspection-amtrak-tsa

http://www.dhs.gov/news/2010/07/01/secretary-napolitano-announces-ra il -security-enhancements-launches-expansion-see

Clearly, that doesn't apply everywhere. They are also doing patdowns, bag checks, and wand checks in Greyhound stations. I have experienced that personally. I almost got arrested for having an ecig that "doesn't look like a cigarette."
 
2014-06-09 07:45:26 PM  

untaken_name: Clearly, that doesn't apply everywhere. They are also doing patdowns, bag checks, and wand checks in Greyhound stations. I have experienced that personally. I almost got arrested for having an ecig that "doesn't look like a cigarette."



It takes time for the Amtrack PD to find and kick the TSA asshats off the property when they show up.
 
2014-06-09 07:53:40 PM  

Panatheist: vudukungfu: dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".

yeah, I used to spend a lot of money in Canada.
Now, fark them.
They allowed us to pull that post 9-11 bandwagon patriot bullcrap.
fark them


is Canada now supposed to be the U.S.'s EA (Empires Anonymous) sponsor?


America is drunk with power and needs a sponsor.
 
2014-06-09 08:34:39 PM  

untaken_name: HopScotchNSoda: untaken_name: thamike: CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel


A high speed rail project would fix your problem.

How? The TSA would be in charge of security for it, too. Just like Amtrak and Greyhound.

I don't know where you live, but here in Chicago, and everywhere else where Amtrak has major stations / termini, Amtrak Police have told TSA, in no uncertain terms, to take a flying fark. TSA wanted to patrol yards and stations, but Amtrak Police have strictly and consistently forbidden them.

http://www.dhs.gov/photo/amtrak-bag-check-tsa

http://www.dhs.gov/photo/k9-inspection-amtrak-tsa

http://www.dhs.gov/news/2010/07/01/secretary-napolitano-announces-ra il -security-enhancements-launches-expansion-see

Clearly, that doesn't apply everywhere. They are also doing patdowns, bag checks, and wand checks in Greyhound stations. I have experienced that personally. I almost got arrested for having an ecig that "doesn't look like a cigarette."



Yes, I had heard about TSA horning in on Amtrak out where Amtrak Police don't have a presence.

Major stations, though, forget it. Yards, forget it. Even non-Amtrak yards don't allow TSA, and do so (and not illegitimately) under the aegis of occupational health & safety. TSA plods are not trained and certified to keep themselves from getting seriously injured or killed in a rail yard. Meanwhile, the railroads have their own real police, who do know their way around a yard.

Take Union Station in Chicago. TSA announced their intention to patrol the station, tunnels, and yards. Amtrak refused, and made it clear that TSA employees would be arrested for trespass. Not only would they be in the way and a safety menace, but you can't swing a dead cat in Union Station without hitting an actual police officer - who does know rail safety, rail security, and law enforcement. Amtrak cops, Metra (our regional commuter rail agency) cops, BNSF Railroad cops, and railroad contract police, are all over the place and on many a train. The city police don't even bother.
 
2014-06-09 10:52:13 PM  

Rigby-Reardon: This text is now purple: Rigby-Reardon: I think some people feel it is part of national pride. Our country is bigger, we are just as diverse, our natural wonders are as good. Don't think they like to talk about Russia or Canada which are both bigger.

Canada is larger, but less diverse. Russia is bigger and arguably has comparable diversity, but no one lives where most of the scenic occurs.

The comparable nation no one really talks about is China.

You could argue that Canada is more diverse culturally with 2 national languages and a large area that speaks french almost exclusively.

No one lives where most of the scenic happens in the US either. Typically people moving in ruins the scenic.

It's all ridiculous anyhow. Get a passport and travel. In the US or outside it. Lots to see out there.


China gets a bad rep from the avg American but that country has some amazingly beautiful sceneries juse like it is in the states.
 
2014-06-10 12:38:49 AM  

dittybopper: I also forgot to point out:  Until relatively recently, a US citizen didn't need a passport to travel to Canada.  Now, you do, or an "Enhanced Driver's License".


I've been to Canada once, and to Mexico four times.  I didn't need a passport.  However, I'm sure the rules have changed since 9/11, and I haven't left the country since then.  On 9/11, my parents were in Canada, with no passport.  They have no trouble getting back into the US, but they had to drive their rental car back to Texas, because they had flown through New York and obviously, flying home again wasn't an option.

I do want to get a passport.  Not so much because I plan to travel, but once I had my wallet stolen, and it's a pain to get new ID when your ID just got stolen.  Having a passport would have made things easier.

People in Europe are used to countries smaller than our states.  They need a passport to go a couple-hundred miles from home. They just have no concept of a country where you can 8 hours and be in the same state. I live in Dallas.  It's 600 miles to El Paso, a 9 hour drive, and you're still in Texas.
 
2014-06-10 03:31:48 AM  

Tigger: EvilEgg: The neat thing about America, is that you don't need to leave the country to find the climate of your choice for vacation.

I think most people would suggest that the benefits of travel are more in the 'experiencing diversity of culture' side of things than 'change of weather'.


I'm not sure that's the case with Brits heading to sunny beaches.  They have to pay with Euro, but the locals and free enterprise seem to have created little tourist ghettos where Brits can eat fry-ups for breakfast, drink in pubs and carry on just as they would in London or Edinburgh except for the sunshine and heat.
 
2014-06-10 10:17:46 AM  

HopScotchNSoda: untaken_name: HopScotchNSoda: untaken_name: thamike: CheapEngineer: \I'm not flying *anywhere* while the TSA is f*cking up air travel


A high speed rail project would fix your problem.

How? The TSA would be in charge of security for it, too. Just like Amtrak and Greyhound.

I don't know where you live, but here in Chicago, and everywhere else where Amtrak has major stations / termini, Amtrak Police have told TSA, in no uncertain terms, to take a flying fark. TSA wanted to patrol yards and stations, but Amtrak Police have strictly and consistently forbidden them.

http://www.dhs.gov/photo/amtrak-bag-check-tsa

http://www.dhs.gov/photo/k9-inspection-amtrak-tsa

http://www.dhs.gov/news/2010/07/01/secretary-napolitano-announces-ra il -security-enhancements-launches-expansion-see

Clearly, that doesn't apply everywhere. They are also doing patdowns, bag checks, and wand checks in Greyhound stations. I have experienced that personally. I almost got arrested for having an ecig that "doesn't look like a cigarette."


Yes, I had heard about TSA horning in on Amtrak out where Amtrak Police don't have a presence.

Major stations, though, forget it. Yards, forget it. Even non-Amtrak yards don't allow TSA, and do so (and not illegitimately) under the aegis of occupational health & safety. TSA plods are not trained and certified to keep themselves from getting seriously injured or killed in a rail yard. Meanwhile, the railroads have their own real police, who do know their way around a yard.

Take Union Station in Chicago. TSA announced their intention to patrol the station, tunnels, and yards. Amtrak refused, and made it clear that TSA employees would be arrested for trespass. Not only would they be in the way and a safety menace, but you can't swing a dead cat in Union Station without hitting an actual police officer - who does know rail safety, rail security, and law enforcement. Amtrak cops, Metra (our regional commuter rail agency) cops, BNSF Railroad cops, and railroad co ...


I'm in NY and have never seen TSA loafing about a train station or bus terminal.  We've got real city police with automatic weapons and hearts of gold.
 
2014-06-10 10:21:02 AM  

HopScotchNSoda: Yes, I had heard about TSA horning in on Amtrak out where Amtrak Police don't have a presence.


The original contention was that they were not doing it at all. That is incorrect.
 
2014-06-10 10:29:04 AM  

untaken_name: HopScotchNSoda: Yes, I had heard about TSA horning in on Amtrak out where Amtrak Police don't have a presence.

The original contention was that they were not doing it at all. That is incorrect.


The original contention was that in Chicago, the TSA tried and failed to take over from the Amtrak police, from what I'm reading.  Doesn't sound like a "never ever none at all" argument to me.
 
2014-06-10 10:52:44 AM  

untaken_name: HopScotchNSoda: Yes, I had heard about TSA horning in on Amtrak out where Amtrak Police don't have a presence.

The original contention was that they were not doing it at all. That is incorrect.



My original post:
I don't know where you live, but here in Chicago, and everywhere else where Amtrak has major stations / termini, Amtrak Police have told TSA, in no uncertain terms, to take a flying fark. TSA wanted to patrol yards and stations, but Amtrak Police have strictly and consistently forbidden them.
 
2014-06-10 11:52:37 AM  
2000$ for 12 days and that included a side trip to Medellin to get liquored up.

If you're in Medellin for the liquor, you're doing it wrong.
 
2014-06-10 12:59:00 PM  

thamike: untaken_name: HopScotchNSoda: Yes, I had heard about TSA horning in on Amtrak out where Amtrak Police don't have a presence.

The original contention was that they were not doing it at all. That is incorrect.

The original contention was that in Chicago, the TSA tried and failed to take over from the Amtrak police, from what I'm reading.  Doesn't sound like a "never ever none at all" argument to me.


That was NOT the original contention.
 
2014-06-10 01:38:11 PM  

untaken_name: That was NOT the original contention.


Care to find the "original contention?"  It's right up there, with all the other letters previously recorded.
 
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