Travel and the American Dream
For decades, many people came to America looking for the American Dream or “the good life.” What is the American Dream? For many it’s getting a great education, great paying professional job – perhaps even becoming a successful entrepreneur, getting married, having kids and owning a big house in the suburbs.
But really, the American Dream is much bigger than that – it’s about the freedom to choose how you live.
With the accessibility and attractiveness of the global world made possible by affordable travel, proliferation of the Internet, emerging desirability of developing countries, and shifting societal values, the American Dream is being redefined. After all, the recession has reminded us all that what you own – homes, stocks, businesses – all can be taken away very quickly. The American Dream based on possessions has been shaken. Many have come to embrace that life is about experiences and what you do with them enriches you in ways possessions can not.
As air travel becomes more affordable and staying connected with home becomes simpler, people are traveling to more distant and exotic locations. International travel has opened people’s eyes to exciting possibilities. People who once would only drive for a vacation or stay within their borders, they will now go to Thailand or Rome without much hesitation. Travel shows people different ways of living and thinking. Travelers learn that people are comfortable and happy in other countries as well and that they can learn something from other cultures. The more one is exposed to other cultures, the more those cultures influence one’s way of life, perspective, and outlook. We see this as people are enjoying ethnic cuisine and adopting living practices from countries that they have visited. What was once considered foreign and unusual is now normal and desirable.
What the American Dream is and always has been is the freedom to choose.
Are you choosing to live differently and still feel you are living the American Dream?