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A weblog by Laura Moncur



Filed under: Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 8:49 am

States I've Visited


I am struggling to work out how to phrase my comments without causing offence (non US spelling should be a giveaway!), but I’ll preface my note with a remark that I stumbled upon your weblog after using your collective Quotations.com page…this is very good work and will be a useful, entertaining and informative resource for those occasoins when I’m looking for a catchy tag-line on slide one of a presentation.

The item on your web log that caught my attention, even though it should not have, was your map of the states that you have visited…and its allusion to your having never actually left America: it begs the question: why are Americans such poor travellers (6 out of 7 don’t even have a passport), so apparently reluctant to acquire a bit worldly wisdom that goes with exploration? Setting aside the fact that I’ve visited aobut 50 coutries in my life and lived in two, I think I’ve even seen more of the US than you (although I’ve never been to Utah!)!

I have often heard americans say that they don’t leave the “States” because everything they need is there, but that assertion fundamentally misses the point of travel: to see, to learn and to understand that whereas the rest of the world might be different that difference is worth celebrating.

Anyway, rant over, enjoyed reading but a kneejerk response made me write.


Dear Rory,

That map was a United States Map. There is another one for the world, but when I filled out the countries that I had visited, it was woefully gray.

The whole point of my entry was the fact that I am so untravelled, yet I still go to Las Vegas over and over. I was actually making fun of my lack of travel within my own country, much less the entire world.

Thank you for responding. Considering that Emily Dickinson spent most of her life in three rooms, I don’t believe being well-traveled is a prerequisite for a life well-lived. I’ve seen many people who believe they are well-traveled when all they did was step off the boat into various cities along the cruise.

Foreign travel is a difficult conundrum for me because the cost is so exorbitant and I believe that I must spend months in a foreign land to enjoy the fullness of it. Additionally, I fear travel outside my country because I am so ashamed of what my government is doing to other parts of the world. It’s so much easier to jump in the VW Beetle and drive away.

I believe the Internet has done wonders for us hermits. It allows me to explore other lands, concepts and even converse with strangers across the ocean. I realize it is a two-dimensional exploration, but it is better than three rooms. If only Emily could have had a glowing computer screen to keep her company.

Thanks again for responding, Laura Moncur


1 Comment »

  1. Friends, Roy and Laura,

    I just wish to say that I have traveled over seas and would do so more if may financial circumstances would allow me too. Also, I would like to comment on the perception that half of us in America have of ourselves. That the United States is this great evil (not saying this is what Laura ment.) and that we who live here should feel ashamed of our country. I do understand, I think, why those who hold this view feel this way. Yet, I feel there are also so many good things that we not only stand for, but do for others around the World. I believe these views on both sides of the issue root out of a postmodernist view of the world. Which one is held is how one sees the world. There are good opinions on both sides and bad ones as well. I just hope at the end of the day we can and all respect each other, and weather we have a Hobbesian world view or a Kantian one, I pray that we somehow can get it right and understand how to proceed in the betterment of the whole world community. Life is not about being rich or being right, but its about being good. And that, alas, is the rub isn’t it. Ones good, is another ones evil. How do we proceed from here?

    Thanks for the opportunity, Clifford

    Comment by clifford — 1/24/2005 @ 10:47 am

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