An Introduction to (and the Importance of) International Travel

Money and Miles are precious things.  We shouldn’t waste either–and so this blog was born.  We’ve spent the better part of the last few weeks introducing ideas, terms, and ways in which to think (And rethink) our travel patterns.  In the next few days I’ll get into tips and tricks for international travel. But first I want to take a moment and speak about the importance of international travel.

Part of the plan for the blog is to have a lot of information separated by categories.  One of those categorical separations is by type of traveler. Today’s post is about moving from #101 to #201 level travel.

A Word about International Travel:

International travel is an amazing thing. You get onto an airplane in your home city, and in under a day you step out into a new city in a new country.  You take off, fly 7 miles above the ground, and shoot across the world at more than 500 MPH.  All the while you have a television with movies, food and drink of your choice, and in some cases a very comfortable bed.  In the grand scheme of it all we’ve advanced so very far that there are no walls, no obstacles to seeing the world. (Credit to Louis C.K.)

I’ve often compared leaving your home and traveling to another part of the globe as mind changing. The places you visit have history that predates almost anything built in the United States.  Brands are no longer familiar and ideas are different.  Something as simple as a traffic light, a freeway, or even electricity becomes a luxury, or a rarity in some places.  And yet you see people happy–maybe even happier than you and I are. You learn what is important in life–and how blessed we all are for the lives we have.  You return home happy to be back on U.S. Soil, but determined to not change back to the old you. At least that’s how travel has changed me.

I’m quite happy to see the U.S., but I know there’s so much more out there.  I am often sad that there are no Americans, or very few, when I leave the country.  You may not know this, but we’re called the Land of the Free and Paranoid (LOTFAP) by others.  It is sad to say it…but they’re right about us. Maybe  you’ve experienced it–you tell someone you’re planning a trip somewhere, and their first question is: “Is it safe there?”

Is anything safe?

  • Are the foods we eat and drink safe? Probably.
  • Are our valuables safe in our homes? Maybe.
  • Is driving to work safe? Definitely not.

There’s a reason people here ask that question. Whenever anything, anywhere on the globe happens and an American is injured we see it on every news channel.  We all heard about the American Tourist who was killed in Thailand this past summer.  Today another horrible event in Kenya is playing out for the world to see.  I’m not saying these weren’t tragedies.  They were.  Just as the Italian woman who was killed in Los Angeles, on her honeymoon was.  Tragedy happens all around the world.  Maybe we’re nieve enough to think it doesn’t happen here.  Or we block it out and think it happens less here than anywhere else.

I’m not advocating being ignorant to the dangers in foreign countries: in fact I’m arguing the opposite.  By knowing that danger exists anywhere you can be wise about your decisions wherever you go.  That won’t eliminate all possible danger, but it will make you feel confident when you travel.  Perhaps a post on safety when traveling is in order?

A Generation Lost

Talk to someone over 50 and you’ll hear how they flew to Bali, or the Bahamas, saw Italy, or went on a Safari.  Talk to someone under 30, and you’ll hear how they don’t own a passport, and have no plans to travel outside the states. I don’t know when it happened, but we lost a whole generation of travelers.  

So in a small way, Milenomics will attempt to break down that final wall, and make international travel appealing to those of you who may be afraid.  Do bad things happen overseas? Yes.  Do Bad things happen on your block? One only need pull up a crime mapping site to see that yes, they do.

I’ve mentioned it before, Milenomics means retraining your brain. International travel is no exception to this.  This week a series of posts will be about international Travel.  If you’ve never thought of traveling overseas I do hope you’ll join us, the world is a wonderful place.



About the author

- Written by Sam Simon. All ideas are my own, but I encourage you to see my point of view and I promise I'll try to do the same. Connect with me on Twitter @Milenomics.


  1. Excellent post. I am constantly baffled by the fact that none of my friends have passports and they seem just as amazed by the fact that I have been to every continent except Antarctica. I took my son on his first intercontinental trip when he was only 2! My mother always believed that we needed to be citizens of the world, and I am passing on her values to my own child.

  2. The sad part is that only 30% of Americans have a passport. Nearly 200 million Americans do not have one – imagine what that could mean for the travel industry if only a small fraction of those without a passport applied for one and used it. If I were an airline I would offer some kind of incentive or applying for a passport – maybe a refund or partial reimbursement on passport fees or something similar.

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