American -vs- European travelers

by Seven 41 Replies latest jw friends

  • Seven


    I've noticed on more than one occasion comments such as this one made in mattnoel's post this morning within the US/Patriotism thread: Its also very much the world of america, people dont go outside except to canada and mexico. Why is that? Could it be that we are the only nation out of the long list of major western countries not to have legally mandated vacation days? I read an article in TIME (I don't recall the issue) where many countries have laws requiring it's workforce to receive a minimum number of vacation days-paid even. Wow!! Then this must mean that citizens of the US had at one time grown up with dreams of traveling beyond their borders to see the wonders of far-off lands and experience other cultures.

    I am very fortunate being a business owner to have the freedom to travel where and when I choose and have done so. The vast majority of my countrymen do not have this luxury. Sure they can take the time off without pay and no guarantee that their jobs will be there when they return. How many average working people can get time off in the summer months while their children are out of school and spouse or significant other the same days off? I hadn't given it much thought until recently. Congress should be petitioned to amend the fair labor standards law.

    No wonder Europeans and others think we're a bunch of Homer Simpsons with the only ambition being to attend the county fair.

    Please take some time to read the embedded artice re:Legally Mandated Paid Leave In The United States and Europe. A very interesting read.

    Over the last thirty years, vacation days have increased and workweeks have gotten shorter throughout the industrialized world, except in the United States. As a result American workers now work more hours per year than any other workers in the industrialized world.[3]

    Across Europe, there is a serious commitment to ensuring that workers have a significant amount of paid time off. A statute of the European Union actually requires that all workers have at least four weeks of paid leave per year.[4] Most E.U. countries have even higher levels of mandatory paid leave (see table

    Sorry about the error. The embedded page shows up if you scroll down.

  • Realist


    your first link doesn't work.

    it is very true that US workers have less rights than workers in many european countries. the problem is that if you mention this to some here the response is not: "yeah i know its a shame the laws should be changed"....but rather an accusation that europe is socialistic and that americans faught long enough to keep the US capitalistic.

    the US mass media tells the people constantly that the US is the best place to live ...the result is that many people don't realize whats wrong in their country.

  • Englishman


    I didn't realise that paid leave was not so common in the US.

    UK employees are legally entitled to take during the course of a year:

    8 Days of public holidays, such as Bank Holidays.

    6 Days religious festivals such as Easter and Christmas.

    20 Additional days per year. This is based on every employer paying an employee one and half days holiday for every month worked. If the employee leaves the company before taking his holiday entitlement, he gets the extra money instead.


  • expatbrit

    Wow..every so often I'm trolling along happily and then wham! I get hit between the eyes with a basic piece of knowledge I should have known but didn't.

    Like for instance the above. US workers don't have a legally mandated minimum vacation per year? Holy smokes!!!!

    I remember emigrating to Canada from the UK, and bemoaning the fact that I only got 2 weeks paid vacation. In the UK I started on 4 weeks straight from school, and built it up to 5 weeks over the next 5 years. Not to have any paid vacation would be intolerable!

    I begin to understand the comments of a few American acquaintances that "America never really got rid of slavery, they just renamed it "employment"."

    You guys have my sympathy (Thanks Seven for posting this).


  • Mulan

    I think the reason many of us don't travel outside of North America, is because it is very far to go to Europe or Asia, and very expensive. We saved for two years for our last trip to England in '96. We do go to Hawaii, but it isn't as expensive as you might think.

    We could go to England in February quite inexpensively, but that isn't the best time is it???

  • VeniceIT

    Good point Mulan. US is a HUGE country and very diverse. In Europe the countries are small and very close together and you can drive though several in a day. Some states here are from 8-10 hours just to drive straight through. The US has 50 large states and each region has a very distinct culture, and even accent. I've lived in Alaska and the northwest, they were both very different not only in climate of the weather but of the residents as well. I now live in FL and let me tell you it's a whole nother world down here, south FL is more like a branch off NY city. The US has an amazing cultural diversity that is esp obvious in the larger cities.

    I have also had the privilege of traveling to Europe as well as NZ and AU and I loved it, but I think you will see that America is like several small countries melted into one. I have been to nearly half the states in this country and still have much traveling to do. I don't think you can really compare the two and many people do not have the funds nor the time, or quite frankly the interest to do to some the hostilities about Americans. I mean we can go from the arctic to the tropics in the same day, in the same country, and if you live in the Arctic that's a bonus


  • xenawarrior

    Yes- it is quite expensive and the time is a factor too. I have 5 weeks of vacation a year but I have worked for the same company for 17 years - it isn't the norm.

    Another thing is what Venice was talking about too. We have sooooo much here to see that someone could live their whole life and never see all of the awesome places in our own country; let alone those of other countries.

    We have the Grand Canyon, the Colorado Rockies, New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C. the California coastline, New England, The Florida Keys, Las Vegas. There is something for everyone here to see no matter what your interests are.

    An individual could travel exclusively in the U.S. in a lifetime and learn about their own country and while they are at it learn about so many other countries and cultures through that since everyone here originated from somewhere else anyway.

    I have places outside of our country that I will see before I die. One of them is Ireland since I still have relatives living there. The last time folks from my family traveled there it was a very expensive trip for them. My aunt & uncle took their three kids and my grandmother over there. They were going to see my grandmother's brothers and sisters and all of the extended family there. What my uncle told me is that it is so expensive to drive in Ireland for the people living there that many folks simply don't own a car. My family over there does own vehicles however, from what I understand, you can't simply allow someone to "borrow" your car there while they are visiting like we can here. They rented a van while they were there and he told me that alone cost them more than it did for all 6 of their round-trip air fares combined. Yikes!!

    I have traveled through a great deal of this country and I still have alot to see right here.


  • Princess

    We are self employed so no paid vacations here!

    I used to work for a mortgage company that gave me one week paid after one year and two weeks after two years. It didn't go up yearly, just stayed at two weeks. We got the major holidays off, Christmas, New Years, July Fourth, Thanksgiving, but some we had to work. Pretty common scenario in the states I think.

  • VeniceIT

    YAAA and we don't have to worry about passports, currency changes or languages......and we don't have to worry about a bunch a people driving on the wrong side of the road.

    That all said I LOVE Europe


  • CaptainSchmideo

    When I was visiting family in SW Colorado, I encountered some German backpackers. I asked them how they were enjoying their stay. They told me that they really enjoyed the mountains here, they were better than the ones back home! That bit of information knocked me over, having heard of the magnificence of the Alps and other European ranges,,,

    Actually, there are usually many interesting sites within an hour or two drive from one's own home in the US. (Except maybe Kansas and Nebraska. Kinda flat and featureless. Apologies to any Jayhawks and Cornhuskers out there!)

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