Thanks to Stephanie Yoder’s post, “Is the American Dream Holding You Back?” I discovered an article which explains everything I’ve been meaning to put into words, but haven’t.
Stephanie is a young woman who travels all over the world and blogs about her travels and one question she gets asked all the time is, “Why American’s don’t travel?” Stephanie says she has a whole host of theories, but it’s easiest for her to point out that,
“Well, most of us (Americans) don’t really have time (to vacation.)”
According to a CNN article entitled: Why is America the “No-Vacation” nation?
“America is the only advanced nation in the world that doesn’t mandate employers give their workers vacation time.”
John de Graaf, the national coordinator for Take Back Your Time, a group that researches the effects of overwork said,
“There is simply no evidence that working people to death gives you a competitive advantage.”
As with many companies in the U.S,
“The running joke at Brock’s company is that a vacation just means you work from somewhere else.”
A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, shows that:
- Working more, makes Americans happier than Europeans.
But isn’t that because Americans have been taught from a young age to believe in the American Dream? Are we working to accumulate more stuff? As Stephanie Yoder says,
“It’s a trick: an endless void of things we can throw money at: there’s always a new phone, a nicer car, a bigger house to be aspiring to. The problem with the American Dream is it’s always slightly out of reach.”
- Do Americans believe more than Europeans that hard work is associated with success?
Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, the study’s author and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, states:
“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure,” he found.”
Having spent half my life in Europe and then marrying an American and raising kids in the U.S. I find this topic fascinating.
I agree that Europeans take more vacations and travel more than the majority of Americans. I also agree with Stephanie’s post, there seems to be the “herd mentality” in the U.S.
“This idea that you need to do what everyone else is doing. This extreme pressure to go to school, get a job, work really, really hard for 45 years, and then maybe when you’re retired you can do the stuff you really want to do. It’s a powerful cycle and it’s extremely hard to opt out of it. I think, more so then the lack of vacation time, that is why Americans don’t travel: so few realize that the only American Dream you should be pursuing is your own personal one.”
I also believe that the U.S. media plays the “fear factor” game with our minds, making us scared to travel, scared to try new foods, scared to let our kids play outside, scared they will get cancer if eat the wrong foods. I thought the U.S. was full of innovators and explorers, etc. What happened?
During MAY, I shall be in Copenhagen, Paris, London on vacation, while working of course (I’ve got the American work-work-work ethic going. )
Any thoughts? Please comment below.
Meanwhile, please submit your “My Gutsy Story®” which will continue in June.
Do you have a “My Gutsy Story®” you’d like to share?
NOW is the time to submit your “My Gutsy Story®.” Please see guidelines below and contact Sonia Marsh at: email@example.com for details.
Voting starts on May 2nd-May 15th for your favorite April
“My Gutsy Story®” .