Besides a handful of national holidays, the typical American worker bee gets two or three precious weeks off out of a whole year to relax and see the world — much less than what people in many other countries receive.And even that amount of vacation often comes with strings attached.Some U.S. companies don’t like employees taking off more than one week at a time. Others expect them to be on call or check their e-mail even when they’re lounging on the beach or taking a hike in the mountains.
Americans are just scared of the world. I mean really scared. Maybe even petrified. In this post-9/11 world, Americans have been taught the world is a big scary place. There are terrorists outside every hotel waiting to kidnap you. People don’t like you because you are American. The world is violent. It’s poor. It’s dirty. It’s savage. Canada and Europe are O.K. but, if you go there, they will still be rude to you because you are American. No one likes us.Even before 9/11, the media created an environment of fear. If it bleeds, it leads right? Prior to 9/11, the media played up violence at home and abroad. Pictures of riots in the foreign streets, threats against Americans, and general violence were all played up to portray a violent and unsafe world. After, 9/11, it only got worse. Politicians now tell us “they hate you” as former NYC mayor, Rudy Guiliani, did during his campaign. It’s US vs. THEM!!!
Most family vacations in America are to other parts of America. Why? Because the U.S.A. takes up a whole continent and we have all the world’s environments in our states. Need beaches? Head to Florida. The tropics? Hawaii. Desert? Arizona. The cold Tundra? Alaska. Temperate forests? Washington. This attitude is best summed up by a response I got from a friend in Iowa: “Why would you want to go to Thailand? It’s far and scary. If you want beaches, just go to Florida.” Americans simply don’t see the need to go anywhere else when they can do it all in their country …
Working more makes Americans happier than Europeans, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Happiness Studies. That may be because Americans believe more than Europeans do that hard work is associated with success, wrote Adam Okulicz-Kozaryn, the study’s author and an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.“Americans maximize their… [happiness] by working, and Europeans maximize their [happiness] through leisure,” he found.