The nature of travel has changed in many ways since the days of our grandparents. It is both longer and faster. Global commutes that encourage dual citizenships are becoming more frequent. International vacations aren’t just the province of the wealthy. The speed of air travel, its increased scheduling, and its declining expense permit shorter trips. Working travelers can afford limited tours of Europe or select stops in Asia, Africa, or South America. Global travel has fostered international commerce, a global economy, and a culturally diverse America.
Closer to home, cross-country travel can be accomplished in hours or days via plane, train, or bus. Highways offer us express lanes and wireless toll way passes to speed even high-speed auto travel. Paradoxically, concerns with global warming have prompted bicycle lanes and bicycle commuters. Telecommuting has added virtual travel to our repertoire. Still, the emerging practicality of electric cars will likely minimize air pollution by local drivers. Computer-aided traffic management has the potential to greatly reduce traffic congestion.
Our efforts to buy locally grown foods and American-made goods might soon be environmentally unnecessary. Our pride in our freedom of movement will likely easily overwhelm our economic insecurity due to the decreased cost of fuel. After electric charging stations become widespread, the cost of fueling a car will be neither expensive nor capricious. Electric buses would stem and reverse the increasing cost of tickets for local and national travel. Frequent visits to relatives and friends would be practical. Visits to our South American and Canadian neighbors would be possible.
Anxieties about such travel would be diminished through the review of the virtual vistas on the web. More travel would prompt demand for more efficient border crossings. Blooming cultural understanding due to frequent cross border interactions would prompt the easing of emigration laws. Cultural diversity would flourish; the domination of American popular culture would be replaced by an appreciation for indigenous cultures. Traditional oral arts and native languages would survive. Even local travel would become more than just moving from A to B.
© Laura Rizzardini, Inc., 2013