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Bored Americans Abroad

After World War I had ravaged the continent for several years, the summer of 1921 finally brought American tourists back to Europe.

While the war had ended in November 1919, summer 1920 tourism had still not quite recovered to the pre-war level, as this September 1921 New York Times Magazine article described.

Various reasons besides the high cost of transportation have kept him [a typical American tourist] mostly on his own side of the ocean since the end of the war. He was weary of Europe; there was a blight on its romance and a blur of its picturesqueness. He had discovered the unparalleled holiday charms of his own continent. He did not hanker for the dangers and discomforts that might beset him on the worn and shaken highways of unsettled lands.

But now he is back.

And how exactly did the post-war travel experience compare to pre-war?

The war has not really changed the quality or variety of Europe’s attractions for the tourist… but we seem just now rather difficult because Europeans have suffered hardships on so universal and overwhelming a scale that the little discomforts that annoy us are the happy accompaniments of normal times to them. When one gets out of the American track one sees at once how much less exigent are other travelers.

Without this resumption of American travel to Europe, the plots of The Da Vinci Code or Spider-Man: Far From Home could have never taken place.

 

Bored Americans Abroad (PDF)

Published: Sunday, September 11, 1921

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Written by Jesse

September 9th, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Travel

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