For some of us, travelling overseas might be a top priority – but many Australians do not share the same sentiment.
Last year, the number of Australians making international trips reached 11.1 million, increasing from 8 million in 2014. However, many of us are happy staying put.
Some surveys have estimated that 40 per cent of us have never travelled outside of Australia. This is supported by the 2017-18 figures from the government, which revealed that only 57 per cent of Aussies held a passport.
A few factors are responsible for the lack of interest in exploring foreign lands. One of them is the heavy expenses that come with travelling. A holiday can cost a fortune, but Australia’s remote location makes going abroad even less affordable and practical with expensive tickets and long flights.
“Some people just don't have the money,” psychologist Meredith Fuller told the ABC. “We make an assumption it's so easy to travel but depending on your financial situation it's a big expense.”
Others simply do not find any appeal in overseas trips. “I don't see the point,” 23-year-old Brisbane man Joseph Jurek told the ABC. “Most of my friends have been somewhere, but after listening to the stories, it just all sounds the same.”
37-year-old chef Sean Harris also had no interest in adventures abroad. “Everyone always carries on about how beautiful places overseas are and how cheap things are,” he told VICE. “How about you try going to the Great Barrier Reef? Go to Queensland, go to Darwin, go to Tasmania. There's so much to see here. “It's a great country and anyone born here should feel lucky.”
Fear for the unknown is also a common concern. “If someone said to me let's go to China, let's go to Europe, let's go to Mexico, I'd just be like, 'Uh, no thanks',” said 49-year-old Alison Whittaker. “I think it's the fear—terrorism, different laws, stuff the media's probably put in my head. The idea that it's too easy to get in trouble. And foreign people, I probably don't feel comfortable with them.”
Do you agree with those who prefer to stay within Australia?
This article originally appeared on Over60.