International travel is enormous and far more people have been traveling internationally than I ever realized.
International Travel Scope
I missed the growth of international travel. International travel today is not just huge, but much larger than I ever knew.
- 60% of American’s have traveled internationally (includes Canada and Mexico).
- Over 50% have a current passport (the 60% figure above includes people who traveled earlier in life and may have let their passport expire)
- 42% of Americans traveled to at least one international destination in 2018 (includes Canada and Mexico but excludes day trips across the border). 3x more Americans visit Mexico than Canada, which is a surprise.
- 50% of Americans have traveled to at least one of their ancestral countries.
- 1 in 4 U.S. families with children will travel internationally each year (as of 2019).
- In 2018, 1.4 billion people in the world traveled to at least one other country that was not their own country.
- Over 50% of Gonzaga University students will study abroad, and more will do summer programs or summer travel abroad.
- Willow Glen Middle School offers a “travel study” program in Spain and France – for middle school students!
That is a small example of the scope of today’s international travel.
For most, this observation is silly since everyone has already been to two dozen countries! Rather a “Duh” moment, right?
 Factors that likely influenced my naivety included six untreated traumatic brain injuries, including one 5″ long skull fracture, 4 knock out blows involving incidents with other broken bones and/or broken bike helmets, and one non-knock out blow. No health care provider mentioned “TBI” to me and I suffered a variety of ailments for decades due to having had no treatment. With the skull fracture, the doctor made an appointment for me to be x-rayed at an outpatient radiology clinic FIVE DAYS later. I then spent weeks at home vomiting, not recognizing people and not being able to talk. That’s U.S. health care for you!