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Celebrating Freedom

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You gotta love July 4th. Unlike the December holidays, presents aren't required, the food isn't too elaborate, and the holiday marks a win by the good guys. Plus, we got to stay friends with the Brits.

It's an easy summer holiday that usually involves outdoor activities, grills and that sure crowd-pleaser, fireworks. Thinking about Independence Day in the context of travel, I'm reminded of how many people in the world aren't free to go where they want to. Or simply can't go anywhere. There aren't e-saver fares in Algeria or Cuba. Only the elite in countries such as Libya can travel abroad.

In Washington, I live two blocks from the Chinese embassy, a former hotel where staffers not only work but also live. I remember when the Chinese first moved in after the Nixon administration established diplomatic ties. Staffers weren't allowed to leave the building. Ever. It was feared that meeting Americans would corrupt them or pollute their ideology. That's the exact opposite of what travel is supposed to do--bring you into contact with new people, places, and ideas. So on this Independence Day holiday, let's raise a glass to our freedom to go to the airport and--if we're willing to put up with a mediocre meal or two--fly almost anywhere on the map.

Happy fourth from the world-wide staff of The Savvy Traveler. Let's hit the road.

Savvy Resources for Celebrating the Fourth

  • The Family Education Network's Ten Ways to Enjoy the Fourth of July

  • The Fourth of July Page

  • Happy Birthday, America

  • Yahoo's Fourth Events Regional Coverage

  • Barbecue'n on the Internet


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