I'm "poor". I use quotation marks because I do technically have a roof over my head (although I'm not living here officially, and the person who does is paying rent every month, so they don't own it either), and I still can technically get some kind of cheap, mass-produced food into my body to survive. However, I live in what I would call relative misery, and it's been like this all my life. The only way I could be considered non-poor is if you compare me to people from "poor countries", which is a huge part of this world, but that doesn't help me one bit to know. It just makes me feel even worse.

Yes, I have countless times in the past tried to "get a job", worked on countless projects of my own, spent nearly every waking moment of my adult life trying to come up with a moral, legal way to make money. It doesn't help. It doesn't work out. But this is not about me; I'm trying to paint a background to my question.

For several reasons, only one of them being that I just couldn't afford it, I have basically never been outside my country, nor even outside my "area". In many ways, this happens to align with my actual desires, but there's still something sad about it. Living (as a native) in a "Western", "industrialized" country, I'm definitely in some kind of minority in this regard. I have never heard of anyone who hasn't had at least a dozen trips to some random exotic location such as Thailand or the Spanish islands. Most appear to have also visited the US, England, France and other "standard" locations, as if it's some kind of "unwritten law".

I would like to know how common this is. Am I in a 10%, 1%, 0.1% or even 0.01% group? Even smaller? Sometimes, it feels like I'm the only person except for people with some kind of serious physical illness or other "extreme situation" who have never had the ability, nor even the desire, to go to these places.

Don't get me wrong. The idea of instantly being teleported right now to a beautiful, exotic beach, walking in the clear water and the shining, fine sand as the Asian goddesses giggle and ask me to put sunblock on their backs, does sound very tempting. I'm not gonna lie. However, since in order for this to happen, I have to first amass the money required both for the actual trip, and for spending on hotels/food/entertainment, and then I have to go get a government passport, and then I have to book the flight, and then have to inconveniently go to the airport, deal with all the harassments there (face photo scans and whatnot), and then wait for the plane, sit in the plane with tons of people who make noises and livestream me with their phones, pray that it doesn't crash and finally repeat the ordeal at the location's airport, as well as the reverse when going back again.

And all that for the extremely unlikely fantasy of getting some kind of "love adventure" which is far more likely to result in me getting scammed/robbed in some way, or, one of my biggest fears, spending 25 years in Thai prison for failing to adhere to some bizarre law which I didn't even know about. That kind of thing does happen.

Basically, it's a nightmare of inconvenience for very little reward. But even if I wanted to, I have looked up the prices many times and it's not cheap! Especially not if you select the only sensible option of going straight to the location without any "land-in-betweens", which makes me skin crawl just thinking about it.

I'm sure that there is "some seldom-talked-about" group of citizens who are in my situation, but how would I obtain this data in a clear and reliable manner?

And if such stats can be obtained, will they say anything about why they are so "stationary"? Is it because they just can't afford to go anywhere, or because they really love the place where they were born and raised? I would be very interested in being able to see how many of those who are "stuck" in one place actually are there by choice and how many would leave the instant they were given the ability.

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    "I have never heard of anyone who hasn't had at least a dozen trips to some random exotic location such as Thailand or the Spanish islands." I don't know where specifically you are, but I suspect this says more about the people you hear about, and the fact that people boast (in person and particularly on social media) about their travels while they don't discuss not going anywhere, than anything else. If the people around you do travel repeatedly to these places, you'll hear about them. Dec 26 '19 at 17:12
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    As a sidenote, I've never once encountered someone trying to livestream me with their phone on an airplane, and if they did, it would be an exceedingly boring livestream. Dec 26 '19 at 17:15
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    I only (personally) know one couple that does claim over 12 overseas trips, and I live in a well-off (not wealthy) part of the USA. I know many people who have taken over 12 overseas trips because of work, but that was not your question. Side note: your English is fluent. You could probably get a job as an English teacher in China or Japan, and actually get paid to live overseas for a while.
    – CarlF
    Dec 26 '19 at 17:28
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    as the Asian goddesses giggle What? Dec 26 '19 at 18:01
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    The OP's lengthy discourse on his own background is essentially irrelevant to his question. The question itself is also poorly defined. There are parts of Europe where leaving the country is literally a matter of crossing the street, while parts of the US require a significant journey to reach even the state boundary.
    – user105640
    Dec 26 '19 at 18:12

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lealane/2019/05/02/percentage-of-americans-who-never-traveled-beyond-the-state-where-they-were-born-a-surprise/ mentions a survey based on 2000 American citizens. Main findings:

  • Eleven percent of survey respondents have never traveled outside of the state where they were born.
  • Over half of those surveyed (54 percent) say they’ve visited 10 states or fewer.
  • As many as 13 percent say they have never flown in an airplane.
  • Forty percent of those questioned said they’ve never left the country.
  • Over half of respondents have never owned a passport. (For years U.S. citizens did not need one to travel to Mexico, Canada and on many cruises, which may clarify the previous stat.)

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