Culture(s) / The different kinds of travel

A1 Breakthrough
The different kinds of travel

In your country, in your culture, do you only go on trips for the holidays? Do you also go on a honeymoon trip? Do you have to make a long journey to find adequate medical care? Do you only go on leisure trips, or do you also go on study trips like with the Erasmus exchange programme, on professional trips, on business trips? Can you leave for a humanitarian mission during your time off? In your country, in your culture, are there "gens du voyage"?

Travelling means crossing a long distance from one point to another. You can travel on horseback, on foot, by bus, by car, by train, by boat, by plane. People travel by day, or by night, with or without money. You can travel alone, with your family, in a group. The destination is close or far away: in the neighbouring province or on the other side of the world. People travel for fun, to learn, to study, to look for wisdom. Economic and professional reasons are also opportunities to travel: negotiating professional business, prospecting for trade, being transferred by your employer, getting a job in a more prosperous region. Sometimes you have to make a long trip to find a job, and sometimes you do for medical, political, or military reasons.
In France, in Belgium, in Switzerland, the development of high-speed trains as well as of low-cost flights has changed workers' habits. In the same day, sales representatives can make the round trip between their workplace and the place where they're prospecting for new clients 600 kilometres away. Similarly, people in the middle and upper classes can go on an extended weekend more than 800 kilometres from home to visit a cultural city, or to rest while admiring a landscape that has a holiday atmosphere to it.
A honeymoon is the traditional trip taken by newly-weds just after their wedding: 92% of newly-weds go on honeymoon (BVA survey for the Paris Wedding Show, 2009).

In France, you sometimes have to travel long distances to be treated in a hospital, in regions with low population density. It is possible to travel 150 to 200 kilometres in order to be cured of a serious illness.
Travelling can answer professional obligations: economic globalisation has strongly increased the amount of business trips. In France, teachers are recruited after passing a competitive exam, and are posted to a school according to how good their results are. As long as they are not tenured, they can be transferred anywhere in France.
Lastly, people in small rural or urban economic areas sometimes need to move closer to larger cities in order to find a job.
The "gens du voyage" is a set expression to name people who are economically active but do not have a fixed place of residence.

Practical exercises

Culture: The different kind of travels

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