bacchus, don't listen to them. the food that you will get in the states is in no way comparable to what you will get abroad. i have worked in asia now for 7 years as an executive chef. i've spent 2 years in thailand, one in vietnam, and am now living in singapore. i can guarantee you that the food you will get abroad is far superior to what is available at home. i actually think it ignorant for the person to suggest that you stay in america to try ethnic cuisine, and that no travel is necessary. see the world while you're young and free. i have absolutely no regrets about playing the nomadic chef role. you can always return to the states if you don't like it abroad. but you'll never pick up the nuances of other cuisines without living and working with the people.