Well, technically it was yesterday, but happy first day of summer! To mark the Summer Solstice and all the glorious things summer brings—weekend trips to the beach, the happy sound of crickets chirping, lazy picnics with watermelon and red ants—we bring you our favorite vacation-related fact of the season:
Half of all U.S. motels are owned by Indian Americans. What’s more, the vast majority of them have immigrated from the same region in India, and even share the same surname Patel (though that doesn’t mean they are related).
In his book Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream, Oberlin College sociologist and Smithsonian Institute curator Pawan Dhingra takes a closer look at this phenomenon, which has easily—though perhaps mistakenly—been cited as a model example of the American Dream. Check out this Wall Street Journal interview with Professor Dhingra on the subject. Voice of America also wrote a news story on Dhingra’s work, as did Colorlines, Indiawest, and IndUS Business Journal.
And other summer- and vacation- related facts you weren't aware you wanted to know :
Take it easy: Kicking back with a beer is a simple pleasure in life that also makes you more all the more tantalizing and delicious smelling to mosquitoes.
On the origins of summer vacation: Summer vacation wasn’t universal in American schools until 1840, when educational reformer Horace Mann cited then-current medical theory that “overstimulating young minds would lead to nervous disorders or insanity.” A break during the hottest months also was thought to reduce the spread of disease.
Travel stats: New Jersey has the highest percentage of residents with passports (68.36%), and Mississippi has the lowest (19.86%).
Hold on to your seats! It was a threat for a while, but it seems to be ok now: British budget airliner Ryanair’s infamous attempt to roll out planes with $10 standing room “seats” seems to have been foiled by safety regulators.