One reason Americans' were so "isolationist" before WW II, is it still took quite a while to get anywhere. Today, one can travel from the USA to Manila in a a day. In 1938 it took quite longer. Here is the travel itinerary of a 1938 VIP named Dwight Eisenhower as he traveled from Manila to San Francisco:
June 26th 1938 - Left Manila for Hong Kong
June 28th - Arrived Hong Kong
June 30th - Left for Yokohama Japan
July 5th - Arrived and Left Yokohama Japan for Honolulu
July 13th Arrived and Left Honolulu
July 18th - Arrived San Francisco.
22 Days to get from Manila to SF! And this was by a series of "fast" passenger ships.
However, Ike could have taken the Pan Am "China Clipper". That only took 5 days. But the "Clipper" only flew twice a week with 38 passengers and was rather expensive - $799** one-way (equivalent to the price of a top-line new car).
** Or to use another comparison. The minimum wage in 1938 was 25 cents/hour and a US Sargent made $600/year.