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Are we all ultimately going West?

Travel Forums General Talk Are we all ultimately going West?

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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru, 5336 posts) 5 Sep '08 14:56

When I was travelling and talking to people from all over the world. something that struck me was people's urge to go west on their travels. Once I took note of it, I started to really ask everyone I met which direction they were travelling in, and the vast majority were moving in an east->west direction.

Being a literature graduate, I then started to think about all the writing that has been influenced by movements to the west. So much American literature seems to look to the west as an escape, a place of freedom. The Pioneers moved to the west.
Irish literature is the same. For for us islanders the West of Ireland has always exerted a certain magnetism. Not only that, we moved west to America during the famine and in later years to Argentina.
Western Australia, like the West of Ireland, seems to mean something similar to the Australians. They view it as an Other Place. The list goes on, you can draw a million examples of this in literature, music, even art? I dont know.

Yet, when you think about Western Civilisation and Eastern Civilisation, the latter always seems to me to be a place where I could find the answers I am looking for. (maybe I just need to keep going west until I end up in the East )
But I've kind of developed a fascination with this tendency in the human being to want to move westward.

Has anyone else any interesting thoughts on this?

2. Posted by TLWH (Travel Guru, 516 posts) 5 Sep '08 20:36

That's a really nice post!

I went West to East for no other reason than just to do it differently based on your observations

I bet someone with a PhD in human geo cranial positions can tell us that we all look in a certain directions for a very good reason.

I think with my generation it can stem a little from the west is new. The east is old. We want new. So we go West.

When it comes to time to reflect, we go back to where we came from, which would be the east.

Now for those that say life began in africa, okay fine, that's south. But, in terms of modernish civilization be it greek, or indo Asian we look at the East as a place where there was a lot of old civilization stuff going on. Whereas in Africa... well... a lot of it has been swallowed up by desert, jungle, e.t.c., And it's harder to get to

Well, that's my take on it anyways. These days I am looking upwards. The next direction for something new!

3. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru, 1113 posts) 5 Sep '08 21:25

Madonna went east with her ray of light album and won 6 Grammys and a UK no.1 hit with FroZEN. She later became a Geisha... That debuncted the Theory of Cultural Imperialism.

The go west thing is a bit too 80's... Cyndi Lauper, has a song called "HEADING WEST"
And the Pet Shop Boys have "GO WEST"

People from the east go West for economic reasons...
Western people go east to search for the spiritual stuff...

But personally, I am going West or die trying!

4. Posted by tway (Travel Guru, 7274 posts) 6 Sep '08 07:13

Except for at trip to New Zealand, I've always gone East. Europe is to the East, and for our upcoming trip, South Africa is East too. Mind, I guess it's just a logical extension of living in the west. If you're going to go just about anywhere, it's going to have to be towards the other compass point.

5. Posted by thejohn (Full Member, 13 posts) 6 Sep '08 10:29

I like this post.

I've lost track of whether I am heading east or west. After a while you realise you are just going around in circles.

6. Posted by nics26 (Budding Member, 55 posts) 6 Sep '08 11:19

This IS an interesting post ... I am heading East but will eventually end up in the West (usa)!!! Confussing but interesting eh?

7. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru, 1113 posts) 6 Sep '08 11:26

Now that I am thinking... I did Indo China, from East to West, like a full circle.

and I am heading south and the eastern direction. I guess we have successfully misunderstood the the theme of the thread.

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator, 5555 posts) 6 Sep '08 12:24

As a European, I travel east as well as west, as it is about in the middle. Americas to the west, Asia and Oz to the east. But Africa to the south
I haven't thought about it to be honest, but the only reason I can think of to prefer travelling west, is that I usually don't suffer from a severe jetlag when travelling westwards

9. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member, 1342 posts) 6 Sep '08 12:31

Interesting topic! Most of my 'leisure' trips have been to the West (Europe), the lone exception being Australia, and my 'working' trips to the East (Japan, Korea). Does that say something?

10. Posted by Swept Away (Travel Guru, 1113 posts) 7 Sep '08 10:37

Are you talking about the direction that global pop culture is taking?

Like history ends when all nations become a Democracy?