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Travel for the Wrong Reasons

Travel Forums General Talk Travel for the Wrong Reasons

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1. Posted by corneggs (Budding Member 26 posts) 7y

Ah, wanderlust. It's what makes me tick sometimes. I love the research part of travel, when I'm sitting with a travelwiki on my laptop and a guidebook in my hand, looking at photos and imagining being in those places.

But sometimes our preconceptions of places are already so fixed (and skewed) that when we are in the place, we are constantly looking for things that might not necessarily there - stereotypes, exoticness, etc.

We should travel to expand our horizons and points of view, not to confirm our beliefs about a place.
(I say 'we', but really I just mean me). But I do it anyway.
Sometimes I fall into all the tourist traps just to prove to myself I'm really there.

Does anybody else get this?
Does anybody know how to fix this, other than keep an open mind?

2. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 7y

Quoting corneggs

Does anybody know how to fix this,

Yeah stop reading the damn books and looking at wiki's and just pick a place and go.
That should be Travellerspoint slogan. Nike has "just do it" and we could have "JUST GO"

Of course this is advice coming from someone that has landed in a few places and thought, "oh shit, where am I and what do i do now!"

3. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

A list of the wrong reasons to travel:

    • escape from the law
    • escape from debt
    • avoiding spousal/child payments
    • the voices in your head made you do it
    • you feel the need to start up a dictatorship overseas

After that, I'm stumped.

4. Posted by Buzzcock (Full Member 178 posts) 7y

Quoting tway

A list of the wrong reasons to travel:

    • escape from the law
    • escape from debt
    • avoiding spousal/child payments
    • the voices in your head made you do it
    • you feel the need to start up a dictatorship overseas

After that, I'm stumped.

How about bankrupting your country then claiming to save the world while lecturing others on how to spent their way out of debt: Gordon the Moron, only they are not in debt so don't have to.

5. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

I'd go along with tway, I guess - except with 'the voices in your head made you do it.' The voices in my head have been nagging at me for a long time now, so I think it's high time I acceded to their demands. There are places I want to go, not because I have preconceptions about them, or because I feel pressured into going by well-traveled friends, but because they are literally a world away from where I am now - which is: stuck in a rut, bored with the same old faces and scenes, needing to have some stimulation overload and culture shock. Having said all that, though... I think there is a definite pressure exerted on the individual in western society to travel. I don't mean it's what we're sold by the advertising industry, necessarily - but what we get from our well-traveled fellows. Just as we can often (superficially) be defined by the jobs we have, the money we earn, the cars we drive, etc - so we can be defined by the number of places we've traveled to, as if travel in itself confers some sort of special status: as if it says something profound about the individual in question. I mean... you meet someone for the first time and you want to get to know them. The first question you might ask each other is 'What do you do?' Not far behind that is going to come 'Have you done much traveling?' Sure, traveling if it's done properly - by which I mean not just 'fly and flop', or travel for the sake of travel (check out the number of threads on here where people say things like 'After I've done Asia, I'll do Europe') - can broaden the mind, change the perspective, calm the beast, etc. But so can other things. Education, for instance. As the poet Peter Porter, paraphrasing Keats, once put it: 'Much have I traveled in the realms of gold/For which I thank the Paddington and Westminster public libraries...' All I can really say is that I've met a fair number of 'well-traveled' people who don't appear to have been changed very much by the experience. Like you say - traveling for the wrong reasons. Traveling just to have something to put on the 'Life CV'... and something to brag about at parties.

[ Edit: Edited on 28-Apr-2009, at 10:01 by MartianTom ]

6. Posted by Annie0 (Full Member 128 posts) 7y

Quoting MartianTom

I'd go along with tway, I guess - except with 'the voices in your head made you do it.' The voices in my head have been nagging at me for a long time now, so I think it's high time I acceded to their demands. There are places I want to go, not because I have preconceptions about them, or because I feel pressured into going by well-traveled friends, but because they are literally a world away from where I am now - which is: stuck in a rut, bored with the same old faces and scenes, needing to have some stimulation overload and culture shock. Having said all that, though... I think there is a definite pressure exerted on the individual in western society to travel. I don't mean it's what we're sold by the advertising industry, necessarily - but what we get from our well-traveled fellows. Just as we can often (superficially) be defined by the jobs we have, the money we earn, the cars we drive, etc - so we can be defined by the number of places we've traveled to, as if travel in itself confers some sort of special status: as if it says something profound about the individual in question. I mean... you meet someone for the first time and you want to get to know them. The first question you might ask each other is 'What do you do?' Not far behind that is going to come 'Have you done much traveling?' Sure, traveling if it's done properly - by which I mean not just 'fly and flop', or travel for the sake of travel (check out the number of threads on here where people say things like 'After I've done Asia, I'll do Europe') - can broaden the mind, change the perspective, calm the beast, etc. But so can other things. Education, for instance. As the poet Peter Porter, paraphrasing Keats, once put it: 'Much have I traveled in the realms of gold/For which I thank the Paddington and Westminster public libraries...' All I can really say is that I've met a fair number of 'well-traveled' people who don't appear to have been changed very much by the experience. Like you say - traveling for the wrong reasons. Traveling just to have something to put on the 'Life CV'... and something to brag about at parties.

I like what u have said....got me thinking

Thanks

7. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 7y

Does nobody find that they meet posh wankers that just travel because its ''the thing to do'' and all they do is go to a place buy drugs, get smashed and sleep all day before going on the internet and starting all over again. If anybody has been to Cuzco there is a Hostel called loqui or something like that, that's a prime example. These people don't learn anything about the people nor the place, i think that's a wrong reason to travel. Sorry if i've generalised with the posh wankers, but poorer people just don't have that kind of money nor mindset.

Christian

8. Posted by jadeverell (Respected Member 255 posts) 7y

Hi sirwhale,

I don't think you have to be posh/rich to travel at all and agree with you - it is a very generalised statement to make about people who travel the world.

What it normally takes is to have certain skill sets other people might not have.

For example the ability to save money, which takes determination, budgeting skills and alot of will power. It also takes an open-mind and excellent planning and organisation skills.

So maybe the people that chose not to travel don't have these skills, rather than not being financially rich.

Also, I have never met a 'posh' traveller, and not really sure what you mean by this. I couldn't imagine someone like an aristocrat (what i would class as posh) staying in hostels or camping up a volcano. So i am assuming by posh you mean someone who has money....if so why would they be a 'wanker', if they have earnt that money through years of hard sweat.....

But yes, i have also met a few people who have a few $1000 in the bank and don't know what to do with their lives and fall back on travelling as an option, but again i wouldn't called them 'Posh Wankers'......just lucky buggers!

JD.

[ Edit: Edited on 29-Apr-2009, at 22:48 by jadeverell ]

9. Posted by sirwhale (Full Member 84 posts) 7y

Im sorry mate, i think you've missunderstood. I too am a traveller but im not a posh wanker, i therefore am not generalising all travellers. I'm commenting on a certain type of people that i've met suring my travels in south america, who generally happen to be, what us in the north would call, ''toffs''. They travel because its the in thing to do.

10. Posted by MartianTom (Budding Member 37 posts) 7y

I've met a few of them too, sirwhale... I know exactly the type you mean. People doing what in the 19th Century would have been regarded as the 'Grand Tour'. These are the people, as I've said earlier, who are traveling just for the sake of it - to have something to put on the Life CV. I know so many people of a certain class who have 'done the world' and who don't seem to have been changed very much by the experience. Real travel is about the effect it has on you as a person: the way it stretches your mental and physical resources, changes your priorities, affords you perspective, enables you to approach life in a new way. I only know that the more I've traveled - and I haven't done anywhere near as much traveling as many people on here - the more I've changed my outlook on life. Things that I once considered important - houses, cars, careers, money - are now not so. I personally don't give a toss if I never have a high income ever again. I can see the value of things beyond it: the intrinsic things that are, at the bottom of it all, what life's all about and what make it worth living.