Dec 14, 2018 07:18:46

Modern travel

by @basilesamel PATRON | 466 words | 92๐Ÿ”ฅ | 92๐Ÿ’Œ | 0๐Ÿ’ง

Basile Samel

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Travel fascinates people. Globalism made it mandatory. Students study abroad. Travel is appreciated on the job market. People are expected to be flexible and commute for long hours. Travel is a social enabler. A mandatory step to be perceived as successful. This demand became an industry with mass tourism being one of the results.

Tourism is a term from the 18th century describing young bourgeois traveling around France to perfect their education. From a historical point of view, tourism is a lavish practice performed by the elite.

Modern tourism followed the Great Explorations era, but unlike explorers, tourists travel out of curiosity and idleness. And only the most privileged can sustain the cost of traveling.

We tend to romanticize travel. Truth is, modern travelers are closer from the tourist clichรฉ, the explorer's empty shell. A tourist is a pressed visitor who prefers monuments over human beings. "People travel as they eat," says Frank Michel. Travel has become a good, a "strategy to accumulate pictures", and as in any good strategy, it needs a plan. Tourism often is "ร  la carte" and starts from a Things To Do list that every tourist follows religiously to become a "gurgitator of knowledge and dumbed-down landscapes", a "postal card eater". Travel as an โ€œextra-ordinaryโ€ experience to perform things that would not have been possible on a regular day. For Deleuze, this kind of travel is a "cheap break", far from the transcendence tourists like to imagine.

Tourism is an industry that takes many shapes: entertainment travel, cultural travel, business tripsโ€ฆ each targeting a specific niche of consumers. Humanitarian trips are profitable businesses relying on popular dreams and right-thinking desires (esteem needs in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs).

When we travel, we look for something, consciously or not. It is an initiatory quest where everyone is looking for his own Eldorado or "American Dream". A quest for pleasure. Travel is regularly associated with pleasure in the advertisement industry to attract customers. Malls are airports where consumption is a travel: a product pleases the senses. Same with sports, where movement is the center of attention. Same with entertainment. Same with drugs ("fly high"). As a general rule, goods became immobile travels. Travels to oblivion. Escapism. The exact opposite of the beauties one can find in traveling. In a near future, we might want to travel out of our bodies to become cyborgs.

What is modern travel then, if not the simulacrum of an ideal with a commercial purpose rather than a real positive impact? A popular desire amounting to a few weeks every year. An accessory, rather than a lifestyle. The nomad has thus a responsibility in keeping his travels ethical to make it a sustainable and positive manna. How to act towards the common good? I need to find answers to this question.

From Basile Samel's collection:

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    @basilesamel
    Traveling in the U.S. has become a dystopian nightmare. Going through passenger screening is like being inspected like a piece of meat.

    I was in Cuba, a Communist country, and felt more freedom there than in my own country.

    Look forward to more stories of your adventures.

    Mark Armstrong avatar Mark Armstrong | Dec 15, 2018 07:32:17
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    @basilesamel I hope you find the answers to this question. Also, thank you for introducing me to a new word--simulacrum!

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Dec 14, 2018 23:35:22
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    @basilesamel The whole Nomad lifestyle is pretty old actually. For me, the first Nomad that traveled and worked (let's call him the digital nomad before the internet) was a Turkish/Ottoman writer called Evliya Celebi. He traveled all around the Ottoman Empire and wrote about his travel experiences in different cities around the Empire. I believe he was one of the first travel writers. There are probably more travel writers of old times but this one came up to my mind now :).
    My point to somehow share with you is that people have always been Nomads because staying in one country without moving will surely make you unhappy. To travel is to find yourself who you are, in essence, and to live in another country is actually a blessing. Keep on traveling and enjoy every state.

    Berkan avatar Berkan | Dec 14, 2018 16:06:02
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      @berkan Yep. I wrote about it in one of my first 200wad: Born nomad

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Dec 14, 2018 16:27:01
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      @basilesamel You got a clap from me :) Cheers man!

      Berkan avatar Berkan | Dec 14, 2018 17:16:48
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    @basilesamel love your ideas, I think it's often so true that every traveller is looking for something. I work in hostels, I meet so many travellers. One question, in your last paragraph the word thus implies a conclusion from the sentence before? I'm not quite following you there, could you elleborate?

    Wulfert Vlot avatar Wulfert Vlot | Dec 14, 2018 11:02:13
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      @wulfertvlot Thank you! Nomadism is by definition the lifestyle centered on travel / movement. What I meant is that since most people use travel as an accessory rather than a way of life, it is the responsibility of the nomad to ask himself ethical questions and put in a work of introspection.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Dec 14, 2018 11:21:30
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