The idea of clogging up the internet with yet another useless travel blog causes me a great deal of self-conscious angst. But I keep writing anyway because I can’t help it, I’ve always had a compulsion to write, even if I’m not that good at it. And I don’t stop there. I also read books sometimes. Not nearly as often as I’d like. But I just picked up this gem:
And shit’s about to get real.
I mean, there’s so much that’s good about travel… but honestly most of the time when we’re traveling I’m aware of two things: 1) I’ll never actually understand the people who live in the region I’m visiting so really I’m just an idiotic wanderer, and 2) wow, tourism really is just pretty much an industry, isn’t it?
I spend a lot of time simply observing my fellow travellers. Strangers seeking experiences, much like us. I see the instagram girl making her friend take 40 photos of her by a waterfall while a crowd waits patiently for their moment in the sweet (photographic) spot. I see the elderly couples seeing the world. I see cruise ships ten times bigger than the town I live, unleashing thousands of people onto Piazza San Marco in Venice.
Sweet moments. Annoying moments. Borderline horrifying moments.
I’ve seen my fellow tourists purchase fake designer goods off the sidewalk near the Eiffel Tower and wondered about where these goods come from, who’s doing the selling… and why the people doing the buying feel so compelled to purchase an obvious fake.
I’ve bought food for super cheap and paid for it with a bill I didn’t understand the value of, indicating I didn’t need the change. And later wondered if this might not be helpful or good for the community. If maybe this is how inflation comes into play.
These are uncomfortable thoughts. But, as Jillian Micheals would say, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!” Because I’ve decided to read this book examining the tourism industry.
Here’s hoping I’ll have the guts and the intellect necessary to process it all and actually blog about it.