Travel has always been an escape for the privileged. The best of humanity managed to use it for the betterment of themselves and the world, but they were always the minority.
In one of the travel books there was a heated discussion about this article. I’d recommend reading it and checking in with yourself regarding your reactions.
Were you upset? Did you feel victimised? Wronged? Or did you consider some truth it had hidden?
I actually think it has a lot of good points presented very badly with a lot of misplaced generalisation. (Like can we stop with this millennials this, millennials that thing? Super annoying and I’m not even one.)
What I consider good points are the questions that I think we all have to honestly think about.
1. Travel has become social fashion, obsession, contest. Would it be surprising to admit that there are traveloholics like there are shopaholics?
2. Yes, it cannot be denied that like with other decisions, marketing and media do influence us. The destinations, the duration, the style of travel all have a lot of external impulses.
3. Do we consider the environment when we travel? Why is it “uncool” to travel locally that wouldn’t have such a sizable carbon footprint? (Could it be the previous point?) Could it be because we don’t care, travel is “our right”?
4. What does travel actually give to us? Is it just placing all our miseries into another country or can we learn from it, or, even better, can we use it to help those whose culture we admiringly visit at the time? I am reading The Art Of Travel from Alain de Botton (super book by the way!) and he summarised: “A momentous but until then overlooked fact was making it’s first appearance: that I had inadvertently brought myself with me to the island.”
I think these are good questions we can consider, for ourselves, in a moment of honesty. Who knows what changes it can bring along?