Carl Hoffman on finding “authentic” travel experiences

“Authenticity was a buzzword in travel, but what exactly did it mean? At its purest form you could make the argument that the only really authentic places were ones that had never seen contact with the outside world at all. There were still a few of those left — in the Amazon, perhaps in Indonesian New Guinea. But they were hardly representative; they were freakish vestiges of a changed world, and authenticity was simply everywhere; it was all authentic in one way or another. But if you were on a train with a lot of backpackers, it got too easy not to meet locals, not to get lonely, not to feel scared, and I wanted all of those things.”
–Carl Hoffman, The Lunatic Express (2010)

Posted by | Comments (2)  | January 23, 2012
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

2 Responses to “Carl Hoffman on finding “authentic” travel experiences”

  1. DEK Says:

    A certain well-known holy man (whose name escapes me at the moment), interviewed on his return from extensive travel in Asia, was asked if he felt he had seen the “real Asia”. He replied that as far as he could tell it was all real.

  2. Rolf Potts Says:

    DEK, I think Thomas Merton is the person you’re thinking of! I quote his excellent “Asian Journal” in Vagabonding.