Difficult travel is often the most enriching

“‘Don’t go there,’ the know-it-all, stay-at-home finger-wagger says of many a distant place. I have heard it my whole traveling life, and in almost every case it was bad advice. In my experience these maligned countries are often the most fulfilling. I am not saying they are fun. For undiluted jollification you bake in the sun at Waikiki with a mai tai in your fist, or eat lotuses on the Cote d’Azur. As for the recognition of hard travel as rewarding, the feeling is mainly retrospective, since it is only in looking back that we see how we have been enriched.”
–Paul Theroux, “Why We Travel“, New York Times, April 1, 2011

Posted by | Comments (5)  | November 28, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

5 Responses to “Difficult travel is often the most enriching”

  1. Mike Says:

    Easy travel can be a lot of fun, but difficult travel oftentimes stays with us much longer, as do the stories and respective details that go along with it. Hard things are worth doing–sometimes for no other reason than because they are hard.

  2. DEK Says:

    If you go somewhere difficult you will not only be someone special when you get back, but — even better — you will be someone special when you are there. The people who live there will likely appreciate that you came and, oddly enough, that can mean so much more than the approval of people back home who never went anywhere, and why did you care what they thought in the first place?

    And even if you are unconcerned about the opinion of others, there will at least be no crowds.

  3. DEK Says:

    Amen to what Scully said.

    Also, travel alone and people will open up to you and invite you to wonderful experiences. Two of you traveling together are a closed set, but a lone traveler away from the crowd, open and approachable, is much more likely to be included in by the folks there, either as basic hospitality or as a visiting exotic to show to their friends.