Return to Home Page

May 6, 2013

Every generation has worried that travel frontiers are disappearing

“D.H. Lawrence, in a letter written early in the last century, complained, “I feel sometimes, I shall go mad, because there is no where to go, no ‘new world.’” In Tristes Tropiques (alternately—and tellingly—titled A World on the Wane), published in 1955, Claude Levi-Strauss wrote, “There was a time when traveling brought the traveler into contact with civilizations which were radically different from his own and impressed him in the first place by their strangeness. During the last few centuries such instances have become increasingly rare. Whether he is visiting India or America, the modern traveler is less surprised than he cares to admit.” Maybe every generation feels this way. Alexander the Great was said to have wept when he realized he had no more worlds to conquer, and Evelyn Waugh, in 1946, took the same tone when he wrote that he did not “expect to see many travel books in the near future,” adding that, “Never again, I suppose, shall we land on foreign soil with letter of credit and passport … and feel the world wide open before us.” Even the title of the book from which that passage is drawn, When the Going Was Good, puts joy in the past tense.”
–Malcolm Jones, Is Travel Writing Dead? The Daily Beast, Jun 5, 2011

Posted by | Comments (4) 
Category: Travel Quote of the Day


4 Responses to “Every generation has worried that travel frontiers are disappearing”

  1. DEK Says:

    To see the world whose loss these travelers were lamenting, look at the photographs in old National Geographics from the early decades of the 20th Century. It was a world where a traveler could witness the splendor of barbaric courts and camel caravans in the desert and executed criminals hung in cages at the city gate.

  2. Roger Says:

    These authors, whom I respect completely, are just being a bit too melodramatic. There’s plenty to see out there, if we can just GO. When well over 70% of Americans don’t even leave the country year after year, we are missing a whole lot. And we tend to go back to the same places again and again, thus missing other places, other continents. I’m guilty of this. The world is not shrinking as much as our paltry amount of vacation time is. Time is running out—not destinations.

  3. bicyclegourmet Says:

    rolf..mr jones apparently hasn’t visited your blog before birthing his sensationalist title….the proff that his title is all “please click here” and nothing else….is plainly evident to anyone who has even SKIMMED your offerings here.

  4. Weekend Links | Life With a Mission Says:

    [...] Every generation has worried that travel frontiers are disappearing :: Rolf Potts on Vagablogging.net [...]

Leave a Reply

Main

Bio

Books

Stories

Essays

Video

Interviews

Events

Writers

Marco

Paris

Vagabonding.net

Contact


Vagabonding Audio Book at Audible.com

Marco Polo Didnt Go There
Rolf's new book!


Vagabonding
   Vagabonding

RECENT COMMENTS

Roger: I spent six winters in London in the 1980s and early 90s, and I know what you...

aqualussoshowers.co.uk: Fantastic site tons of excellent steam shower knowledge here my...

wat.tv: Excellent post! We will be liknking to this great article on our website. Keep...

Roger: The more we want the world to be accessible by commercial airplanes, global...

Jess Canadian: Great interview, Raymond! You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing...

Penny: Hey fools and Ralph, Ron Wood & M. Jagger, Bono & Ron Wood – AKA...

Andrea Kirkby: Great article! Two other suggestions for making sense of big museums. 1....

Gavin Macfie: Thanks for this post. It made me think back on my own years as a younger...

Carl: He is Desmond O’Connor, he is from Ireland and he was my track coach in...

Alan Dimen: In August 1968, age 25, I was in Prague (dubcek summer), met an ex peace...

SPONSORED BY :



CATEGORIES

TRAVEL LINKS

ARCHIVES

RECENT ENTRIES

Pros and Cons of Off-Peak Europe Travel
Vagabonding Case Study: Jennifer Doré Dallas
“Authenticity” is often a pointless fetish for travelers
Traditional Christmas in Europe
Being vegetarian on the road
Teen travel- more than being “thankful for what you have”
Vagabonding Field Report: Sharing a Simple Meal with a Humble Family
Travel is ruining my kids
Almost no place is really obscure anymore
A gift guide: top 10 gifts for travel-lovers


Subscribe to this blog's feed
Follow @rolfpotts