Jean Baudrillard on the difficulty of coming home from a journey

“Coming back from [a trip overseas] means re-entering a world you have known and lived in, but doing so without feeling the charm you might expect at returning to a former life. You had left that world behind in the hope it might be thoroughly transformed in your absence, but nothing of the sort has occurred. It got along quite nicely without you and it adjusts quite smoothly to your return. People and things conspire to make it seem as if you had not been away. … People are a thousand times more preoccupied with their own little lives than with the strangeness of another world. You are best advised, then, to land discreetly, to come back politely into this world keeping anything you may have to say — along with the few sights still gleaming in your memory — strictly to yourself.”
–Jean Baudrillard, America (1986)

Posted by | Comments (5)  | July 4, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

5 Responses to “Jean Baudrillard on the difficulty of coming home from a journey”

  1. Roger Says:

    Jean Baudrillard knew what he was talking about.

  2. Ric Says:

    Phil Cousineau substantiates Jean Baudrillard’s philosophy in his book, The Art of Pilgrimage (1998):
    Prepare yourself. It will be harder than you think to find an audience for your stories. If you get a chance, express gratitudes rather than platitudes when you get home. The real jewels are the hidden treasure-stories many people at home, everywhere throughout time, have longed to hear – stories of the real Shangri-la, tales of what the soul, not the ego, endured. Tell what you have learned from your journey.

  3. Marco - 25DollarTravel Says:

    Aloha Rolf,

    Thanks for sharing this great quote. I couldn’t agree more with Jean Baudrillard.

    Every time I came home from one of my long-term shoestring travels or Expat adventures I found the best way to re-integrate was quietly without making a big fuss about all the mind-blowing adventures you just experienced.

    Safe Travels,