Travel is not dead (despite what old travelers say)

“Old travelers grumpily complain that travel is now dead and that the world is a suburb. They are quite wrong. Lulled by familiar resemblances between all the unimportant things, they meet the brute differences in everything of importance.”
–Jonathan Raban, quoted in the introduction to The Best Travel Writing 2010

Posted by | Comments (4)  | June 27, 2011
Category: Travel Quote of the Day

4 Responses to “Travel is not dead (despite what old travelers say)”

  1. Travel is not dead (despite what old travelers say) | Travel Guide And Holiday Says:

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  2. Haraldur Says:

    Good thing i am not a very old traveler then. I always find it very refreshing an interesting to travel.

  3. GypsyGirl Says:

    Can’t help but feel empathetic for those who spend time sitting around complaining, when they CAN get up and engage in the act of it. People choose to stay in a box. I think mine got soggy while dancing in the rain one time and melted away–oops!

  4. Davis Says:

    Now, what would be these things of importance, such that we may ignore the appearance of things? We who once traveled to find ourselves surrounded and immersed in a consistent universe of forms and images evolved in that place and which had informed its history and evolution, must we now stare deep into the soul of those we encounter to seek out their hidden natures as God might look into the heart of a sinner? If such be the case, I hope I may be excused for preferring things as they once were.

    And if we may ignore these outward things, does this mean I may meet the brute differences of Lebanon just as well by talking to my Lebanese cab driver in Boston as if I traveled to Beirut? It would certainly be thriftier, and at least as safe.

    For me, one of the great benefits of travel is that I may immerse myself in the unimportant things of life in a foreign place and from this cumulative experience emerge covered with it, baptized — a thousand unfamiliar things now familiar — a new person.

    What once was poured out over the traveler, as obvious and accessible as the air we breathed, must now be ferreted out beneath an overburden of globalized clutter.

    It is all about the little, unimportant things. Otherwise, you are as well off to read about it or watch a travel film in which we can have the brute, important differences pointed out to us.