Day 59 of #100dayproject: Travel Expectations

087Main Dock at Nahuel Huapi Lake in Argentina.

This week my sister borrow me a book called “The Art of Traveling” from Alain de Botton[1]. Important philosophers and author himself tells us about the truth and lies of tourism experiences. The book proposes a thesis about the mind gaming of travel agencies and ourselves: when we travel, we believes on the paradisiac image of white sands and palm trees, but the awkward truth is the reality of the airline burocracy and the boring hours of our future work preoccupations -it is so true, dammit-. The reality is completely different when we planning the travel from when we realize it. The advertising agencies had so much in this, however, the lying truth behind that feelings of beautiful expectations carries by our own way. I thought, in Occidental Hemisphere we believe in the American dream of “All Inclusive”.

One element the people missed in this days is the meaning of landscape. With the hyper-highways and the incredible variety of electronic devices, the people doesn’t see the landscape. The people see a landscape for others: their friends at Facebook, followers in Instagram or Twitter, the viral videos in Youtube, etc. In other times, the landscape was the main motive of expeditions around the world. The exploration of the globe between XVII-XVIII Centuries were the biggest exploration voyages since the march of Alexander the Great in VI Century BC, in Occidental History. The quest of new markets and materials for commercialization between Europe and the New World (America and Asia), was an excuse for great ship expeditions, adventure books and pirate’s stories.

With the beginnings of the Industrialization Age and development of new transport ways, like the steam train and steam boat, the humans change their view of voyages: they don’t want to travel for glory anymore; their journeys will create settlements and factories in the New World. They looking a better future far away from their natal Europe.

DSCI0347Airplane photograph taken in Andes Mountain at South America

Invent of airplane in XX Century facilitate long distance travels between continents. The people can move faster between one region to another with most security and less time. The travel spirit is now reactivated by the advertising agencies and capitalism system in cities, then, they promises to you that credit cards will do anything for you: bought a wife, drink an exquisite wine, buy an island or eat rhinoceros at night.

Travel expectations change with time and culture of the traveler, but some things are true about every traveler in the world: you will never leave behind yourself and your thoughts. When I compares the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” with the movie “Into the Wild”, the people hates me, however, something is true for both movies: the main character never find what they look until she/he leaves behind their own past and accept the new principles that Universe wants. And then, the landscape returns for honoring the past, and, for modelling the present of the main character. Homer was not saying different things from below movies with their “Odyssey” and the adventures of Ulysses long time ago.

[1] De Botton, Alain (2002): The Art of Travel. Madrid: Taurus.


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