16 March 2011

Actual experts on technology's effects on travel

From The Guardian, via Mike Sowden (a.k.a. @Mikeachim): Jan Morris, Pico Iyer, Rolf Potts, and other travel writers weigh in on technology and travel. Specifically: "Has technology robbed travel of its riches?"

As usual, Pico Iyer nails it, with an observation I completely agree with but in words far better than my own:
My talisman as a traveller has always been that old chestnut from Proust, that "the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new sights, but in seeing with new eyes". A place is boring only if you bring uninterested eyes to it. Some people say that democratic travel has removed the magic of places, but to me that magic is just as strong as ever (in Petra, in La Paz, even in my hometown of Oxford) if it is real. Garbo never grows old, nor Dylan young. When we worry that a place we love has changed – "Bali isn't what it used to be," I sometimes hear myself saying, "It's usually because we have changed."
The whole thing is worth a read ...

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