Can Travel Get Redundant? Your Thoughts…

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just recently I was flipping through a Patagonia clothing catalog. Interspersed through the pages are articles and photography surrounding topics of travel, stewardship, and more often than not, surfing. I enjoy reading these pieces. They’re always well written, typically discuss topics of interest or importance, and are insightful. Patagonia has made its mark not only selling clothes, but selling ideas, awareness, and innovation. I respect that, even if I can’t afford any of their clothes.

That’s all beside the point, here. In the piece titled Long May it Last by Al Machinnon (from The Surfer’s Journal), I came across a photo caption explaining that stood out in my mind. As I reread it several times, I pondered the idea that even travel may become redundant and routine sometimes. “Constantly confronted with the most astounding beauty and richest history, you become blasé about ancient castles.”

I’ve had a similar thought of about how traveling in America seems to lose its glamor over time. No matter where you are, there is a baseline of experiences you can always count on: there’s a gas station at the next exit, there’s a chain coffee shop around the corner, rush hour always sucks — things like that. I’m sure it can be said about many countries where someone is from, but generally speaking for Americans, America is often just America. The quirks that make one place standout from another is great, but when you look at trips as a whole, they don’t differ all that much. Redundancy.

I’m sure that even the craziest shit you’ve ever seen — something like a lady butchering a chicken on the bus ride outside of Hong Kong — if that happened every day, you would become desensitized and accept it as normal occurrences. Redundancy.

Everyday routines of  life become monotonous, that’s no secret. If travel is your everyday life, does it then become monotonous itself. Or, does travel innately prevent that?

We’d like to hear what you think. Share your thoughts and moments of reflection in our comment section below.

[Photo: “Bored” by ?ø???_B????/Flickr]
By Jon Wick


About the Author

Jon lives in Butte, Montana, spending most of his time on skis or bikes; sometimes both. He began travel writing while teaching in Korea and is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Technical Communication at Montana Tech. Jon has begun writing his first book, The Story of Will, whose movie rights are still (very) available. Catch more of Jon at (@ExpedJon)

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