Authentic Travel Experience a Myth

Do we sometimes go on a travel experience already with stereotypes of people and cultures in our minds, and we were just looking to visually confirm them? I could honestly say my visits to South Korea and Thailand in the past weren’t exactly postcard experiences of Gangnam Styles or Lady Boys.

Gary Andt from The Atlantic writes:

The world is what it is, and you have to explore it on its terms, not yours. No matter what you expect to see when you visit a new place, the reality you will find will be different. You are traveling in the 21st century, not the 19th. Do not expect people to be caricatures or stereotypes of something you have in mind. View the people you meet as neither cultural superiors nor objects of pity. Moreover, whatever you think is authentic was developed without your having experienced it.”

Here are 7 reasons he observes why travelers, especially those visiting a less developed ‘ethnic’ destination, often have a misplaced sense of realities and cultural diversity.

 

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