Tuesday, December 18, 2007

After Mongolia

I read this paragraph in the Style section of the Sunday New York Times:

“From where I sit,” said Nancy Novogrod, the editor of Travel + Leisure, "traveling to Mongolia now is almost cliché. Last summer, it seemed like everybody was going to Mongolia. The bar keeps getting higher.”

The story is by Allen Salkin, and he gives a thoughtful account of the climate in which we travel.

It does little good to wish that our vacations were not merely another set of indicators, social markers that enter our conversations for the purpose of conferring status, as if one could display an experience like a brand.

In this overheated atmosphere, where any voyage less exotic than Melville’s Typee risks relegation to the lesser ranks of adventurers, the truly irrelevant among us must find our way, unaided, to other sorts of journeys.

Nearer, slower. Less distant, more peculiar.

Places both familiar and strange, to be enjoyed rather than consumed: around the corner, the end of the block, the top of the hill, the other side of the river.

No comments: