Tourism: the risk is compounded by geography

Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel, Penguin Books, p.124, 2003

“A danger of travel is that we see things at the wrong time, before we’ve had a chance to build up the necessary receptivity and when new information is therefore as useless and fugitive as necklace beads without a connecting chain.

The risk is compounded by geography: the way that cities contain buildings or monuments that are only a few feet apart in space, but leagues apart in terms of what would be required to appreciate them. Having made a journey to a place we never revisit, we feel obliged to admire a sequence of things without any connection to one another besides a geographical one, a proper understanding of which would require qualities unlikely to be found in the same person”.




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