Loss of the Familiar, Part III: Loss of Perspective

As the frontiers in which tourists can venture expand, and the opportunities to see a country before it has been inundated with other foreigners become fewer, a new breed of traveler has formed. These tourists are hip travelers or tripsters as I like to call them; hikers who “accidentally” wander into a forbidden zone, swimmers who pop up on an unmapped beach—there is a deep desire to be the first one to see that sunrise from an angle, a view, a perspective that no one else has before.

No Entry SignIt is no longer acceptable to snap the same image as everyone else—there is an incredible desire to separate yourself from the crowd, no matter the cost. There were the Russian tourists who climbed to the top of the Great Pyramids in Egypt. In Siem Reap, Cambodia, we witnessed a group of French tourists ignoring local officials while they scaled an ancient temple so that they could film themselves. The cost is sometimes easily apparent, though. Just this year, a tourist broke the finger off a 600-year-old statue at a museum in Florence, Italy, while trying to get a picture with it.

I, too, have felt this pressure along our RTW journey. Continue reading