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Coomodification of travel is a good thing: before it was a luxury that only a small fraction of the population could afford to undertake, employed or not.

How many small-holding peasant farmers travelled far? Famous travel chronicles from old times were written by soldiers, merchants, diplomats or the idle wealthy.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 05:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't necessarily agree with the text I summarised...
(and I'm responding both to Colman and Migeru)

But firstly, some not-so-rich classes did travel quite a bit ; Artisans in France used to tour the country as part of their training, pilgrims on their way, or seasonal 'colporteurs' selling stuff across the country, leaving their home during the winter (farms require many hands during the summer, but some could or had to travel during the winter ; depending on the wealth of the family, those were some of the children, or the seasonal hands that had to leave...).

More to the point, we are now materially as wealthy as those that had the time to do long range travel. But the constraints of employment, with only short time off allowed, mean that high speed travel is a necessity ; those constraints are pretty artificial. The commodification I was talking about is not that of travel, but that of time. Fast transportation is a symptom of that.

It also means that one of the point of going to another place is disappearing - most tourists may go to another place but never see another culture ; maybe a different climate, different monuments, but even food often doesn't change. What's the point of Djerba? But when the vacation is only one week long, immersing oneself in a different place and culture isn't that attractive. Some of the constraints of economical life needs to be lifted of course for that form of travel to become possible for more people.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères

by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 06:15:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of the constraints of economical life needs to be lifted of course for that form of travel to become possible for more people.
Which ones, and how, and what makes you think most people want to immerse themselves in another culture?
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 06:17:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the people I know of who can afford the time to immerse themselves in another culture, don't. They bring their culture with them.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 06:18:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Such people I would be tempted to say to not bother to travel at all.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 06:34:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The people I'm thinking of even bring much of their social circle with them.

The really rich are weird.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 06:37:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Two centuries ago, the really rich English used to have the young do a tour of Europe, getting to see the sights and the societies on their way... This kind of attitude is not attractive anymore in our efficiency-addicted world.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 08:39:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Back to the original point, what do the really rich and their travels have to do with the commodification of travel?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 08:44:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I never talked about comodification of travel but that of time. High Speed Trains, the development of planes, are symptoms of that. And indeed it is interesting to note that those who still own their time don't feel the need to travel - as opposed to be transported.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Mon Mar 26th, 2007 at 11:54:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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