Being Well Travelled means more than crossing far distances or having a passport filled with markings from around the globe. It’s about awareness and a unique appreciation for the pursuit of discovery itself. There’s a common expression in postmodern society that suggests a person’s wealth isn’t determined by their possessions, but rather by the value of their experiences. This concept may be somewhat of a cliché, but its meaning becomes crucial when we attempt to curate our journeys against those of the tourist archetype. While their destinations are the same, a refined traveller gravitates toward a genuine human experience.
When wandering abroad, we often find ourselves in a relentless search for authenticity — being immersed in local culture while chasing delicacies and one-of-a-kind anecdotes. From what’s in our luggage to knowing which neighborhoods offer the most memorable meals, we strive to move seamlessly from one place to the next while documenting these events for public record. But like any postcard promise sold from a souvenir shop, these narratives can never be truly recreated by those we share them with.
“The true value of a journey is its ability to challenge our expectations.”
So why do we celebrate these individual stories? Of course, going anywhere outside our everyday surroundings can reward us by awakening the senses with a quick change of scenery. But the true value of a journey is its ability to challenge our expectations. Throughout life we form second-hand ideas about the places beyond our backyard, absorbed through the stories we collectively consume. The only difference between a tourist’s appetite and that of a refined traveller is the willingness to abandon those preconceptions for something real. When we travel, we’re saying goodbye to the world we know in order to see it clearly for the first time.
*Find Issue 08 (Spring/Summer 2017) at select global stockists. And for a limited time, receive it as a gift with purchase from herschel.com.