About those ego travellers
There are times when I'm off the road that I get bored and want to do something different. Such was the case, before the pandemic, it was time to go a tourist watching. Normally I leave the camera at home, this time I took some photo's.
One question that arose, was about myself. Thinking about it, I realized that I have never really been a "tourist". Any journey was to either visit a relative, who often lived thousands of miles away, to have a break from the hum-drum, step outside my parameters for a while. There were times work involved going to a city that also accommodates tourism (for instance, Amsterdam where I worked at IBM a long time back) or landing in one that I didn't realize was such a place (like Florence a few years ago). I won't be surprised if this post upsets some people.
I am not a fan of tourist traps yet I live in London, one of the worst places on earth for that. So gawking at the crowds of people, all trundling along with their various means of self agrandisment (often a selfie-sticked smartphone), satisfying their egos about how they visited London, spent massive amounts of money, ate some of the crappiest food on the planet, filled the pockets of souvenir shop owners with gusto and stood in line for hours just to see some wax figuretickles my funny bone no end.
One man, whom I didn't get a photo of, had this huge headset plugged into his iPhone. He couldn't hear a thing of the area he was walking through, carrying his souvenir bag (probably containing a T-Shirt that said, "I saw London"). Yessir, he certainly did.
Then there are those who, for decades have "done Europe". Usually they take scores of photographs in front of buildings like: the Houses of Parlament. Buckingham Palace, Amsterdam's Red Light District, The Vatican, the Eiffel Tower etc-etc. The whole of Europe is "done" in a week or two. One thing I've found, over the years, is that you cannot really get a feel of a place in a day or so. You need to be there longer or spend your whole vacation in one spotyou might even make some friends and return again.
The Guardian newspaper had an interesting article by Will Coldwell 'Ego travel' your guide to the narcissistic heart of modern holidaying.
I love it, a new term for tourists, Ego Travellers.
In the center of London, it's swarming with this lot. There are those walking about who work in town and are on their way to lunch or somewhere, but in summer they are a minority. Tours, individuals, backpackers and just about any kind of person is heremillions of them.
Once in a while though someone different is present. In the above photo, the lady sitting in the middle is here to take part in something at one of the universities. She is a professor from Switzerland here for a special conference. We had a chat for a while. Sitting under the Eros Statue was something she had done, for the first time, over 40 years ago. She was still on her way to the place where she would be staying, so had her small suitcase with her. An interesting woman. I imagine (I didn't ask her) that she may have sat there to reminisce and possibly consider how far she had come, since those heady days of youth. I reckon that's something we all do at one time or another, me included.
Most serious travel bloggers are not in this category, but there are others which leave the ego travelers in their dust. You'll see a photo of the guy or gal, posed in every image in such a way that it is focused on themselves.
But, have I become an Ego Traveller?I hope not. The reason I run this blog is because I needed to keep myself busy after retiring and to let a few people know what I was doing and where. Travelling was always part of my life, this is just a continuation and sharing as you may do if meeting someone. Also, I've spoken with some kids on summer break who went to a place and wish someone had told them it was total rubbish, don't waste your time or money.
. . . . . . .
Personally, I like to get out alone in the country and hike (on and off trail), take photo's and this is a way of recording itgood or bad.
© 2021, Simian Circles