Go Ahead. Hate it!

Posted: February 15, 2011 by lexx45 in Uncategorized

I’m reading this month’s Condé Nast Traveler. Each article depicting the beauty of this place or that. Each contributor beaming over the hidden beauty found from the slums of India to the ghettos of North America. It makes me wonder, is it possible to be a travel writer and dislike a country? Where are these articles? The ones that describe the squalor of the Zabaleen people of Cairo or the unbearable coal dust clouds that sit over Linfen, China? Travel writers have become traveling salesmen, promoting countries with no flaws, no social problems, and no poverty. As Slate contributor, Seth Stevenson writes in his article Trying Really Hard To Like India,

“Travel writers can be so afraid to make judgments. You end up with these gauzy tributes to the “magic” of some far-off spot. But honestly, not every spot is magical for everyone.”

Why have travel writers become so polite? Are they afraid to step on too many toes, drive a wedge between political allies? In a world where entertainment knows no boundaries why is travel writing set apart from the rest?

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