When I wrote this post, the subject of exoticism really stuck in my head. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I could apply it to travel and how our perceptions, including our opinion of what is and is not exotic, are changed through it. This post was borne out of that thought process; though it shares a few paragraphs with my previous piece on exoticism, the theme and commentary within it is much more travel-centric. It also appears here on Matador Network.
To be exotic is to be desirable. Those who travel, I think, understand that better than most people. When we plan our travels, we never yearn for a place familiar or known. We want somewhere alien, mysterious, and foreign. We want new. There’s a reason travelers flock to locations with black-sand beaches and volcanoes on the horizon, with foods we’d never find at home, or with languages that make us trip over our own tongues. We gorge ourselves on the unusual. When faced with an exotic experience, we can’t help but be reminded of just how far away we are from home. (And for travelers, that’s a good thing.) Continue reading Everything and Nothing Is Exotic