Has Travel Become Another Exercise in Narcissism?

By shrinking the world, the tyranny of the web has stifled our capacity for independent discovery, catering to an appetite for foreknowledge that inevitably demystifies foreign places. Instead of taking time to absorb and consider, many people seem more inclined to travel quickly, tick off the ‘don’t miss’ highlights and form broad-brush assumptions based on the bare minimum of immersion. Yet the axiom that all ‘travel’ (as opposed to tourism) is by definition enriching and transformative persists. Except it’s not. Not always.