What is authenticity in the context of travel

And why is it so important

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  1. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    when an asian on holiday likes the taste of the street food they just bought

  2. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    when a pretentious moron goes half a day out of his way to get the same slop he could have got round the corner from the hostel he's staying at

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Yep

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Tourists and their outsized spending power greatly change the character of the tourist destinations they visit. Everything becomes geared around gaining wealth by catering to the whims of the almighty tourist. Arguably, the foreign traveler in search of "authenticity" is one who tries to have as little economic and cultural impact as is possible in a place which sees few foreigners. He seeks to be unnoticed for his foreignness and treated with the same polite indifference as any other random stranger who orders food or rents a room.

      How else are you going to get exercise, work up a good appetite, and get to know the typical prices and offerings available when your fat lazy ass only walks half a block to stuff your face at the closest available restaurant?

      https://i.imgur.com/3hO8zLR.jpg

      We're immersed so deep in postmodern irony we've become like fish who can't see the water they're swimming in.
      This means we view all experience through a cynical lens, a detachment borne of ironic distance from the thing we crave to experience.
      I'm guessing every time you find a unique ("authentic") travel experience - drinking moonshine with locals or hitching a ride in the back of a pickup, or a breathtaking view from a mountaintop - you see yourself in the 3rd person and think something along the lines of "gee, i feel like i'm in a movie right now". You cement this interpretation when you document the experience for your Instagram feed. But lest you seem kitsch, or god forbid, colonialist, you downplay the experience. "No big deal, I visit Afghanistan every year and they're just like us!"
      Ultimately neither you nor anyone scrolling through instagram differentiates the digital content from reality in any meaingful way.So now you watch Bald and Bankrupt videos and feel genuinely fulfilled, you travel IRL and feel somehow unfulfilled. Ever notice how many Hollywood movies from the last 5 years are about adventures in remote places and jungles? That's not a coincidence, they know who they're marketing to.
      Having been raised by parents who learned to navigate the world through the humor of Seinfeld, Zoomers now crave a reality where we are able to move beyond postmodern irony and detachment from meaning. That's why they eat overnight oats from mason jars and say shit like "on God". Their problem is irony and earnestness are now too easy to muddle, as anything authentic is coopted by the postmodern cycle of cultural autophagy (they saw the overnight oats thing on Pintrest and they're buying those mason jars off Wish.com). This is what David Foster Wallace tried to anticipate in the '90s, but his philosophy has yet to evolve any further than Rick and Morty, and no one is really confident it'll go further than that.
      Tl;dr, google the real reason Cobain killed himself.

      As a foreigner, you will always be detached. Everyone around you has known each other for their entire lives, and their surroundings are the epitome of boring normalcy; you are a complete stranger, and everything you see is a stimulating novelty, so you observe everything intently. Nothing wrong with that; mere observation does not destroy authenticity. The only authentic travel experiences involve complete detachment as an observer, or at most, being a simple customer treated no different from any other customer. As soon as your presence begins affecting the social circles of others, as soon as people begin changing their behavior because of your presence, you have disturbed the status quo, and the resulting experience is no longer authentic.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        What if my ideal travel experience involves colonizing Big Booty Latinas with my virile white penis? Would that be authentic?

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          This is what cortez would've wanted so ye, authentic af

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >work up a good appetite
        go have a nice day in the face, boomer piece of shit.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        Your post is trash, your way of writing is trash.

  3. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    We're immersed so deep in postmodern irony we've become like fish who can't see the water they're swimming in.
    This means we view all experience through a cynical lens, a detachment borne of ironic distance from the thing we crave to experience.
    I'm guessing every time you find a unique ("authentic") travel experience - drinking moonshine with locals or hitching a ride in the back of a pickup, or a breathtaking view from a mountaintop - you see yourself in the 3rd person and think something along the lines of "gee, i feel like i'm in a movie right now". You cement this interpretation when you document the experience for your Instagram feed. But lest you seem kitsch, or god forbid, colonialist, you downplay the experience. "No big deal, I visit Afghanistan every year and they're just like us!"
    Ultimately neither you nor anyone scrolling through instagram differentiates the digital content from reality in any meaingful way.So now you watch Bald and Bankrupt videos and feel genuinely fulfilled, you travel IRL and feel somehow unfulfilled. Ever notice how many Hollywood movies from the last 5 years are about adventures in remote places and jungles? That's not a coincidence, they know who they're marketing to.
    Having been raised by parents who learned to navigate the world through the humor of Seinfeld, Zoomers now crave a reality where we are able to move beyond postmodern irony and detachment from meaning. That's why they eat overnight oats from mason jars and say shit like "on God". Their problem is irony and earnestness are now too easy to muddle, as anything authentic is coopted by the postmodern cycle of cultural autophagy (they saw the overnight oats thing on Pintrest and they're buying those mason jars off Wish.com). This is what David Foster Wallace tried to anticipate in the '90s, but his philosophy has yet to evolve any further than Rick and Morty, and no one is really confident it'll go further than that.
    Tl;dr, google the real reason Cobain killed himself.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      I guess I didn't answer your question. Authenticity lies in all the experiences you're already having, just minus the sense of ironic distance. If there's a way to escape this evil other than orthodox religion or suicide I haven't found it yet, so I find authenticity by observing uneducated 3rd-worlders navigate art and modernism and savor the experience vicariously.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        Please elaborate on your thoughts. I find them very intriguing,

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      I feel as if I am living through my days in anticipation of experiences which I consider true life. Both in travel and daily. Everything I do before I leave my place is preparation for the interlude that is the commute to said experiences and once I come back I feel as if they were somehow untrue and forced as I had them because I sought them out. The desolation that is the post modern world makes me feel not alive.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      I guess I didn't answer your question. Authenticity lies in all the experiences you're already having, just minus the sense of ironic distance. If there's a way to escape this evil other than orthodox religion or suicide I haven't found it yet, so I find authenticity by observing uneducated 3rd-worlders navigate art and modernism and savor the experience vicariously.

      I feel as if I am living through my days in anticipation of experiences which I consider true life. Both in travel and daily. Everything I do before I leave my place is preparation for the interlude that is the commute to said experiences and once I come back I feel as if they were somehow untrue and forced as I had them because I sought them out. The desolation that is the post modern world makes me feel not alive.

      Gosh I just porked some scrunch faced asian slampig. Her fat rolls felt amazing in the dark but I hope I didn't impregnant her. Is that authentic enough for ya?

      Everyone has authentic experiences each and every day, a stream of continuity dedicated to the natural kingdom. How their spirit interpretes and attempts to relay such divine mechinations is where the mask slips and interface malfunctions.

      Ok, chatGPT.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        What makes you think we used ai?

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Please elaborate on your thoughts. I find them very intriguing,

      that makes two of us. can you expand on cultural autophagy? and what did DFW write about it?
      >t. reading Infinite Jest and on the verge of getting filtered by it

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >ancients create authenticity
        >moderns appropriate authenticity
        >postmoderns dismantle modernism as arrogant, racist, exclusionary
        >attempts to create beauty now earn you these labels
        >we can still appreciate the old aesthetic, but you have to protect yourself by playing it off as irony
        >"[Authenticity] is now something that can periodically return, but only as a frozen aesthetic style, never as an ideal for living"

        This explains what I mean by cultural autophagy; just substitute 'travel' when he says 'art'
        https://youtu DOT be/mv3k86H-a1E?si=KSwOE9e2vAYzEkly&t=782

        I'd recommend reading Mark Fisher as an accessible introduction to this. I've never wasted my time reading DFW, it's just well known that his artistic movement influenced today's tv shows that bugmen will swear are 'deep' but are in fact dead ends. The movement is called New Sincerity if you want to go down the rabbit hole.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      I guess I didn't answer your question. Authenticity lies in all the experiences you're already having, just minus the sense of ironic distance. If there's a way to escape this evil other than orthodox religion or suicide I haven't found it yet, so I find authenticity by observing uneducated 3rd-worlders navigate art and modernism and savor the experience vicariously.

      I feel as if I am living through my days in anticipation of experiences which I consider true life. Both in travel and daily. Everything I do before I leave my place is preparation for the interlude that is the commute to said experiences and once I come back I feel as if they were somehow untrue and forced as I had them because I sought them out. The desolation that is the post modern world makes me feel not alive.

      We don't have to look any further than Adorno to realize why authenticity, when it comes to us, is experienced with a sense of discomfort and unreality. Since our culture loves travel, travel is a form of cultural participation just like listening to music or producing art. Sitting in a cafe in Venice pretending to write in your Moleskine notebook is a form of self-expression, after all. In this neoliberal dystopia we call Earth, all cultural production, including travel, has been incorporated into a homogenizing, profit-centric master plan. This is why pop music hasn't changed its sound for 30 years, and why travel is looking more and more samey no matter how hard individuals try to go their own way. 'Rebellion' within any form of culture is permissible insofar as it can be neutralized and incorporated into the neoliberal cultural homogeny. Maybe you are hot shit for riding a freight train across Mauritania but you're using the experience to generate content for techno-feudalist Zuckerberg.

      [...]
      This is proactively defeatist and I like it. I bet you and your wife have fun.

      [...]
      t. that creepy Asian 20something who spends all evening on his phone in the corner of the hostel common room and turns out the dorm room lights at 8.

      Even if you stick to the touristy spots, it still takes some combination of courage, wit, planning or whatever to get there and that can give you an authentic boost to your confidence.

      Example: I just visited some popular cliffside and had to take the metro, the train, and a bus to get there and back. 5 and a half hour long round trip. No time to google each step of the way as the whether was only permitting on THAT day. It was quite fun and I got to see real people go about their lives, where they live, how they commute, etc.

      When I got there though, there were no joke about 10 charter buses dropping off asians by the hundreds who probably had to use zero brain cells to get there. Just cut the check and show up with a passport type shit. None of them left the main touristy area to go hiking along the trails. It was just me and a couple of random nordic bros. So yes, there's different ways to go about things, but nothing is wrong with our 'neoliberal dystopia' or 'postmodern irony', you're just a homosexual.

      >I'm guessing every time you find a unique ("authentic") travel experience - a breathtaking view from a mountaintop - you see yourself in the 3rd person and think something along the lines of "gee, i feel like i'm in a movie right now". You cement this interpretation when you document the experience for your Instagram feed. But lest you seem kitsch, or god forbid, colonialist, you downplay the experience. "No big deal, I visit Afghanistan every year and they're just like us!"
      Actually I have real confidence unlike you, who hides their self-conciousness behind misanthropy.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        You are the oblivious dudebro midwit he described

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          But the guy pointed out the asian bugmen being mindless automatons, he effectively passed the mantle to the asian man while keeping himself authentically clean.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      This was too pretentious to finish reading but the Afghanistan thing was spot on. They are all like this. My uncle works for the UN. I love him to death but the way he pretends these Joseph Conrad style countries he visits are comprised of people “Just like us” makes me cringe every time he does it.

      It’s mostly true everywhere I’ve been, but it’s the margins you have to worry about. A lot of things can happen in Afghanistan or LatAm or Africa that just… don’t happen, period, in other places.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        He's just like me fr

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      >google the real reason Cobain killed himself.
      geffen had him killed

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      lmfao

      Your perspective on the postmodern condition, while compelling, seems to overlook some critical aspects of human experience and cultural evolution. Firstly, the notion that our engagement with life is predominantly cynical or detached due to postmodern irony might be an overgeneralization. It's true that irony and performative behaviors are prevalent, especially on social media, but this doesn't necessarily negate the authenticity of all experiences. People still seek and find genuine connections and moments of true engagement, both online and offline.

      Regarding the influence of media and cultural trends, it's important to recognize that consumer agency plays a significant role. While Hollywood and other media can influence our desires, individuals still have the power to choose what resonates with them and to seek out diverse narratives that challenge mainstream trends.

      The critique of younger generations, such as Zoomers, also seems somewhat dismissive. While it’s true that they, like all generations, grapple with cultural influences, many are actively working to create a more authentic and meaningful world, whether through social activism, creative expression, or other avenues. Their engagement with trends and social media doesn't inherently diminish their capacity for sincere expression or action.

      As for the concept of cultural autophagy, it's a compelling idea but doesn't necessarily encapsulate the entire spectrum of cultural production and consumption. There's a constant emergence of new, innovative, and genuinely meaningful cultural expressions that defy the cycle of commodification.

      Finally, the references to David Foster Wallace and Kurt Cobain, while evocative, are the cringest oversimplification of the complex issues at play.

  4. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Travel can never be authentic since you always buy the possibility of some experience.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      This. You're always a weird gaijin or a walking wallet to the people you interact with. Nearly all your interactions as a tourist is fake as frick. From air hostesses being fake nice to pajeets trying to scam you on a tuktuk ride. The only authenticity you can get is from people who want nothing from you but you yourself - close friends (to an extent) or immediate family members. Also a wife and kids. Sorry travelcels you won't find authenticity by moving your body from one location to another one a globe. Once you family maxx and then root your reality into the objective absolute truth of Christ you can find comfort in this world. You can extend this comfort to when you travel too. I just woke up at 8.30 in Korea and my wife is asleep and I'm about to do morning prayers before breakfast.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        So talking to your imaginary friend in a foreign country is the path to authenticicty. Got it.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >Religion
          >west: soijak grimace
          >east: gapemouth

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Both of them have imaginary friends, lad.
            And no, the world is not forcing you to pick either a vapid lifestyle or tradcuckism. Plenty of healthy life choices that are not involved with either.
            But you go praise your israelite lord, copelord.

            • 3 months ago
              Anonymous

              Why so antisemitic and wholesome at the same time?

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Sorry travelcels you won't find authenticity by moving your body from one location to another one a globe.
        Based anti materialist

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >This. You're always a weird gaijin or a walking wallet to the people you interact with. Nearly all your interactions as a tourist is fake as frick. From air hostesses being fake nice to pajeets trying to scam you on a tuktuk ride.
        This is a clear example where travelling has become institutionalised on the side of the locals.

        An opposite would be a vegetable stand seller who thinks it's great a westerner tries to speak his language and is happy to help you learn how the local vegetables are named. Not the fake niceness but an appreciation that someone travels to their location to discover their world.

  5. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Gosh I just porked some scrunch faced asian slampig. Her fat rolls felt amazing in the dark but I hope I didn't impregnant her. Is that authentic enough for ya?

    Everyone has authentic experiences each and every day, a stream of continuity dedicated to the natural kingdom. How their spirit interpretes and attempts to relay such divine mechinations is where the mask slips and interface malfunctions.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      We don't have to look any further than Adorno to realize why authenticity, when it comes to us, is experienced with a sense of discomfort and unreality. Since our culture loves travel, travel is a form of cultural participation just like listening to music or producing art. Sitting in a cafe in Venice pretending to write in your Moleskine notebook is a form of self-expression, after all. In this neoliberal dystopia we call Earth, all cultural production, including travel, has been incorporated into a homogenizing, profit-centric master plan. This is why pop music hasn't changed its sound for 30 years, and why travel is looking more and more samey no matter how hard individuals try to go their own way. 'Rebellion' within any form of culture is permissible insofar as it can be neutralized and incorporated into the neoliberal cultural homogeny. Maybe you are hot shit for riding a freight train across Mauritania but you're using the experience to generate content for techno-feudalist Zuckerberg.

      What of you want the authentic inauthentic tourist experience?

      I lost my luggage at the airport today and actually thought it was hilarious. My wife less so. Women, eh?

      This is proactively defeatist and I like it. I bet you and your wife have fun.

      when a pretentious moron goes half a day out of his way to get the same slop he could have got round the corner from the hostel he's staying at

      t. that creepy Asian 20something who spends all evening on his phone in the corner of the hostel common room and turns out the dorm room lights at 8.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        What if i don't share my experiences on the internet but still feel disconnected from the moment.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          Probably because you don't trust yourself to determine what is real or not, since you live inside digital media and dream in reality. Maybe you have the out-of-body experience where you see yourself from another person's eyes as if you are a character in a film. Personally I think this is an artifact of our monkey brains which evolved as communal organisms, and are now trying to cope with forced individuality.
          People make a big deal out of Generation X because they were the last ones who were able to externalize these feelings of malaise.

          What makes you think we used ai?

          He's just accelerating his own descent into dissonance as art and language lose all meaning, which is pretty smart as it'll happen to us all eventually. The funny thing is he's blaming AI, as if people haven't been predicting this since the 1960s.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >He's just accelerating his own descent into dissonance as art and language lose all meaning, which is pretty smart as it'll happen to us all eventually. The funny thing is he's blaming AI, as if people haven't been predicting this since the 1960s.

            who is?

            also
            >Probably because you don't trust yourself to determine what is real or not, since you live inside digital media and dream in reality. Maybe you have the out-of-body experience where you see yourself from another person's eyes as if you are a character in a film. Personally I think this is an artifact of our monkey brains which evolved as communal organisms, and are now trying to cope with forced individuality.
            People make a big deal out of Generation X because they were the last ones who were able to externalize these feelings of malaise.

            But i do not live in the digital world. I don't use social media and spend little time playing games or watching youtube.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        >t. that creepy Asian 20something who spends all evening on his phone in the corner of the hostel common room and turns out the dorm room lights at 8.
        i don't stay in hostels you fricking poor

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >he willingly halves the duration he can travel so he can wank in peace
          pathetic

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            Plus he's missing out on the authentic experience of banging British bawds in an awkward position in the shower

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >pop music hasn't changed its sound for 30 years
        You're old as frick lmao that is completely untrue

  6. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    The longer I think about it the less I know.

  7. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    What of you want the authentic inauthentic tourist experience?

    I lost my luggage at the airport today and actually thought it was hilarious. My wife less so. Women, eh?

  8. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I dunno - i just want to visit a place or a thing that was built by people who 100% believed in the thing they created; that it served a higher purpose beyond material wealth.
    Which is funny because I felt that when visiting the temples in Cambodia, but the tombs in Egypt felt fake.

  9. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's not important

  10. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I think many travelers like to believe that they’re getting things made for locals rather than for fellow tourists. A resort town is “inauthentic” because most commerce (etc.) is targeting foreign visitors; people from there or who actually live there are assumed to have access to foods, experiences, and so on, that are better.

    It’s mostly mental gymnastics and foolishness IMO, even though I get why people think this way. But in my experience, there’s plenty of legitimately good food made for and sold to tourists, and more than a few locals-only restaurants that are shitty. And cultural offerings that are put on display for visitors aren’t necessarily meaningless (with some exceptions—a dinner hula show in Waikiki performed by a dancer with a Chinese grandmother has probably lost most of its historical meaning. But even then, it might be an enjoyable performance, and it’s probably all one can get.)

    Anyway, I think some tourist traps evolve a new sort of authenticity. Pic related is the overcrowded, overpriced village of Taormina, in Sicily. It’s been a tourist attraction since not long after it was colonized by Romans in the first century AD—people thought it was pretty so they built vacation and retirement villas there. And it’s been an almost completely tourist-oriented economy for two hundred years or more by now. So there are families with generations-old traditions of fleecing British people. It’s also still beautiful and there are some absolutely great restaurants.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >a dinner hula show in Waikiki performed by a dancer with a Chinese grandmother has probably lost most of its historical meaning
      Everywhere you go in Asia has these half-assed 'cultural dances' which are always just the same abstract twirling with no meaning whatsoever, probably not even real dances in 9 out of 10 cases. This is the best example I can think of for the phenomenon of culture ossifying into a museum piece rather than being allowed to adapt, respond to outside influence, remain relevant.

      Good point about Taormina being a tourist town since time immemorial; I can think of a few cities like that.

  11. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's experiencing things you can only find where you are at. eat the ethnic slop where the locals go instead of the rooftop restaurants or McDonalds. Sure there's always some degree of fakeness just by virtue of you being a tourist. but it's not binary, you can still chase authenticity and avoid the tourist traps.

    Secondly, craft your own experience. Solve your own problems on the fly. Don't buy a 10 day themepark ride from an agency, might as well go to Disneyland at that point. Rent your own car. Maybe you like one spot and want to stay there longer, maybe you hate another and want to leave asap. Staying or leaving on the whims of some travel agent is inauthentic to you

  12. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    authenticity in travel is visiting a place and being able to truly grasp what it is. I think you can experience authenticity anywhere.
    If you're going to Italian McDonalds because you want a cheeseburger and to feel like you're home again, that's not Authentic.
    If you're going to Italian McDonalds because you're hungry but while there you're noticing the different menu items, paying attention to the Italian kids who have just finished school and are hanging out, listening to the manager scream in Italian at his useless wagie workers and just being able to feel that inherently human connection while still acknowledging that cultural disconnect; to me that's authentic.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      To add, you can be inauthentic at non-touristy spots. If you're going somewhere because some roastie on instagram said so and you just want to take pictures or to inflate your ego about how you're better than everyone else at the "tourist" sites, then that's not authentic at all.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      Italians frequenting an American restaurant that has become synonymous with globalism does not make for an authentic experience.

  13. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I agree with some of the other posts that “authentic” travel is hard to define and in some ways never really existed . In that, by being a foreigner you never really experience a true “authentic” experience, your very presence changes how the locals behave, and exponentially more so the more “authentic” of an experience you are trying to have, for example going to McDonald’s by the tower in Paris, any locals there will probably act nearly the same if you are there. Whereas you find some uncontacted tribe and get them to do their local dance, your presence will change their behavior so much you can hardly call it “authentic” anymore. I also think most people agree that generally speaking the farther away you get from tourist trap food stands by the colosseum and the nogs putting bracelets on you to extort money from you, the more “authentic” it is. But as I said, it’s hard to really define, and sadly the best I can think of is “authentic” experiences are what locals would be doing if you weren’t there(but you are).

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      However, as far as “authenticity” in travel can be said to exist, I also think it is nearly dead. The first blow was corporate globalization. When you go to some small town in some exotic country and you see a Burger King instead of a local food place, instead of local music you hear Taylor swift playing from somewhere, and you hear some teenagers talking about the new marvel movie, it sure doesn’t feel very authentic, hell it can feel like you didn’t leave home in some ways.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        But the real blow, and the final blow, was the internet and specifically smartphones. I think what a lot of people mean when they say “authentic” is a unique local experience, quite different to where you came from. Or, and in addition, seeing local people away from the modern sanitized boring world you may have come from. People with a different culture, living in the moment, with a different worldview, a unique experience. Now almost no matter where you go, even in the middle of nowhere in the third world, you see a group of vapid women taking thirst trap pictures to post online, based boys posting on Reddit complaining about American politics, a couple out for dinner, not talking because the guy is watching Netflix and the girl is trying to find a better boyfriend on Instagram. I watched some old travel shows the other day from only 20 years ago and it’s like a different world. Unique peoples and cultures living in the moment , now if feels like everyone and everywhere is largely the same in comparison. And it’s only getting more samey by the day. And NOT in a good way. There’s something deeply inauthentic feeling about seeing a “traditional” dance then seeing the woman browse tiktok during the break. I remember seeing a mcdonalds in Paris in the 90s and feeling like that was the start of the end of unique cultures, I had no idea just how fast it could happen with the internet and smartphones. I could meet some tribal looking dude on the Amazon and he may have called me a homosexual on SighSee yesterday. It feels grim. Is it? I don’t know, maybe that’s actually a good thing, but it feels grim

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          It's true that the same globohomosexual social media companies have entranced people the world over to spend their free moments obediently feeding at the media feeding trough. Nobody talks on buses anymore because they are all absorbed in scrolling through their feeds. Still, I feel the impact of such distractions in homogenizing the world has been overstated. Before social media, people simply practiced the art of patience, of waiting without distractions. Now their minds are continually distracted and occupied...yet "boredom" has become an ever more common complaint. Funny how that works.

          However, as far as “authenticity” in travel can be said to exist, I also think it is nearly dead. The first blow was corporate globalization. When you go to some small town in some exotic country and you see a Burger King instead of a local food place, instead of local music you hear Taylor swift playing from somewhere, and you hear some teenagers talking about the new marvel movie, it sure doesn’t feel very authentic, hell it can feel like you didn’t leave home in some ways.

          Most documentaries are carefully arranged and edited productions which manifest escapist magic, but poorly reflect the reality of the first-person experience.
          There are still huge differences in the lives that people live around the world - or even around a country - which will never be erased by the presence of a McDonald's, or the prevalence of certain pop songs. Those who have the ability to socially engage with others will know that an intriguing personality easily overcomes the compulsion to scroll through a lame TikTok feed. Songs since the beginning of music making have always gone "viral" and brought fans together. Most Third World countries still have real life "social networks"; youth are always seen in public in social groups, while texting and online connectivity simply reinforce those social bonds when the friends are not physically present. However, the sad truth is that they may be simply a few years behind the anomie and social disintegration rampant in developed nations.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            I agree that there’s still a lot of difference, but that difference is much smaller than it was only a decade or 2 ago. I’ve seen global culture become homogenized quite a bit just in my lifetime. In 2000 a kid from Madrid and Austin Texas shared very little culture, in 1980 they shared almost none. Now? It’s quite a bit. The only major barrier really at this point is language.

          • 3 months ago
            Anonymous

            >However, the sad truth is that they may be simply a few years behind the anomie and social disintegration rampant in developed nations.
            The third worlder imitating western lifestyle while completely disconnected from its meaning is the true postmodern man.

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous
        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >I remember seeing a mcdonalds in Paris in the 90s
          OK, boomer. I'm sure eating at a restaurant would have been considered inauthentic by true hunter-gatherers in the first place.

          Every generation keeps thinking next generation is going downhill. In your age it was television. People who grew up with radio thought people who watched television could not keep a coherent story for longer than two minutes. Then before that people who only read thought people with a radio were lazy. I'm sure printed books were considered for pleb as well around the time it was invented. All the way back to Greeks recording that people who wrote things down were considered weak of mind by those who remembered all their affairs by hard.

          But I'm sure this time it's different. Because this time it's you who is old.

      • 3 months ago
        Anonymous

        you've got a point but throughout history "authentic" things get replaced by something else and that something else eventually becomes authentic.
        If you travelled back to Ancient Rome would you call it inauthentic because the architecture is the same as Ancient Greece?
        English is a combination of Latin, French, German and a hundred other languages (basically all languages are combinations of other languages that has occurred through external influences). Does that make the language "inauthentic" and something that doesn't belong to the English?
        When you're eating a schwarma in the Levant or gyros from Greece is that inauthentic because they are basically a doner kebab which is from Turkey?
        My point is at some point over time the inauthentic becomes authentic. When the locals are listening to Taylor Swift and eating at Burger King, does that not eventually make it authentic? Just like the people post-1066 England who were using French which has now played a major part in forming the English language

        • 3 months ago
          Anonymous

          >doner kebab which is from Turkey?
          That isn't even true, it was invented in Berlin to get rid of waste meat. While gyros and shawarma use actual quality meat. Doner kebab is truly the worst.

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      However, as far as “authenticity” in travel can be said to exist, I also think it is nearly dead. The first blow was corporate globalization. When you go to some small town in some exotic country and you see a Burger King instead of a local food place, instead of local music you hear Taylor swift playing from somewhere, and you hear some teenagers talking about the new marvel movie, it sure doesn’t feel very authentic, hell it can feel like you didn’t leave home in some ways.

      But the real blow, and the final blow, was the internet and specifically smartphones. I think what a lot of people mean when they say “authentic” is a unique local experience, quite different to where you came from. Or, and in addition, seeing local people away from the modern sanitized boring world you may have come from. People with a different culture, living in the moment, with a different worldview, a unique experience. Now almost no matter where you go, even in the middle of nowhere in the third world, you see a group of vapid women taking thirst trap pictures to post online, based boys posting on Reddit complaining about American politics, a couple out for dinner, not talking because the guy is watching Netflix and the girl is trying to find a better boyfriend on Instagram. I watched some old travel shows the other day from only 20 years ago and it’s like a different world. Unique peoples and cultures living in the moment , now if feels like everyone and everywhere is largely the same in comparison. And it’s only getting more samey by the day. And NOT in a good way. There’s something deeply inauthentic feeling about seeing a “traditional” dance then seeing the woman browse tiktok during the break. I remember seeing a mcdonalds in Paris in the 90s and feeling like that was the start of the end of unique cultures, I had no idea just how fast it could happen with the internet and smartphones. I could meet some tribal looking dude on the Amazon and he may have called me a homosexual on SighSee yesterday. It feels grim. Is it? I don’t know, maybe that’s actually a good thing, but it feels grim

      Words words words

    • 3 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Whereas you find some uncontacted tribe and get them to do their local dance,
      To them the dance is the true dance, so calling it the local dance would make you the inauthentic one. Not them.

  14. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    I feel that a lot of the vapid experiences people are complaining about in this thread could be solved by becoming fluent in the local language.

  15. 3 months ago
    Anonymous

    Nobody mentioned MacIntyre?
    https://iep.utm.edu/mac-over/

    Authentic travel can be a virtue to produce goods of excellence. I.e. visiting a beautiful forest, or a different culture. Learning to appreciate these locations and discovering more of the natural and human made beauty on this earth is a virtuous process in and of itself. The vague goal of travelling is to discover new places and interact with different people. The means to do that are by visiting landmarks, places with specific cultural interest (historic, art, etc), going to public places like bars and restaurants and ho(s)tels, using local means of transport. Travel is special because it brings you temporarily into contact and forces you to adopt to different practices and traditions. Thereby giving you a glimpse of what practices and traditions you are immersed in yourself back home.

    However, as travel becomes institutionalised in popular travel destinations, the means of production for travel become the goal. An example would be an all-inclusive resort with Western food and activities so the tourists are not discomforted by local food. A guided visit to the pyramids while only half knowing what it is in an AC van is a completely different experience than the first western explorers entering the pyramids. The latter was driven by a desire to understand more of the world, the former may be motivated by nice Instagram pictures.

    When the means of reaching an authentic travel experience overtake the goal of travel, it clearly has become an institution with a different rationality than the original practice of travel.

    Thanks for reading my blog.

  16. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Leave your smartphone at home, don't take any photos and expect nothing.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      how will I instagrammaxx 🙁

  17. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    I think you should fully embrace being a tourist instead of some edgy, tryhard Bourdain wannabe who thinks because he eats some noodles he can't pronounce from a plastic table in a backstreet he's getting a "real" experience. Buy a Chang singlet, eat some fricking scorpions on a stick and just enjoy your vacation.

  18. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >what is authenticity in the context of travel?
    going somewhere because you want to experience the culture of a place in the purest form possible, with the understanding that as a tourist, you will never have a 100% purely authentic experience and you should accept that fact upon arrival
    >why is it so important
    it's subjective, and it just depends on if your goal of traveling to that place is because you want to "live as the locals do," or if you're okay with getting the tourist experience. sometimes you might want one or the other, it's up to you

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