You Can’t Escape the Disease When You Are the Carrier

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“Because so much traveling is a quest for authenticity through difference, it quickly becomes yet another locus for competitive consumption . . . When it comes to exotic travel, hell is other Westerners . . . This competition for tourist spots—call it ‘competitive displacement’—has exactly the same structure as hip consumerism. This time, though, the prestigious property being sought is not the cool, but the exotic . . . As more visitors pile into the area, it becomes more ‘touristy,’ less exotic, which ruins it for the people who got there first . . . Thanks to their unceasing efforts at scouring the earth in search of ever more exotic locales, countercultural rebels have functioned for decades as the ‘shock troops’ of mass tourism”

Nation of Rebels, pp. 270-271