Are we obsessed with world firsts? – The Daily Telegraph

Are we obsessed with world firsts? – The Daily Telegraph

In this opinion piece for Telegraph Travel I discussed the growing trend of world firsts in the adventure travel industry.


I can’t help but think that this obsession of finding rivers, deserts and mountain faces on which to set a “world first” stinks of the same brand of neo-colonialism that funded the Victorian age of exploration. Hiram Bingham, for example, didn’t discover Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes, but rediscovered a place that many local people knew of and lived close to.


He was just the first western explorer to bring it to widespread global attention and even had the gumption to poetically rewrite his account of finding the citadel in order to make his “discovery” sound more exciting, to appease his publishers and sponsors. What we’re seeing now certainly isn’t just a modern fixation – “explorers” have never been short on hyperbole.


You can read the full article here.


April 22, 2018