Our bucket list culture has lead to an obsession of ticking off countries – which, I believe, is wholly unhealthy for our planet. In this column for The Telegraph I ask if we should try to change our ways.
“Have you done India?” I heard being asked from a nearby table across a coffee shop in Sri Lanka recently – my ears pricking up at the boastful conversation emanating from below a mop of blonde dreadlocks. On the ground beside me, a pair of twenty-something Brits were discussing their recent travelling conquests around the globe, as they sat, anklet deep, in the soft sand – their turmeric lattes, dusted in cinnamon, glowing rusty auburn in the fierce tropical sun. “Yeah, I did India in, like, a fortnight. I’ll do Thailand in 10 days.”
It was a lovely scene, indeed – lapping waves and rustling, lofty palms. But that choice of words – “done” – the cynic within me me was riled. When did this enter travelling lingo? Why have countries, cities and regions become places that must be completed and ticked-off – like the chronological, finite levels of a videogame?
You can read the full column here.
July 26, 2019