Why Travel The Armpit of the World

daniel adler travelsI once wrote about meeting a man who lived in Malawi, who said, whatever you do, do not go to the Western World when you travel long term.

I now understand why. You can go to Europe any time you want. It’s Western culture. You don’t have to gesticulate to make your point, there are no one-armed beggar children, you don’t have to poop in a hole in the ground — you may see five hundred year old paintings, and ancient town squares, and have a great time, but it’s not eye-opening. You can go to Paris on your honeymoon, with your grand kids when you’re older. But while young, it’s important to take advantage.

There’s something to be said for traveling to places where the signs are in non-Latinate characters, where you don’t know anyone, not even how to say ‘hello.’ There’s something to be said for going to the armpit of the world, not to have fun, or rage with mushrooms and ecstasy, but to see how people live and understand how you’re the same.

I write like I know. But when I get to the mouth of the Ganges in a few months and write firsthand about the women washing their clothes just downriver from the funeral pyres burning, then I’ll really be able to write you a story.

Published by Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel was born in Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in Portland, Oregon. He studied literature and philosophy at NYU and creative writing at Edinburgh University. He is finishing an MFA in Fiction at University of South Carolina.

2 thoughts on “Why Travel The Armpit of the World

  1. I’m traveling the world, with one camera and one lens, taking street photography, mixing it with the locals, and writing about my experiences. I’ve been to 37 countries so far, and I have a growing audience who appreciate that people everywhere, when it comes down to it, are indeed, people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: