Continued from Page 16
The philosopher Johann Herder said that history is geography set in motion; thankfully,
there are still places on the planet where history moves at the pace of an oxcart rather than
Just as politics and sociology can change destinations, so can technology and economics.
The world began to shrink as aviation technology brought most nations’ capitals within 24-
h ours of each other (provided, of course, there are no
d elays on the tarmac). And as a result of globalization,
c ognitive dissonance often becomes part of the travel
e xperience: You feel it when you see a Bedouin speak-i ng on a cell phone outside his tent in the desert in
O man or when you look out the window of your hotel
i n Johor Darul Takzim, Malaysia, and see a Starbucks.
Photography, video and 3-D imagery have brought
the far-away and exotic, lifelike, into our homes. Wiki-pedia can satisfy our intellectual curiosity about anywhere in the world.
But even during this era when we no longer have to
t ravel to find out all we want to know about the world,
t he travel industry has boomed. No matter how true to
l ife an image may be, no matter how skillful a writer,
t he sense of place that is conveyed digitally or in print
i s never the same as what a traveler experiences when
a ll five senses are engaged. Photos of the Na Pali coast
o n Kauai don’t smell like the Na Pali coast on Kauai
A street scene in Dubai from 1958 and an ( though it’s likely someone is working to correct that).
aerial view of Dubai taken in 2007. No matter how faithfully a place is replicated virtually, people still want to see places for themselves. For
one thing, they want to see if it is, indeed, as represented. And travel conveys status: To say at
a cocktail party that you watched a fascinating documentary about Bhutan on the Discovery
Channel will never have the same cachet as talking about how you were given a personal
tour of the Bhutanese relics of Taktshang Monastery by its head monk.
T W PHO TO B Y ARNIE WEISSMANN
Perhaps the defining trend for travel destinations from 1958 to the present has been the
mainstreaming of the remote. In 1958, a trip to Europe or Hawaii would earn you a place
among the best-traveled on your block.
That has changed.
If Europe represented the destination for the “Grand Tour” in the ’50s, ’60s and early part
of the ’70s, the next generation had its formative travel experiences following the hippie trail
through Asia Minor and the Indian subcontinent and then down through Southeast Asia
See PLACES on Page 20
Djibouti becomes independent.
Dominica, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu become independent.
Kiribati; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Marshall Islands;
and Suriname become independent.
Rhodesia changes name to Zimbabwe. Vanuatu becomes independent.
Senegal and the Gambia begin steps to merge into a nation
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declares independence;
is recognized only by Turkey. Belize, Palau, Antigua and Barbuda
and St. Kitts and Nevis become independent.
Upper Volta changes its name to Burkina Faso. Brunei becomes independent.
Senegal and the Gambia abandon the plan to merge as Senegambia.
Yemen and Democratic Yemen unite. East and West Germany reunite.
Namibia is granted independence, Lithuania declares it.
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