The Ego Travellers

There are times that I get bored and want to do something a bit different. Such was the case when, during a bright, sunny, mid-May day that it was time to go a tourist watching. Normally the camera is left at home, but this trip I decided to take some photo's as well.
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One question that arose, was about myself. Thinking about it, I realized that I have really never been a "tourist". Any journey was to either visit a relative, who often lived thousands of miles away, to have a break from the hum-drum, step outside my parameters or for the things here on the blog. There were times work involved going to a city that also accommodates tourism (for instance, Amsterdam where I worked at IBM a long time back) or landing in one that I didn't realize was such a place (like Florence the other year). I may occassionally write for a tourist, but to visit such places for myself—no. I have a funny feeling this post just might upset some people.

By now, you may have realized that I am not a fan of tourist traps, yet I live in one of the worst places on earth for that. So gawking at the crowds of people, all trundling along with their various means of self agrandisment (often a selfie-sticked smartphone), satisfying their egos about how they visited London, spent massive amounts of money, ate some of the crappiest food on the planet, filled the pockets of souvenir shop owners with gusto and stood in line for hours just to see some wax figure that meant absolutely nothing to them—tickles my funny bone no end.

One man, whom I didn't get a photo of, had this huge headset plugged into his iPhone. He couldn't hear a thing of the area he was walking through, carrying his souvenir bag (probably containing a T-Shirt that said, "I saw London"). Yessir, he certainly did.
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This fellow was a self confessed tourist. Nice guy though.

The Guardian newspaper has an interesting article by Will Coldwell — 'Ego travel' — your guide to the narcissistic heart of modern holidaying.

I love it, a new term for tourists, Ego Travellers.

In the center of the place from April through August, London is swarming with this lot. There are those walking about who work in town and are on their way to lunch or somewhere, but in summer they are a minority.
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Once in a while though someone different is present. In the above photo, the lady sitting in the lower middle is visiting to take part in something at one of the universities. She is a university professor here for a conference. We had a chat for a while. Sitting under the Eros Statue was something she did for the first time, over 40 years ago. She was still on her way to the place where she would be staying, so had her small suitcase with her. An interesting woman. I imagine (I didn't ask her) that she may have sat there to reminisce and possibly consider how far she had come, since those heady days of youth. I reckon that's something we all do at one time or another, me included.

But have I become an Ego Traveller?

I hope not. The reason I run this blog is because I needed to keep myself busy after retiring. Travelling was always part of my life, this is just a continuation and sharing as you may do if meeting someone. Also, I've spoken with some kids on summer break who went to a place and wish someone had told them it was total rubbish, don't waste your time or money.

I like to get out alone in the country and hike (on and off trail), take photo's and this is a way of recording it—good or bad.
Jun 07, 2018

Comments
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Ted
The Chinese tourists in Europe are pretty much the same. Some are taking photo's with a huge tablet, barely able to hang onto it during the process.
20, 2018 at 1603
Frank
Ted, we were in Asia 3 months where Asian tourists depressed me. I thought we had our share of self-absorbed tourists (oh, and I enjoyed the linked article) but you go to Asia and they don't give a crap about anything that their selfie. I had some Chinese people asking me to move a couple of times because I was in the way of their selfie at the crowded Grand Palace. Unbelievable. Have a look at this link if you want to be depressed about the future: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/18/chinas-selfie-obsession

Frank (bbqboy)
17, 2018 at 2008