Mark Tomlinson

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Musty Man - Hating America

The Musty Man - Hating America: "And that's the backside of backpacking. You can't stay - going native is its own sort of non-solution, and most backpackers are smart enough to know that they don't really belong in the place they've been in a permanent way, no matter how they feel about it while they're there, but it does have a way of temporarily, overwhelmingly reordering your sense of the 'haves' and 'have nots' in such a way that your own problems seem embarrassingly small. When you feel shitty, you apologize for it. When other people express worry about their relationships or their jobs or their parents or anything else, you resent them, because you feel like they don't have real problems. But you hate that behavior in yourself, so you resent yourself."

Ahh the epiphany of someone who has travelled abroad, for the first time, in a third world country. You really don't have any way to describe this to someone who has not done it. It can be a life-viewpoint-altering experience, if you are of a mind to accept that much change.