18 March 2013: "There's No Point In Making The Effort And Taking the Risk of Travelling the World, Disturbing People And Animals As You Go, When You Can See It All on TV or the Internet."

Seeing Is Believing

"We went to Sea to see the World/What do you think we saw?"

There is something - and I'd like to believe that it's in all of us - that bids the urge to explore. To find out. To seek truth. It's like a pandemic of knowledge-seeking, fuelled by determination and dopamine, to find out everything about anything. I certainly feel it. And with the Internet and shows like The Big Bang Theory - a show about the adventures of a group of know-it-alls - it's almost become cool to embrace you inner nerd.

But then there's another side to it that not everyone has. The types you'll find at Scouts and Cadets and similar organisations have it. Most sport-inclined people have it. "It", that I discuss here, is the urge to go out, get up and experience for yourself what the World is really like.

I know that not everyone is so inclined: I, for instance, am as bookish as they come. But I think that everyone should travel the World, if only to broaden their own character and have an understanding of the place they live in that somebody's article - like this one - or a TV show just can't tell you.

For instance. The Internet cannot show you what life is like in rural Arcadia (in Greece), it can only pique your interest. Most people, if they read a blog or watched a show on Arcadia, they would think at once that they know an awful lot about the place, its people and its customs - when, in fact, it is crazy to think that at all. The one true way to discover this place is by visiting it - because you will always discover more that way. Someone will always tell you something more; show you something more, that the show missed out, which brings me onto my next point:

TV shows - and the Internet - have an audience that has almost no attention span. There are only twenty-four hours a day and I'd say that for the average person three or four of those [hours] are spent on the Internet, and websites like Twitter and Wikipedia reflect this. There is absolutely no way a blog (for the sake of argument) about a visit to Bora Bora (ditto) could fit everything about the system and culture there without becoming boring and subsequently unpopular. It is well known that the Internet is a very social kind of network and nobody likes to be ignored: after all, nearly everyone is on there. But I digress. The point is, the TV and Internet must omit detail - precious detail, that could give you more of a feeling for the place - to keep its viewers interested.

In light of this I will continue, to say that there has in recent times been a lot of misinformation circulating the Internet. I believe rightly that this misinformation largely results from misunderstanding. A certain celebrity had it right when she said that "anyone will believe anything if you put #fact after it" and it is true. Many people would rather post than think, in fact, they do so, and slander, rumours and half-truths (if they contain any truth at all) are widely circulated under the pretence of being "scientific studies". How, I ask, in view of such misinformation, is one supposed to form correct and proper judgement of a people or a place, or deduce truth from untruth?

It follows without question that a student or postgraduate should travel the Earth. Not everything in TV shows or the Internet is true fact, and the only way to find out the truth - and to broaden one's horizons and come back a better-rounded person - is to go and see for yourself. There are different ways of doing things out there, ideas we can bring back home and implement, if they are superior. The information exchange rates between people are higher than ever, yet most of it is false and it is not all there. People and animals need to be seen, to be observed, and in the case of the latter, eaten - in sensible amounts, and people to be observed in a non-intrusive way, but I hoped that went without saying.

In fact, I wish you, Reader, were not reading this article now. I wish you were up, out, and doing something with yourself and yours while you still have time left. It is sad, anyway, to watch presenters talking to these amazing people and doing these amazing things while you yourself just sit there.

Go. Go now, find yourself a holiday or travel destination, and find it all out for yourself.

The End

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