There are some sentiments which it is simply unacceptable to utter aloud without evoking the horror of everyone around you. Here is one such – I am not particularly interested in travel. Making noises to this effect with your face will, in every case in my experience, result in either pity, disgust, or outright fright from the listener. It is understood to be a tacit declaration of delight in ignorance and disinterest in personal development.

How, their horrified faces seem to imply, could you become self-actualised here? Where “here” is, is not relevant. The horror will be the same if you declare little interest in travel and you live almost anywhere in the Western world.

Travel is in itself value-neutral (except in environmental terms, in which case do not lecture me while waving your bag for life about; a round trip flight between New York and California, according to the New York Times, generates about 20 per cent of the greenhouse gases your car emits in the course of an entire year. There is little an individual can do worse for the environment than fly). The personal benefit which comes from travel depends largely on why the experience is embarked upon and what is done with it.

Generally speaking, the Western obsession with travel for travel’s sake is based upon the idea that the real substance of life is to be experienced in a place that is other. It presupposes that philosophical enlightenment can be bought, and that expanding one’s mind and understanding is a matter of having enough money combined with a change in geographical location. Proximity to something new, we have decided, is equivalent to understanding it.

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I love to travel and I love reading and writing about traveling, that is why I started 2traveling. I want everyone to see the wonderful places around the world and experience everything that is awesome about it.