The Role of Travel Essay

The Role of Travel Essay

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Travel is an effective way to experience other nations and their cultures. Open minded traveling allows people to immerse themselves in the culture of foreign nations. But, there are some forms of travel that revolve around a different mindset, a mindset in which the goal is to impose your culture on another’s culture. Examples of this negative imperialist type of travel are the travels of exploration done by Christopher Columbus’ in the Americas and, American soldiers in Vietnam, depicted in Francis Coopla’s film “The Apocalypse Now: Redux.” The negative effects of other forms of travel include the travels of migration to London by Caribbean’s in Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners.
Through travel you are provided with means to learn about a nation and to engage in foreign cultures firsthand nevertheless, some forms of travel are unconstructive towards the learning process.
In letters written by Christopher Columbus, his accounts of the exploration of the Americas showed how travel can be negative. Columbus wrote to Argon sovereigns, Santangel and Sanchez, about his time in the Americas. Their only source of information about the nation and its culture came from Columbus’ narratives and stereotypes. His letters flirted with the truth; it seemed Columbus’ intentions were to make the people of the Americas appear inferior and to make conquering them sound like an easy task. Throughout his letters Columbus shows a lack of respect for the people of the Americas and their culture.
In the quote, “I found innumerable people and very many islands, of which I took possession in Your Highnesses’ name,” Columbus neglects the fact that the islands were already inhabited by the people of the Americas. (Zamora, 3). Columbus is a good ex...


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...tives and misconceptions to be a part of their trips nations and their cultures will continue to be misrepresented. The negative aspects of travel are found in Columbus ‘exploration of the Americas, the conquest of Vietnam in the film The Apocalypse Now: Redux, Caribbean’s migration to London in The Lonely Londoners. But if travelers became more self aware perhaps more trips would be like self-defining like Stella’s in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Travel is an essential part of our lives and it will only be a positive part if we allow ourselves and our minds to be open to other nations and their cultures.



Work Cited:
The Apocalayse Now: Redux.Dir.Fracncis Ford Coppola. Paramont Pictures,2001
McMilan, Terry. How Stella Got Her Groove Back. New York: Penguin Group, 1997.
Selvon, Sam. The Lonely Londoners.Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited,1956.

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