Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lost Charm

In his book Falling Of the Map, Pico Iyer writes "When we chose a place to visit, the way a country carries itself and markets itself - the way it knows itself, really - is everything. We flee certain resorts not just because they are touristed but more because they have begun to see themselves through tourists' eyes, to amend themselves to tourists' needs, to carry themselves in capital letters : because in short,  they have simplified themselves into their sense of what a foreigner wants."

He goes on to say that Vietnam "still has the bashful charm of a naturally alluring girl stepping out into bright sunlight after years of dark seclusion"

I could not help drawing a parallel between Iyer's examination of what makes a destination more or less attractive to what makes a person more or less interesting to a potential partner. "Touristed" might translate to having had multiple relationships in the process of trying to find "the one". To that end, the longer someone stays in the dating pool, the more "touristed" they become.

The process specially over an extended period of time would likely make the person more amenable to "amend" and "simplify" themselves until there is no "charm" or "allure" left in them. They arrive at that point carrying their need to be a relationship in "capital letters" and in doing so, drive away the more discerning among potential partners. The romantic partner equivalent of an astute traveler like Iyer may not by stopping by to be with them.

1 comment:

The Muddy Girl said...

Sometimes when i'm older and free of responsibilities I have this yearning to travel to quaint countryside spots all over the world and settle down there for a month, become a local and then move on till i find the right place to belong. Sometimes i think it's only about nature, sometimes i think it's people and nature, both make a fantastic combination.