How one photographer on the European continent wants to encourage a travel revolution
While there isn't much in the way of hard numbers to back it up, many people feel that their travel habits have remained virtually unchanged for years. The world seems to be changing around us and countless aspects of our lives have been radically redefined in just the last few years. Travel habits, however, change much slower for any variety of reasons.
Some people may be swayed by slick marketing campaigns while others feel that there's a degree of value in the social signaling that comes with having once visited certain areas. Some people have taken to visiting famous destinations from yesteryear such as the hallowed halls of Cambridge University. However, many would still like to plan trips to central London, New York City or Paris.
Considering the ongoing lockdowns coupled with the fact that cultural tastes are quickly changing, one individual has made the case for drastic changes in travel patterns and we should take his observations to heart in a pretty unusual way. Some of Southern Europe's most historically rich and sunshine-laden destinations aren't well known outside of their regions, but they're a special gem that's being quickly rediscovered by a more global audience.
Making a Case for Small Town Travel
Guadix, Obidos, St. Paul de Vence and Trogir are among a collection of storied cultural heritage sites on the continent, but many people who live even 100 miles away haven't had the opportunity to visit these locations on a regular basis. They were of great fascination to travellers in the past, but somewhere along the line people forgot about these gems. That's where one photographer sought to bring a more vibrant feel and appreciation for them.
A passionate European travel photography expert recently published a post encouraging people to rethink their travel trends, and many of us should take a look at this piece in the context of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. While the photographer was addressing the world in many ways, his comments could very well strike a chord with UK-based travelers who have easy access to the continent by jumping on a short flight or trekking through the Eurotunnel.
Individuals living in so-called red zones, such as Liverpool, have been locked up for what seems like an eternity. That's made them wistful for the days when they were able to travel freely, but even when they could it always seemed like people were compelled by some unseen force to continue to travel to the same tired destinations.
Big cities can be very gorgeous, but traveling to them has some very serious drawbacks. In many cases, the hustle and bustle can be a strong reminder of everything about modern society that travelers hoped to get away from. Huge groups of people all travelling to crowded cities is also a major environmental problem.
Travellers that have taken note of conservation issues are increasingly looking at various technical or political solutions to their problems, but Pat Le Paulmier feels he might have some answers to these problems as well.
Addressing Social & Environmental Change with a Simple Flight
The namesake of Le Paulmier photography had an unusual upbringing. He traveled between Europe, the Middle East and Australia. As a result, he played witness to difficult political and economic situations. He even saw the aftermath of the downfall of the Marcos regime in the Philippines.
One thing that he noticed throughout all of this was the importance of cultural history in times of great change no matter what was happening. That's what led him to release a piece titled "why the future of travel belongs to small towns". Rather than sending huge tours of people to already congested cities, it would be better for people to reduce their environmental impact by planning shorter trips that give them a greater view of the local culture in the process.
While the coronavirus pandemic may have acted as a major catalyst that promoted the trend toward travelling to more authentic locations, a sense of nostalgia might have helped as well. These areas serve as a window into a simpler time and place that resonate with individuals regardless of what kind of situation, they might be in. Authenticity is something that's often hard to attain, and many people today have found so many modern institutions lacking in this rare commodity. Some say that younger generations are perhaps the most inclined to seek out an authentic experience, but there are benefits for anyone who wants to explore the unknown.
That's exactly why Le Paulmier has encouraged travelers, cultural buffs and photographers to rethink where they're going and rediscover hidden gems. In many cases, they'll be standing on the shoulders of giants.
Paris is perhaps today's biggest draw for artists in France, but St Paul de Vence once welcomed the likes of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Miro, Chagall and Braque all once called the town home. Brilliant artists like Leonardo were once proud to use the names of their small towns as part of their signature, but today few would. However, that may all change. By considering the compelling argument made by the photographer in favor of this shift and the fact that the lockdown has already changed the way we travel, it’s likely that people might one day soon enjoy the benefits of a gentler way to travel.
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