Whenever someone tells you that they have traveled a lot, you suddenly become more interested in what that person has to say. Traveling is a really big thing in the Western world today; but why is it interesting to travel? The world gets smaller and cultures get merged together concurrently with the development of technology; it has never been easier to explore the world and stay in contact with people we meet around the world. In principle, we could just look everything up on the internet; why not settle for landscape pictures and videos online?
I think we want to meet people where they are and see them doing their own thing in their local environment. As long as it agrees with the cultural identity built on stereotypes, that is. When we meet people from a different culture, we don’t really want to hear anything else than what correlates with our own perception of the country’s identity.
When we travel, the identity of a country gets blurry; we mix up how people actually are with the stereotypes from different cultures. I was a little surprised when I got to know that not all Irish people drink Guinness for breakfast or care that much about partying on St. Patrick’s Day; it was not what I wanted to hear. If you know the stereotypes of a country, and you have looked up the place beforehand, then why even go if it can break the illusion of your perception of the country’s identity? On the other hand, is the country’s identity really based upon those stereotypes? Maybe the identity of the country is not build upon the stereotypes from foreigners; it is worth going there to find out. Get rid of the stereotypes and unravel the identity of a strange place yourself!