Sorry all, been away to a conference and then the start of university had me jumping. But it is back to the grind.
Last Spring I was asked to work and present a fifty minute lecture for our fall Ancient Lenses symposium on Greece. I jumped at the chance, having enjoyed presenting about tourism, tourism landscapes and ancient Egypt last November. This time though, I was given more autonomy about what I could present and have decided to examine the origins of the Hero’s journey, tourism authenticity and construction of a tourism voice or narrative. That our unique origins of a tourism language, our narratives, originate in that quest to find ourselves or by chance in the action of tourism. That there is multiple meanings for and derived by our undertakings.
Now this probably goes against the adage and construct of authenticity but I feel a new discourse needs to be examined with our modern times. To understand today we must visit the past and understand the point of reality in which we find our actors. We are all products of our three distinct sociocultural, economic and physical environments. Our point or perspective of reality is nurtured and developed within that sphere of awareness. We mature and broaden our view with experience. As Campbell, illustrates, we progress from a limited awareness to a greater one within our life span.
But we should not think that it is just the tourist that has influence upon the voices and subsequent stories. The acculturalization of individuals, contact of the new, authentic or the contrived; the very cultures they encounter, may or may not, push the tourist or host to reflection and speak of the encounter. Today, we have the ability through modern forms of journaling to tell a good story. The ritual of the conveyance, the “return with the elixir”, may have been more complicated. (Was it richer though?)
Modern storytelling has its origins in ancient literature; the structure is refined and developed. That there is an underlying current of thought, of consideration. That at that time, though we had no modern concept of tourism, travelogues exist as stories and within actual journals. The bedrock of Campbell’s treatise of the human mythology, the narratives is in his examination of Greek mythology, the works of Homer and other folklore.
I cannot help but see the correlation of the journey and the concept of tourism in everyday life. We can be a tourist and travel mere feet in our own backyard to experience an awakening of spirit that is then translated into narratives. I am, I know breaking the cardinal rule of the definition of tourism. But definitions again stems from the tangible and intangible. What we can measure and what we cannot. I am an arm-chair traveller at home when I visit other’s weblogs and online journals, like their Facebook Timelines. I see a narrative. I read it, digest it and can be pulled into action. I live vicariously through their journeys. I listen to their stories just as our ancient civilizations did.
This contemplates then questions for the next step….for it has jump started thoughts about research…