Well ladies and gentlemen, some will rejoice and others will be sad that FIFA 2014 is almost over. The last of the countries to receive mention are from the host continent, South America:
Brazil (also mentioned in our inaugural post)
If you’ve been following the games at all you will know that some teams have fared better than others.
South America as a travel destination scores big for the adventure traveller: stunning landscapes and varied geography; cultural diversity and historic buildings; world wonders and intriguing animals. It also has its fair share of travel advisories for those who relish a little risk on the road. These are just some of the reasons for which one travels. But what of the European explorers who made their way here many years ago and whose influence is still seen today? Are their reasons for travelling that much different from ours today?
Most seasoned travellers know and will agree (I think) that there is a spectrum of travelling types: from the tourists who just want to see the sights to the traveller who wants to experience the culture and all the variations of travellers in between. A certain class of traveller, who I shall name ‘tourist’ may well share something in common with their European exploratory predecessors.
In Search of Treasure and Trade Routes
Spanish and Portuguese explorers who came to these FIFA countries were here in part to seek out treasures and trade routes. Along the way they managed to conquer (they’re not called conquistadors for nothing) the local inhabitants (you may have heard of the Aztecs and the Incas?) Gold, silver and food (e.g. potatoes) were taken from the New World back to the Old and their navigational adventures helped to shape the map of the world we see today.
The tourist also travels to seek out treasures to bring back home albeit of a different kind: souvenirs and snapshots of the sights. While they may not enslave the Indigenous people, they confine their expectations of them to that of the images they see in glossy brochures. (“Cool! Look at that native woman in traditional dress! Click, click, click goes the shutter.) And their navigation, spearheaded by tour buses and tour guides, maps out the well-worn tourist trails that suffer from heavy traffic and the resulting commercialism that capitalizes on such tourism.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”