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In the middle of nowhere? A sociological guide to the beaten tracks of backpacking in the former British… William, Flynn 2011

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In the Middle of Nowhere? A Sociological Guide to the Beaten Tracks of Backpacking in the Former British Empire by William Flynn  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY In THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Sociology)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) July 2011 © William Flynn 2011 i  Abstract Since the 1970s backpacking travel has become an increasingly popular and desirable pursuit among young people from western countries. Guidebooks such as Lonely Planet sold young people the practical know-how that would allow them to travel ‗off-the-beaten-track‘. The off-the-beaten-track travel experiences of present-day backpackers‘ are one way in which youth lifestyle, geography and identity are consumed and produced away from home and apart from the everyday world. This thesis provides an historical, textual and ethnographic analysis of the practices and discourses which distinguish travel from tourism, and it examines how particular destinations and experiences are considered more challenging, and therefore more valuable, than others. In particular it seeks to answer the question of what makes India such a ‗special place‘ in the world of backpacking as a ‗litmus test‘ for off-the-beaten-track travel. It begins by analyzing the historical precursors and ideological antecedents of the discourses and practices of independent travel and tourism in 19th Europe, with a focus on England and the role played by independent guidebooks in that period. The textual strategies employed in the most popular guidebooks today, those published by Lonely Planet, are then analyzed in connection with the production and consumption of particular backpacking enclaves in Canada, Ireland, and India, where the promise of travel as a self-cultivating, authentic, and valuable activity is realized. Finally, through a combination of detailed, in-depth, qualitative interviews with 24 backpackers in Canada, India and Ireland, historical and contemporary analyses of the Lonely Planet brand and guidebooks, as well as a multi-sited ethnography in three popular backpacker destinations of Vancouver, Delhi, and Cork, the thesis analyzes how the ideological codes of travel and tourism are historically produced, textually and orally mediated, and geographically circulated in the field of backpacking travel.  ii  Preface The ethics review for this research was approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Certificate Number H07-01329.  iii  Table of Contents Abstract .............................................................................................................................................ii Preface ............................................................................................................................................. iii Table of Contents .............................................................................................................................. iv List of Figures................................................................................................................................... vii Acknowledgements......................................................................................................................... viii Dedication ......................................................................................................................................... x Introduction: The World and Work of Backpacking, Guidebooks, and Travel ........................................1 Why A Sociological Study of Backpacking? ............................................................................................... 2 Central Questions and Approach .............................................................................................................. 6 Understanding Backpacking as a Form of ‘Travel’ ................................................................................ 9 Methodology: Backpackers, Ethnographic Practice, and Guidebooks ................................................... 17 Backpackers and Fieldwork ................................................................................................................. 19 Guidebooks Past and Present ............................................................................................................. 24 Tourism and Travel in Theory and Practice ............................................................................................ 28 Chapter Outline: A Guided Tour ............................................................................................................. 39 Chapter 1 The Historical Genesis of the Tourist/Traveler Distinction .................................................. 45 A Genealogy of the Traveler Self: ‘Travel’ and the Genesis of the Anti-Tourist Discourse .................... 47 From Bacon to Byron on the Grand Tour of Europe ........................................................................... 53 Romanticism and the Genesis of the Anti-Tourist Discourse ............................................................. 59 Blackwood’s Magazine and ‘The Tourist’................................................................................................ 70 Simmel, Romanticism and the ‘Work of Travel’ ..................................................................................... 76 ‘Enlightened’ Travel Guidebooks and the Salvation of ‘The Tourist’ ...................................................... 82 Murray, Baedeker and the Genesis of the Modern Travel Guidebook .................................................. 89 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................... 96 Chapter 2 Legends of Lonely Planet .................................................................................................. 98 The Changing Culture of Travel: Experiential Learning........................................................................... 99 Geographies of Repulsion and Desire: The Beaten Track and its Discontents ..................................... 105 Off The Beaten Track: The Lonely Planet Guidebook as a Cartographic Legend.................................. 108 In Loco Parentis ..................................................................................................................................... 110  iv  Lonely Planet’s Mythologies of Travel .................................................................................................. 114 ‘Seeing Through’ Lonely Planet Guidebooks ........................................................................................ 118 Subjects and Objects of Lonely Planet Photographs ............................................................................ 126 Authorial Legends: The Lonely Planet Story, A ‘Legend’ from the Past................................................ 134 Authorial Legends: Contemporary Lonely Planet Writers and Readers ............................................... 137 Strategy 1: Keeping the voice pure: the author’s moral code .......................................................... 138 Strategy 2: Keeping the voice local ................................................................................................... 141 Strategy 3: ‘You write the script’: or the auto-productive legends of Lonely Planet ....................... 147 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 150 Chapter 3 The Beaten Track: Moving Between Texts and the ‘Real World’ ....................................... 156 Canada, India and Ireland: Travelling Through the Ethnographic Field................................................ 159 Vancouver, Canada ........................................................................................................................... 160 Paharganj, Delhi and Leh, Ladakh in India ........................................................................................ 161 Cork City, Ireland ............................................................................................................................... 164 Negotiating Local Legends: Lonely Planet Guidebooks in the Ethnographic Field ............................... 165 The Holiday of Tourism: Traveling Distinctions in the Field ................................................................. 181 Threatening ‘Travel’ in India: The Touristic Destruction of Local Authenticity .................................... 203 Disciplining the Threat of Tourism: Haggling and Budget Travel.......................................................... 210 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 215 Chapter 4 Off the Beaten Track: The Utopian Promises of Travel ..................................................... 218 Backpackers and Off-The-Beaten-Track Stories.................................................................................... 223 Legends of Lonely Planet Revisited....................................................................................................... 226 The Work of Travel................................................................................................................................ 235 The Embodied Traveler ......................................................................................................................... 245 Working the Body in Canada: The Desire for ‘Blisters and Bliss’ in a Civilized Land ............................ 257 The ‘Gift’ of Travel: Authentic Relations and Mutual Reciprocity ........................................................ 263 Travelling East: India and the University of Life.................................................................................... 273 Travelling West in Ireland and Canada ................................................................................................. 286 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 293 Conclusion: Past Reflections and Future Directions ......................................................................... 296 Revisiting Central Themes and Findings ............................................................................................... 302 Directions for Future Research ............................................................................................................. 309 v  Bibliography .................................................................................................................................. 316 I: Academic Works and Secondary Sources .......................................................................................... 316 II: Primary Sources ................................................................................................................................ 325 Guidebooks ....................................................................................................................................... 325 Websites............................................................................................................................................ 325 Newspaper and Magazine Articles ................................................................................................... 326 Movies and Documentaries .............................................................................................................. 327 Travel Journal .................................................................................................................................... 327 Appendix I: Summary and Breakdown of Interviewee Information .................................................. 328 Appendix II: Ethics and Consent...................................................................................................... 331 Appendix III: Interview Consent Form ............................................................................................. 332 Appendix IV: Interview Recruitment Materials ............................................................................... 334 Appendix V: Interview Schedule ..................................................................................................... 336  vi  List of Figures Figure 1 ‗In the Middle of Nowhere‘…………………………………………………………… 15 Figure 2 Introduction Page to Murray‘s Handbook for Travelers in Ireland…………………… 92 Figure 3 Skeleton Routes in Murray‘s Handbook for Travelers in Ireland…………………….. 94 Figure 4 Indian Woman Lonely Planet India………………………………………………………… 131 Figure 5 Local Woman in India Lonely Planet India……………………………………………….. 131  vii  Acknowledgements I could fill chapters of this thesis with the innumerable ways in which my supervisor, Tom Kemple, has supported, encouraged, and tutored me throughout this most difficult endeavor. Simply put, I could not have done this without him. As a supervisor, Tom has provided me with a truly astonishing and exemplary amount of professional support. It was during the most difficult times of my PhD program that Tom‘s unwavering commitment to seeing me complete this PhD ensured that I can now write these words of gratitude and acknowledgement. He is to me a sociological mentor, professional role model, pedagogical coach, and eternally understanding person. Thank you Tom! Both Renisa Mawani and Dawn Currie have been superb committee members and mentors throughout this entire process. They have been consistently and indefatigably committed to the completion of this thesis, providing prompt, prescient and productive feedback and comments on my work and have intellectually challenged me throughout. Thank you Dawn and Renisa! You were both fantastic committee members to work with. On a personal level, my wonderful daughter, Lauren, to whom this thesis is dedicated, has been a constant companion with me for the past 16 years. I could never bring myself to fully quit the thesis as I knew that I would have had to justify to Lauren why I had spent several years in Canada, away from her, with nothing to show for it, and that was simply an unacceptable option. So thank you Lauren, for putting up with all my absences and my changes of plans throughout these years. I know it has not been easy for you and I hope that this gift of my thesis to you will in some small way make those difficult times a bit more comprehensible and palatable. My beautiful wife and partner, Marie-Eve, has been a constant companion for years of this thesis. We have both lived through this process together and Marie-Eve has always been viii  there for me. When I wanted to quit the whole thing, when I wanted to pull my hair out, when I needed love and compassion (as well as an occasional kick in the ass) she has been a constant companion. I really could not have done this without you. Thank you from the depths of my heart, lovey. You have brought so much in to my life, I love you. I also want to thank my dear friend Pat Comerford for being there for me over the years and being an unrepentant supporter and enthusiast of my academic aspirations. Pat, I said to you recently that I felt that my life was only just beginning and I want to thank you for being an integral and instrumental part of that journey. I want to thank Kieran Keohane for his years of encouragement, direction and humor, for his initial enthusiasm for my post graduate plans in Canada, and for his infectious love of sociology that got me started on sociology in the first place as an undergraduate in Cork City. I would also like to thank Sorcha Kearney for all her generosity, support and help throughout this PhD program in making my trips to Ireland, and Lauren‘s to Canada possible. I would also like to thank Clive Sinclair Poulton and Siofraidh Kearney. There have been many people who helped in different ways to make all of this possible and who have made life in Vancouver and Cork all the more enjoyable. In particular, and in no particular order, I want to thank Anna and Rafa, Chad and Natalie Baloy, Sandra, Jay Fiddler and Edge, Peter and Jette Ove, Bonar and Megan, Sherrie Dilley, Shelly Ketchell, Ulas, Stephen Guy-Bray, all of the anthropology and sociology cohorts that I know, Fred and Marie-Claude, Carmen Kuhling, Gus, Tacky, Sean Wallace, Ronan Goggin, Murph, Eoin O Riordan and Dermot O Connell.  Finally, I want to thank my late mother, Marie Flynn, who did not live to see my completion of this thesis. I hope I have made you proud mam. Rest in Peace.  ix  Dedication  This thesis is dedicated to my beautiful and talented daughter, Lauren Flynn-Kearney.  x  Introduction: The World and Work of Backpacking, Guidebooks, and Travel Taking a year out to go backpacking has become an increasingly popular and desirable thing to do among predominantly young, white, middle class professionals and university students from ‗The West‘ (Richards and Wilson 2004, O Reilly 2006). Although the experiences of travelers have been written about in innumerable literary works, from Homer‘s The Odyssey (1980) to James Joyce‘s Ulysses (1992), it was not really until the 1970s that the possibility of becoming a traveler was realizable, for the first time, to so many young people in predominantly Western countries. The publication and popularization of alternative guidebooks for backpackers by companies such as Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, and Let‘s Go gave these would-be travelers all the information and support they needed in order to strike out on their own and explore the world. From the 1970s onwards, what had previously been a world vicariously experienced through literature and movies, was now made increasingly available ‗in the flesh‘. The exponential growth of the backpacking market, in which Lonely Planet was a key player, allowed scores of young middle class westerners to ‗live the dream‘ and become travelers in their own right. Since the 1970s backpacking has morphed from a relatively marginal and small-scale phenomenon to a multi-billion dollar industry. For example, Jarvis (1994) states the backpacking sector of the tourist market in Australia was already worth 1.5 Billion Australian dollars in 1991, and that ‗in 1989/90 the size of the foreign backpacker market in Australia was estimated by previous research at around 160,000 - 185,000 people‘ (Jarvis 1994: 4). The promise of adventure and danger in foreign lands, enriching and exotic cultural experiences, an enlightened sensibility and forging one‘s character under difficult circumstances suddenly became available, at a discount price, to masses of middle class youth. In contrast to the prepackaged holidays of 1  their parents‘ generation, these young travelers wanted to do things differently and guidebooks such as Lonely Planet sold them the know-how that would allow them to travel ‗off-the-beatentrack‘. Why A Sociological Study of Backpacking? On the final day of May 2000, I walked with my friend Colm to the taxi station in my hometown of Cork, Ireland. Earlier that week I had finally quit my job as a residential special needs worker and had also withdrawn temporarily from my MPhil degree in sociology at the university in Cork. It was a cold day but for once I was happy with the weather. I was about to depart on a trip of a lifetime: first stop, New Delhi, India and then on to Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos. I planned to spend a full year away but eventually returned after seven months. I was happy to return and I looked forward to living a life where I did not have to pack and unpack my bags every few days. My few personal items had been safely stored in the attic of a friend‘s house and I had said my final goodbyes to family and friends. I took with me my red, 70 liter backpack and a smaller 40 liter daypack. It felt good to leave Cork and see what the wider world had to offer. Little did I know that ten years later I would be living in Vancouver, Canada, writing my PhD thesis on many of the experiences I had during those seven months abroad. Returning to Cork in February 2001 was a strange sensation. Life had continued as usual there in its predicable fashion but I felt as though my previous seven months had been jam-packed with excitement and amazing experiences. It was an unsettling disjuncture. Apart from some framed photographs of the places I visited that I had hung up on the wall (they were great conversation pieces when friends or strangers visited), I did not really think again about my travel experiences in Asia until I was living and studying in Vancouver, Canada several years later. When I arrived in Vancouver for the beginning of my PhD studies at the University of British Columbia, I stayed at the Jericho Beach Hostel. It was cheap, accessible and full of 2  people, some of whom were in the middle of their own backpacking travels around Canada and elsewhere. I found that I had a lot in common with these people and many travel stories were shared late at night as we talked on the beach. A considerable time later, during my studies at UBC, I read Georg Simmel‘s excellent essay ‗The Adventure‘ (Simmel 1997b) and I began to think seriously about my previous experiences in India and South East Asia. It was the adventure of travel and all the accompanying excitement that I wanted to understand. Thus, as I began to think back upon my past experiences and to read the tourism and backpacking literature, this became the catalyst for a new type of sociological travail. What stood out most in mind about my previous backpacking experiences in India and South East Asia was the pervasive discourse of travel at work in the world of backpacking. It seemed to me that what everyone was doing was ‗traveling‘ and that somehow I too was a traveler. I had learned that ‗tourists‘ were in many ways the anti-thesis of what we were. It was a frequently used word of abuse and we avoided doing anything that might be considered touristic. Within this worldview tourists were not ‗in-the-know‘, they paid exorbitant prices for everything, were afraid to leave their air-conditioned hotels and buses and get down and dirty in the real world of India. I felt that there was something noble about travel, something infinitely more valuable and worthwhile, and surrounded by tens of thousands of my fellow travelers in India and elsewhere, I found that it was relatively easy to sustain this view of tourists. In particular I learned that travel was construed as an essentially transformative experience which pits the individual against a series of challenges which must be overcome. Realizing this led me to question the precursors and genesis of the tourist/traveler distinction in an attempt to historicize the contemporary taken-for-granted superiority of travel and to examine more critically the contemporary travel experiences of backpackers in Canada, Ireland, and India.  3  During my backpacking trip in 2000 I spent three months in India and I was glad to finally leave for Nepal in September 2000. By the time I arrived in Kuala Lumpur in November 2000 I felt somewhat accomplished and world weary. To my surprise, when I met other backpackers in Kuala Lumpur, I was treated with a certain amount of respect by virtue of the fact that I had spent over three months in India. Some of these backpackers were doing the ‗easier‘ South East Asian circuit, with some arriving in Kuala Lumpur from Europe, and others spending some time in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam before heading off to Australia. It was then that I began to realize that India held a special place in the minds of many backpackers. Its legendary status and reputation which I had experienced from my own travels led me to ask what exactly makes India such a litmus test and special place. One of the strangest feelings I have had since arriving in Vancouver is the feeling that I am still living in a past which is intimately connected to my home country of Ireland. When I was in India, and in other countries like Nepal, Malaysia and Myanmar I rode on the railways, I visited India Gate in Delhi and everywhere I went I found traces of the former British Empire. When I first arrived in Myanmar I took a taxi from the airport to Yangon, the capital city. It was a long drive and the driver spoke English fluently. When I told him I was Irish he turned to me with a wide smile and said ‗Gerry Adams, Sinn Fein, yes, yes‘. Despite the media censorship, he knew a lot about the conflict in Northern Ireland and was familiar with the colonial history of Ireland. Similarly, in India I had many conversations with people there who were well versed in Irish history and in particular the anti-imperial struggle for independence in the early 20th century. When I arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, I had no idea that Canada was a former colony of the British Empire but everywhere I went I saw statues of King George, the British flag still flying in Stanley Park in Vancouver, and the face of Queen Elizabeth II printed on the  4  currency. Although the British Empire as a political entity is long gone, all three countries are in their own ways still dealing with and working through a variety of political effects that their shared colonial history has left them: the Northern Ireland conflict and Peace Process, the partition of India and Pakistan which still fuels the troubles in Kashmir, and the resolution of First Nations lands claims in Canada, particularly in British Columbia. Living in between and traveling through these post-colonial landscapes forced me to think about how new articulations of Empire were possible in the ‗wake‘ of the former British Empire. Similar to the ‗wake‘ of a powerful ship which leaves behind a turbulent and unpredictable ocean, I wanted to examine the traces of the former British Empire that were still at work in all three places. An aspect of the world of backpacking and travel that intrigued me was the overwhelming popularity of Lonely Planet guidebooks. Although people used Let‘s Go, Rough Guide and others, Lonely Planet seemed to be in a class of its own. This particular guidebook has become so familiar that is has been constantly referred to in backpacker novels like Are You Experienced? and The Beach (Sutcliffe 1997, Garland 1996). Similarly in the travel programs I watched avidly before I went on my trip and during my own backpacking trip, Lonely Planet guidebooks were everywhere. When I came to Vancouver I had my very useful Lonely Planet Vancouver City Guide and when I went to India I had my Lonely Planet India guidebook and a South East Asia on a Shoestring guidebook too. Lonely Planet guidebooks seemed to be an inescapable part of backpacking. Although word of mouth was by far the most common way to get the latest information, the guidebook was considered an essential ‗must have‘ in every backpack. It was the ultimate reference book and useful for all sorts of information about timetables, places to sleep and eat, where to go and what to avoid. For my research I wanted to understand how Lonely Planet had become such a legendary guidebook in the world of  5  backpacking, to the point where some referred to it as ‗The Bible‘, sometimes sarcastically, other times more seriously. Acknowledging its canonical status within the world of backpacking, I was curious as to how Lonely Planet had established itself as the guidebook, and especially as the guidebook for India, and I wanted to see how backpackers actually used (or did not use) the Lonely Planet guidebook while traveling. So with my three central questions in mind - about the historical origins of the tourist/traveler distinction, the cultural and geographical contours of Empire, and the ubiquity of Lonely Planet guidebooks - I took another trip, this time back to many of the places I had lived and visited before. On that particular journey I brought along a plethora of books and articles about backpacking, tourism, and guidebooks, and with my research questions in mind, I began to write. Central Questions and Approach The idea of taking a year out to travel suggests an almost ontological separation between ‗real‘ life back home and life ‗on the road‘, one which animates and informs contemporary constructions and practices of backpacking as a form of travel. Nevertheless, I will be examining backpacking travel as one way of accumulating and consuming cultural and symbolic capital apart from the usual settings of home and work rather than as some necessary ‗break‘ from it all. I consider the off-the-beaten-track travel experiences of backpackers as one way in which a certain lifestyle is produced, consumed, and accumulated away from home and apart from their everyday lives of work and leisure. Backpacking as a form of travel is examined as a distinct practice that allows this consumption-based lifestyle to be ‗incorporated‘ or embodied through the shaping of backpackers‘ subjectivities in which travel is conceived and practiced as an increasingly important social and cultural institution for self-cultivation. Consequently I focus on those aspects of backpacking culture which emphasize the cultivation of moral character through 6  experiences of ostentatious poverty, physical hardship, and ubiquitous danger in foreign lands, and which thereby illustrate the toil and suffering that must be endured, performed and celebrated as a necessary part of life ‗on the road‘. Although guidebooks are used by tourists, day trippers, business people and locals alike, they have a special relevance and particular significance to one group in particular, namely backpackers, or ‗travelers‘ as they more commonly refer to themselves. Since the 1970s the Lonely Planet travel company has been a key institutional player in the development of a distinctive backpacker subculture and alternative ‗travel industry‘. Companies such as Lonely Planet have been at the forefront of selling the idea and possibility of ‗travelling off the beaten track‘ to young people, helping to create and expand the backpacker niche market through budget guidebooks, TV shows, and websites. As a prime leader in the industry, Lonely Planet Corporation has been a key player in creating a new tourist market of young travelers and backpackers who ironically do not consider themselves tourists at all. Guidebooks such as the Lonely Planet series have become an instrumental and ubiquitous part of contemporary ‗independent‘ travel. Commanding a 35% share in worldwide guidebook sales, Lonely Planet is the most frequently used and well known of all backpacker guidebooks (Richards and Wilson 2004). Lonely Planet sells something much more ephemeral yet apparently more valuable than tangible things like hotel accommodation, bus tickets, and package tours. It sells the idea of travel and the promise of turning that idea into an experiential ‗reality‘. This is one example of what Hardt and Negri call ‗immaterial production‘ (2000), a form of production that relies on the production of ideas rather than material ‗things‘. Tony Wheeler, the co-founder of Lonely Planet, thus credits the astonishing success of Lonely Planet India as the guidebook that virtually ensured its status and success as the guidebook for alternative travelers. I examine how ‗Asia‘  7  and India in particular provided particularly suitable cultural and physical geographies for helping to realize the maturation and enlightenment of the western traveler at a budget price, making India a first port of call. India is marketed, imagined, and experienced as one of the litmus tests for the travelers who wish to get ‗off the beaten track‘. Partly inspired by my own experiences of backpacking in India and South East Asia several years ago, I provide a more informed comparative and geographical contextualization of the above problematic in an attempt to better understand how particular geographies are considered ‗better‘ and more challenging to travel in than others. Although Ireland and Canada are examined as distinct destinations in their own right, my primary analytical purpose in examining these sites is to shed comparative light upon India as one of the most enduring and popular backpacker destinations. Ireland and Canada are important and popular destinations in the backpacker itinerary where off-the-beaten-track experiences are also found and where distinctions between tourists and travelers are routinely articulated by backpackers on the road. However, it is primarily through a comparative study of these distinct geographical destinations that the centrality and importance of India as one of the most desirable backpacker destinations can be understood and the cultural meanings and value of travel off-the-beaten-track historically contextualized. I argue that backpacking off-the-beaten-track, in both the ‗first‘ and the ‗third world‘, and in particular in India, is not just a matter of economics and budget but also a continuation and reproduction of dominant ideas and tropes about these places and the ‗locals‘ who live there. I examine how, in the process of ‗rediscovering‘ India as an ideal travel destination, both Lonely Planet and the multitudes of backpackers who visit there actively reproduce ‗ruling relations‘ through the deployment of ideological and mythological codes (Smith 1999; Barthes 1993). In  8  taking a historical approach (especially in Chapters 1 and 2), I argue that these mythological codes, articulated by both backpackers and travel companies alike, draw upon older, and predominantly European discourses of travel and tourism that have helped to shape the meaning and significance of the experiences of self-identified travelers, and structure how they interact with and navigate the places and people they encounter. Unpacking and identifying the historical precursors, contemporary articulations, and modes of reproduction of these mythological and ideological codes constitute the central analytical problematic of this thesis. Backpacking has become a well established travel industry with well-beaten tracks of its own, but which remain largely invisible through a branded mythology of travel. Understanding Backpacking as a Form of „Travel‟ One of the most intriguing aspects of studying backpacking as a sociological phenomenon, and one that forms a central concern throughout this thesis, is that despite the fact that backpacking is now a well established niche market in the global tourism industry, there is nonetheless a pervasive discourse of travel evident in both the conversations of backpackers and in the guidebooks that they use. The following entry for ‗backpacking‘ in The Urban Dictionary, a popular online and user-generated ‗dictionary‘ of all that is ‗happening‘ in the world today, helps to illustrate the commonly articulated differences and distinctions made between the ‗frivolity‘ of the holiday and the more ‗serious‘ task of travel. It is by no means a scholarly and textbook definition of backpacking, but rather serves as an example of how backpacking is commonly understood as a form of travel. People go backpacking for all sorts of reasons but will almost always take offense if it is implied that they are 'on holiday'; backpackers typically consider travel a separate, more serious engagement, all about broadening the mind, experiencing other cultures and  9  trying to satisfy what is often a deep-seated and more often than not insatiable wanderlust.1 (My emphasis) Here the ‗more serious‘ practice of travel is clearly defined in contrast to the state of being ‗on holiday‘ which is typically associated with mass tourism. As a form of travel, backpacking is usually understood not just as ‗separate‘, but also as a ‗superior‘ and ‗serious‘ type of practice. The Urban Dictionary entry succinctly captures some of the most important and common elements of travel namely: the serious task of travel in comparison to the more frivolous fun of the holiday; the pursuit of educational self-cultivation or ‗broadening the mind‘, and of authentic encounters through ‗experiencing…other cultures‘; and the satisfaction of the ‗insatiable‘ individual desire of ‗wanderlust‘. The backpacker who adopts the mantel of ‗traveler‘ is considered the most suitable type of person who can realize these ‗promises of travel‘. These promises seemingly cannot be realized by the holidaying tourist who apparently stays forever on ‗the beaten track‘ of tourism. Backpacking travelers and travel guidebooks such as Lonely Planet both replicate and redefine these well worn coded distinctions. The primary focus and contribution of this research is an examination of how these codes of tourism and travel and enlightened self cultivation are textually and orally produced and circulated, reproduced and modified in the world of backpacking travel. Interestingly, travel comes from the French root travail, meaning ‗work‘ or ‗labor‘, whereas ‗holiday‘ comes from ‗holy day‘ or ‗day of rest‘.2 This contrast will be explicated in a number of ways throughout the thesis as an important theoretical and conceptual cornerstone concerning the necessary ‗work of consumption‘ (O‘Neill 2004: 61) that backpackers must do if their travels and their valuable experiences are to be considered more than extended holidays  1 2  http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=backpacker http://www.etymonline.com Online Etymology Dictionary  10  from their mundane, workaday worlds. Although some scholars have noted the distinction between travel as a challenging and difficult experience and tourism as a form of luxury (Sorensen 2003; O Reilly 2006), there has been no sustained attempt to articulate this distinction in theoretical terms as a form of value-productive labor that is produced within a particular symbolic system of exchange and accumulation. Instead, consumption has often been characterized as a passive process in the social sciences. From Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno‘s criticism of the American cinema-going public in their now famous essay ‗The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception‘ (1972), to Daniel Boorstin‘s attack on tourism and tourists in The Image: a guide to pseudo events in America (1973) and John Urry‘s Tourist Gaze (1990), the idea that consumption is passive and work is productive poses a key theoretical problem and impasse which I seek to redress throughout this thesis. One important challenge to this idea has emerged from feminist cultural studies that draw attention to the ‗invisible work of women‘ in capitalist modes of consumption. Furthermore, this thesis contributes to a significant body of literature on the sociology of leisure and consumption. Thus, rather than maintain the traditional analytical separation of the realms of work and leisure, production and consumption, I argue that backpacking, with its culture of guidebook use and its emphasis on the uniqueness of travel, is a post-fordist tourist phenomenon that can be better understood as an intensification and prolongation of work rather than as a welcome break or vacation from it. Within the theoretical literature, there is a tendency to separate work from leisure and to analyze leisure as a predominantly consumptive phenomenon and work mainly as a productive phenomenon. For many backpackers in the postmodern era, work is now a necessary and desirable aspect of leisure itself. To extend George Ritzer‘s insight that ‗the consumer becomes the laborer‘ (1993) as a result of the post-fordist reorganization of  11  consumption and production, backpackers are constantly at work in their leisure. As self-defined and self-defining travelers, they actively work in a variety of ways to organize their own time, find their own accommodation and food, and generally be self directed in their pursuit of valuable experiences. Some backpackers may even seek out paid or voluntary work experience on the road. By distinguishing themselves from tourists they are not merely passive consumers of global spectacles, but active participants in the production of ‗surplus value‘ through a labored hermeneutics of travel. In Capital (1977: 203) Marx argues that surplus value does not just accrue in the physical realm but also in the symbolic and imaginary realm. Thus we must not forget that experiences of global travel provide the ‗raw material‘ for various kinds of visual and often immaterial consumption. Exotic places, racialized others, and quaint locals act as resources or raw material for types of interpretative work that reproduce older modes of seeing and understanding foreign others. From my conversations with backpackers as well as in my analysis of the more public discourse of Lonely Planet guidebooks, I identify and analyze the distinctions between travel as a type of work and tourism as a type of holiday in order to illustrate how backpacking combines and reworks the discourses of both practices. I examine how the ‗work of travel‘ done by backpackers is made possible through the various kinds of work that backpackers must do in order to produce and consume their distinctive travel (as opposed to mere tourist) experiences. For backpackers, the social rather than personal value of these experiences become valuable cultural currency in the pursuit of a lifestyle based on the conspicuous consumption of distinctive experiences in ‗foreign‘ places, allowing backpackers to convert economically cheap travels into culturally valuable experiences.  12  The guidebook has become an indispensible instrument in this process of conversion in the way that it redefines budget travel as a form of post-fordist tourist consumption. All the usual things taken care of in a typical packaged holiday, such as transport, accommodation, and sightseeing, are now left up to individuals through their use of a guidebook. As a result of the reemergence and popularization of this new instrument of independent budget travel, the travel guidebook (as both a physical and cultural text) has become an important institutional structure for this new form of budget travel, and in particular for instituting backpacking as a type of D.I.Y. (do it yourself) leisure. This D.I.Y. aspect of backpacking has become a defining feature of the challenge and pleasure of independent travel. Staying off-the-beaten-track of tourism requires effort. It is hard work. Where the tourist on holiday pays a far higher price for having all conveniences and desires ready-made and efficiently served up, the independent traveler is more of a self-service customer. In any D.I.Y. purchase, such as a piece of IKEA furniture, cafeteria food, or self-service grocery check-outs, in order to keep costs as low as possible the assembly of the final product requires extra effort and work by the customer. Pushing this post-fordist D.I.Y. logic one step further, guidebooks like those produced by Lonely Planet Corporation provide the ‗assembly instructions‘ allowing young backpackers to individually design and manufacture their own unique travel adventures. In this way, the traditional boundaries of work and leisure that once separated ‗the holiday‘ from the world of work are blurred or even rendered obsolete, and paradoxically hard work, or extra effort, becomes increasingly integral to the pleasures of leisure time through the practice of backpacking as a form of ‗independent‘ travel. Today, discourses of travel promise a ‗university-of-life‘ education that will expand the intellectual and moral horizons of anyone who partakes in it and thus transform and cultivate the person in the process. Therefore, in important ways, travel is and has been long vaunted as  13  having a cosmopolitan, educational, and liberating potential for the individual, but for the individual alone. The development of a more cosmopolitan sensibility is one of the ‗promises of travel‘ which has become part of the ‗official curriculum‘ of travel as an educational and transformational practice in the ‗university-of-life‘. In contrast to the perceived inferiority of tourist experiences in fulfilling the cosmopolitan promise of travel, backpackers frequently invoke their distinctive off-the-beaten-track travel experiences and more independent and adventurous style of travel as a reliable cultural vehicle through which their transformative journeys in the university-of-life can be most fully realized. An essential element to realizing the cosmopolitan promise of travel is the necessity of having authentic cultural experiences in foreign places. These encounters with difference presumably provide the raw materials or building blocks upon which a more cosmopolitan sensibility can be constructed. The importance of travelling ‗off-the-beaten-track‘ points to an important tension animating backpackers‘ search for ‗authentic‘ places to visit as well the significance of having authentic interactions with ‗locals‘. As travelers, backpackers must maintain their (assumed) distance from tourism (the beaten track) by establishing their (assumed) proximity to all things local (off-the-beaten-track). I consider backpackers as inhabiting an interstitial and mobile position between these two ‗tracks‘ and examine how their experiences and discourses of authenticity become instrumental in maintaining the integrity and value of their experiences as aspects of travel rather than tourism. In an attempt to provide a rudimentary visual summary of the aforementioned analytical themes, I asked my 14 year old daughter, Lauren, to draw a picture that would help me to illustrate these themes as I had been explaining them to her over the past few years. Unfortunately no longer a practice in the publication of books, the use of frontispieces between the 16th and 19th centuries in Europe was a popular technique to visually present and  14  condense a text‘s central themes. The following illustration can thus be considered a frontispiece and an ideal-typical representation of the themes I discuss throughout this thesis.  Figure 1 ‗In the Middle of Nowhere‘ illustrated by Lauren Kearney ©2010  15  At the very center of the image is the (male) backpacker reading a guidebook. His feet straddle two distinct tracks. As indicated on the signpost above his head, the track on the left is ‗the beaten track‘ (TBT). To his right is ‗off-the-beaten-track‘ (OTBT). The beaten track is wide and straight, signaling a type of experience that is predicable, standardized, and mainstream. The narrow and curvy path is ‗off the-beaten-track‘; it is less mainstream (secondary roads typically have less traffic than main thoroughfares), and due to its many twists and turns is less predictable. Importantly, the backpacker occupies an interstitial and in-between position on these two tracks. In this context he is in ‗the middle of nowhere‘. His guidebook helps him to navigate between these two tracks. Sometimes he will go to places that are very much on the beaten track, other times he will venture off the beaten track. In order to ensure that his experiences are those of a traveler and not a tourist, he ideally must avoid the beaten track where the holiday of tourism lies in wait, though practically he is frequently lured back to it. The scene is one of relaxation on the beach. Underneath we see the tour bus, ready to ferry those beach-loving package tourists on a guided tour of some place. While on this bus, the tourists will talk to each other and experience things from within a ‗tourist bubble‘. Their ability to meet locals and have authentic experiences away from the beaten track is reduced when they remain within the tourist infrastructure, where they typically begin and where they inevitably return. The mountain climbing scene on the right-hand side represents the challenge, the suffering that must be endured and enjoyed and celebrated as part of the necessary difficulty of travel. Danger and risk are present. Here we see the solitary traveler struggling to overcome obstacles on the way to the top of the mountain, experiences which help the traveler to engender self-cultivation, represented by the flag at the top. This scene depicts the ‗work of travel‘ that must be undertaken in order to stay off the beaten track. Finally, returning to the backpacker at  16  the center of our illustration we can see beads of sweat trickling down his forehead. In order to stay off the beaten track and away from the holiday of tourism he must work hard, following the guidebook when necessary. In light of the ever increasing popularity and mainstreaming of backpacking this task becomes ever more difficult. Methodology: Backpackers, Ethnographic Practice, and Guidebooks The discourse of travel employed by both backpackers and the ‗travel industry‘, of which Lonely Planet is an outstanding example, tend to naturalize and individualize social privileges and global inequalities. Backpackers and the travel industry celebrate travel as unimpeded and leisurely because the world really is open to them in every way. The two central analytical themes and axes of the work of travel versus the holiday of tourism, on the one hand, and the educational self-cultivation of authenticity, on the other, play out in different and uneven ways in all three destinations in Canada, India and Ireland. In particular, this thesis provides a geographically based examination of how such themes play out ‗on the ground‘ by illustrating the importance of geography and ‗place‘ in shaping and differentially constituting the distinctive contours of backpackers‘ off-the-beaten-track experiences in all three destinations. Since backpacking is an international phenomenon, comparing three different but interconnected destinations spanning the globe is necessary and appropriate. Although the three destinations of Canada, India, and Ireland are quite different places in many respects, they also share important commonalities that provide a methodological rationale for focusing on them in particular. Since these three destinations have all been featured in Lonely Planet guidebooks and are popular with backpackers, they can be examined as desirable destinations in their own right. Furthermore, all three countries share a common colonial history and thus can also be investigated as distinct geographies of the former British Empire. I argue that these former colonial landscapes can provide a grounded geographical and historical standpoint from which 17  new articulations and constitutions of ‗Empire‘ (Hardt and Negri 2000) can be examined and analyzed. Finally, I have personal familiarity with the three sites under significantly different circumstances: as a backpacker in India, as a resident in Vancouver, Canada, and as a local in Cork, Ireland. My own standpoint of experience, which is differentially mediated in each site, is crucial in elucidating ideas and practices of work and leisure as they are reconfigured through the practice of traveling. While research on backpackers and backpacking has involved ethnographic field work (Sorensen 2003), there has not yet been a study done using a historically based and comparative geographical approach. Rather than engage in arguments over the factors that ‗cause‘ backpackers to travel, I want to show how geography and history still matter in constituting the experiences of backpackers as well as reconstituting the more abstract ‗ruling relations‘ of capitalism and Empire in the contemporary material world of travel and tourism. A geographically based investigation of backpacking and guidebooks helps us to see that this power, like an electrical current, must always be ‗grounded‘ in the material conditions of life. As Michel Foucault argues, ‗our epoch is one in which space takes for us the form of relations among sites‘ (Foucault 1986: 23). The sites of Ireland, Canada and India are interconnected places within the ‗space of travel and tourism‘ which can be investigated in their own terms by tracing the travelling experiences (including my own) to the ‗ruling relations‘ (Smith 1990b) in which the sites are articulated and constituted.  18  Backpackers and Fieldwork In June 2007, I began my research in Vancouver, Canada. I posted advertisements3 in three youth hostels in downtown Vancouver and within days two interviewees responded to my poster. At the beginning of July 2007 I then flew to India and spent a total of three weeks in Delhi and Leh (the provincial capital of Ladakh in Northern India, approximately 1000km north from Delhi) where I conducted fourteen interviews. In India I solicited interviews through casual contact with backpackers rather than through advertized posters. I finally arrived in Cork, Ireland at the end of July where I again advertised with posters in three youth hostels in the city center of Cork. I conducted four interviews in Cork and after spending some time in Ireland returned to Vancouver in June 2008 where I conducted three more interviews while staying at the Sunny Beach Hostel. In Chapter 3 I discuss in detail these aspects of my methodology and describe the different ethnographic sites in depth. I advertised my research project on hostel notice boards and put up posters in the area around the respective hostels. I also casually solicited interviews during my stay in the hostels since informal word of mouth is a crucial method of communicating among backpackers. In all four sites, I recruited interviewees from a broad cross-section of genders and nationalities who ranged in age from 19 to 41. In total I conducted in-depth interviews with 24 backpackers4. Of those 24 interviewees eight were women and 16 were men. Almost half (11) were from European countries, two from South American countries (Chile and Columbia), five from North America (Canada and U.S.A.) and five from the Middle East (Israel). The single largest national group represented in my sample is Israel with a total of five interviewees. The average  3 4  See Appendix IV Interview Recruitment Materials See Appendix I Summary and Breakdown of Interviewee Information  19  age of my interviewees was 27 years. 13 of my interviewees were currently using a Lonely Planet guidebook, two used online sources only, and five were not using any guidebook at all. Ten were traveling alone, four were in a group and the remaining interviewees were traveling with either one friend, one relative or one partner. At the time of the interview the average amount of time my interviewees had spent traveling was nine weeks. The shortest time spent traveling at the time of interview was one week (for two interviewees) and the longest period of time was 36 weeks (for one interviewee). In Vancouver I interviewed a total of six backpackers and in Cork I interviewed a total of four backpackers. However, when conducting interviews in Vancouver with two Dutch backpackers I discovered they also had recent travel experiences in Ireland which they spoke of at length and so I included their Irish travel experiences in my examination of the Irish aspect of the research, which brings the total number of interviews on Ireland to six. Thus I effectively did six interviews each which were in or on Canada and Ireland. In India I interviewed 14 backpackers in total: seven in Paharganj, Delhi and seven in Leh, Ladakh, I interviewed a total of seven women and 15 men, each of whom came from places as far away as Chile, Switzerland, Israel and Finland. Since storytelling is a very common and enjoyable way of recalling one‘s travel experiences, I paid particular attention to how travel experiences are spontaneously narrated and recounted during the interviews, in addition to asking them about their choice and use of guidebooks. The interviews were designed to provide in-depth qualitative information about backpackers‘ experiences and thus in each instance I conducted very thorough (and often very long) interviews. My interviews were semi-structured which allowed me to pursue unanticipated themes and topics that arose during the course of the interview. Interviews  20  typically lasted for 90 minutes and covered a range of questions 5. Rather than aim for a representative sample, instead I decided to look for a variety of interviewees in order to compare and contrast as wide a range of experiences as possible and in order to more fully grasp the complexity and contradictions at work in the everyday world of backpacking. Because a central part of my research was about understanding the experiences of people ‗on the road‘, I found the use of in-depth and open-ended qualitative interviews to be a particularly rich and methodologically appropriate way for exploring the experiences of these people. Furthermore, since the self-identification of backpackers as travelers was an issue I wanted to pursue in-depth, the interviews gave my interviewees the space to think about and reflect upon this question and other issues. Finally, as I note throughout this thesis backpacking is very much about having individually unique experiences and the cultivation of the self plays a large part in this pursuit. Understanding the individual experience of my interviewees first hand was essential in allowing me to analytically explore and subsequently reflect on these issues at a later time. All of my interviews were tape recorded and transcribed (I discuss the performative aspect of this in Chapter 4). I received signed written consent6 from my interviewees and they understood that their individual identities would remain anonymous for the purpose of the research. Overall I had four different but interrelated groups of questions and in total I asked on average 24 distinct questions. The first group of questions pertained to the ‗here and now‘, including demographic information about where they were from, time spent travelling so far, reasons for visiting the particular country, and the activities done while here. The second group of questions, the ‗travel biography‘, related to level of experience backpacking, previous trips  5 6  See Appendix V Interview Schedule See Appendix II Ethics and Consent  21  and so on, some of their favorite/least favorite places as well as their most memorable travel stories (if any). The third group of questions, on ‗tourism and travel‘, related to how they identified themselves as travelers, tourists or something else. These questions sought a more reflexive response and asked them to think about how they see tourism, travel and so on in light of their own experiences. The final group of questions pertained to their use (or non-use) of guidebooks. Even for those interviewees who were not at that time using a Lonely Planet guidebook, nearly all had some previous experience of using one. These questions allowed me to ask whether or which guidebook they used, how they used it, which parts they found useful, and the amount of pre-departure reading or reviewing they did. All of my 24 interviews were conducted in English, even though 22 interviewees spoke English as a second language, and only 2 interviewees spoke English as their native tongue. Although excluding non-English speaking backpackers limited my pool of potential interviewees, Canada and Ireland are mainly English-speaking countries while in India a significant number of people speak English because of its colonial past and growing tourist trade. In each country English is the ‗tourist language‘, and like every other non-native speaking tourist destination, tourist industry workers speak the language of their customers. Since the vast majority of backpackers visiting these ‗English speaking‘ countries from the former British Empire have a basic grasp of English, I was not surprised to find that English was the lingua franca of travel and tourism. My interviewees in all three field sites travelled from as far afield as Israel, Columbia, Germany, and Quebec, and recalled ‗off-the-beaten-track‘ stories from their experiences in The Philippines, Mongolia, Tibet, Mexico, and Argentina, in addition to their many stories from their experiences in Ireland, Canada and India. These English speaking countries share a relatively common ‗geographical‘ political and historical designation. They  22  constitute and are often collectively referred to as ‗The West‘, a point which is hardly controversial or new, and which is often discussed in innumerable studies about backpackers (Sorensen 2003; Maoz 2007; Elsrud 2001). Furthermore, the earlier Lonely Planet guidebooks were written and published in English, for English speaking readers, and the majority of readers were from the same countries as the authors: Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Canada and the U.S., and occasionally from countries in Western Europe such as Germany, Holland and Scandinavia, where English is a widely spoken and informally recognized second language. Although now featuring a diverse range of guidebooks in a variety of languages, Lonely Planet remains the largest English language guidebook publisher in the world. This focus on the predominance of English in both guidebooks and interviews provides me with an important thematic focus on ‗the beaten tracks of the British Empire‘. In contrast to the usual ethnographic practices of accumulating substantial local knowledge by staying in one site for several months and interviewing locals, I conducted interviews with backpackers in four sites and over a relatively short period of time in order to explore their experiences of these places, and how their movement informs a particular style of travel experience. Thus, my research offers little in the way of a traditional ethnography of a singular location but instead offers a more encounter-based rather than place-based ethnography which is appropriate when studying groups of people who are mainly just ‗passing through‘. It is important to remember that a backpacker‘s mode of travel lends itself to fleeting encounters with particular places. Since Ireland and Canada are relatively expensive countries to visit (transport costs are high and accommodation is expensive), tight budgets come into play when backpackers make decisions about how long to stay in a particular area or country. In Ireland and Canada I noticed a significant difference in the amount of time that backpackers were spending there. Six  23  months of ‗pure‘ travel without working, as was the case for many in India, was neither feasible nor desirable. Other travelers that I spoke to were working their way around both countries in order to fund their trip. Among my interviewees in Canada, the longest trip was two months. By contrast, in India, many people typically spend six months, sometimes more, and one backpacker I spoke to in India told me that he had been travelling for over two years. India was the final leg of his trip and he planned to stay there for several more months. The length of backpacking trips in India indicates how spaces are constituted through global economic inequalities and how relatively affluent backpackers (who are nevertheless traveling on a tight budget) gravitate to regions and countries where their money goes farther. They capitalize on existing global economic inequalities in order to maximize the time-money ratio. Nowhere is Benjamin Franklin‘s maxim that ‗time is money‘ so consistently and efficiently realized than in the space of travel. By using an interconnected methodology of interviews, textual analysis, and ethnographic observation, my aim has been to analyze how the three most important aspects of backpacking - the geographical destinations, the guidebooks, and the backpackers themselves work together to produce new modes of post-fordist consumption as they retrace older paths of the former British Empire. Guidebooks Past and Present As mentioned above, guidebooks have long played an integral part in backpacking culture. For my interviews with backpackers an important set of questions related to how they actually used guidebooks during their travels. As I learned from the interviews, backpackers use guidebooks in two main ways: first, to get practical information on the beaten track, such as getting orientated, finding hotels, transportation schedules and routes, prices and currency, and so on; and second, in a less explicit way, to get direction and to confirm and enable their desire  24  to journey off the beaten track (though only occasionally as a practical guide on exactly how to do so). These initial fieldwork findings led me subsequently to consider the history of independent travel guidebooks and of how the tourist/traveler distinction contributes to an ethos of enlightened self-cultivation and then to develop a critical textual analysis of how these coded distinctions operate in particular ways in Lonely Planet guidebooks themselves. Before I began my ethnographic fieldwork, I was struck by how the vast majority of guidebook research in sociology never really addressed how the readers of these books actually read and used them. Much of the guidebook scholarship tends to be historical rather than contemporary, and therefore, in light of any verifiable way of substantiating how or whether people actually read and used them, readers‘ interpretations and use of guidebooks have to be taken for granted. Notable examples include Gregory (1999) and Grewal (1996) where the analyst must assume and speculate on how these guidebooks were actually read and used in a variety of historical contexts. Studies that deal with guidebooks exclusively as texts in contemporary contexts, such as Hutnyk (1996), tend to analyze guidebooks purely as cultural objects that operate within global systems of representation and reproduction. This approach, while interesting and legitimate, has limited use for the purposes of a grounded and ethnographic approach, but it is nevertheless indispensable (as I demonstrate in Chapter 1). By contrast, McGregor‘s (2001) study of how travel guidebooks shaped backpackers‘ perceptions and expectations of one particular place in Indonesia is illuminating, yet limited for my purposes, mainly due to its exclusive focus on one particular tourist attraction. Rudy Koshar‘s (2000) excellent historical study on the role of the Baedeker guidebooks in the context of German national culture identifies an important thematic focus concerning the role of guidebooks in articulating the tourist/traveler distinction. However, Koshar‘s analysis is historical and  25  interpretive rather than contemporary and ethnographic. My own research on Lonely Planet guidebooks aims to be historical and contemporary as well as interpretive and ethnographic. To the best of my knowledge, the present work is the first attempt to offer a combined hermeneutic and pragmatic approach to the study of guidebooks. In order to address what I see as a fundamental shortcoming in the guidebook literature and an important gap in the empirical study of guidebooks, I therefore sought to examine how backpackers used and read their guidebooks while ‗on the road‘. Having already discovered from my previous backpacking experience that Lonely Planet was by far the most popular guidebook in use by backpackers, I focused my attention exclusively on Lonely Planet guidebooks, both as an object of textual analysis and as an ‗active text‘ actually used in mediating social relations and personal perceptions in the field. Once I had identified from my field research the two main ways noted above in which Lonely Planet guidebooks are actually used in the field, I then began to investigate in more detail why this particular guidebook had achieved such a legendary status in the world of backpacking, and in precisely what ways it had become the iconic and canonical text for backpackers. In other words, I began in the ethnographic field by doing interviews with backpackers about their use of guidebooks and then, on the basis of these insights, I developed a textual and historical analysis of how Lonely Planet texts mediate and replicate the mythological codes that are at work in the backpacking world. Only after listening to actual backpackers was I able to answer my question concerning why Lonely Planet was so popular and iconic in the world of backpacking in the first place, how it is used in the field, and to what extent it replicates and reproduces themes that prevail among ‗the community of practice‘ of backpackers. More precisely, I wanted to identify exactly how the  26  promises of travel that Lonely Planet celebrates are formulated in order to understand whether or which of them are actually realized by backpackers on the road. In conducting the textual analysis of the guidebooks most relevant to my research sites, I selectively use various editions of Lonely Planet guidebooks for India to develop a comparative analysis of earlier and later versions. Analyzing excerpts from different editions of the same guidebook provides a way of indexing how specific places are worked on and rhetorically represented by guidebooks over a relatively short period of time. Using different guidebook editions also engenders a more historical view of the presence of Lonely Planet since people typically read the most recent editions. I also examine the different written and photographic rhetorical strategies at work in Lonely Planet guidebooks that help to establish its particular brand of travel as authentic, trustworthy and valuable. In particular, I consider how Lonely Planet guidebooks may serve as ‗ocular devices‘ which help to make places which are off-thebeaten-track visible in Ireland, Canada and India. A key aspect of this authoritative mode of seeing lies in the promise to bring the reader to places that were relatively undiscovered by others, ‗hidden gems‘ that would show the reader/traveler what the ‗real‘ or authentic Ireland, Canada, or India is really like. The guidebooks are thus designed to act as navigation devices or ‗cartographic legends‘ which help the reader successfully move around, and within, each country, both on and off the beaten track. The ideal ‗prize‘ for the reader at the end of this ‗track‘ is a relatively unique, authentic and valuable experience of the ‗real‘ Ireland, India, and Canada. Because my primary ethnographic focus is India, I also provided an historical analysis of the role Lonely Planet has played as a branded guidebook company in making that country such a popular destination for backpackers.  27  Tourism and Travel in Theory and Practice This study draws upon and contributes to, and at the same time critiques and departs from, several theoretical works that are directly concerned with the sociological phenomenon of tourism. In this thesis I draw upon John Urry‘s concept of the ‗tourist gaze‘ (1990) to examine how the ‗gaze‘ of backpackers and guidebooks is discursively authorized and culturally produced. The Tourist Gaze is a seminal work in the study of tourism and leisure and has remained a key reference point for other researchers (Rojek 1997; Cohen 2004). For Urry, the changing objects of the tourist gaze and the leisure-orientated consumption practices of tourists operate as markers of broader transformations in work and leisure, production and consumption, over the past century. In this context I apply Urry‘s useful formulations to a specific group of tourists who ironically do not consider themselves tourists at all. However, there are a number of specific shortcomings in this body of work that I also address, and in some respects I depart from in Urry‘s emphasis on tourism and consumption. In particular Urry tends to conceptualize tourism through almost exclusively visual categories, hence his focus on the tourist gaze. Similarly the work on tourist sites and sightseeing by Rojek (1997), MacCannell (1989), and Boorstin (1973) likewise takes an ‗oculo-centric‘ approach. While the visual is certainly an important aspect of tourism studies and of tourist experience, in recent years Urry and other have been criticized for theorizing tourism as a largely disembodied practice (Veijola and Jokinen 1994). Although Urry does briefly address this criticism in his 2001 edition of The Tourist Gaze, it is interesting to note that in both editions Urry does not use interviews with actual tourists or conduct ethnographic observation to substantiate his claims. Another seminal theoretical work on tourism is Dean MacCannell‘s The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class (1973). Similar to Urry, MacCannell lays a heavy emphasis on the centrality of the visual dimension of tourist experience. In particular, he focuses on tourist sites 28  and the importance of authenticity for tourists who visit these sights. I build upon but significantly depart from MacCannell‘s analysis by showing how authenticity becomes a symbolic resource that can be accumulated through the corporeal experiences of backpackers, rather than simply a cultural aspect of the broader social structure of modernity. In other words, I examine authenticity as an important symbolic resource for backpackers and guidebooks in their search for off-the-beaten-track experiences and places in Ireland, Canada and India, and theorize authenticity as a key operator of distinction through which the travel experiences of backpackers are gauged and evaluated in contrast to the more inauthentic forms of tourist experiences. For some tourism scholars such as Erik Cohen, authenticity is no longer an important aspect of tourism studies. In his 2004 article ‗Backpacking: Diversity and Change‘, he argues that today‘s backpackers are not alienated drifters, seeking existential experience and an alternative lifestyle to western material values; rather, in taking time out from their predominantly professional jobs and university careers they display a more ‗ludic‘ rather than existential attitude to travel (Cohen 2004: 45). While acknowledging the relevance of Cohen‘s shift of emphasis away from authenticity, in this research I show how authenticity is a central structuring device and important cultural value for backpackers in particular. In contrast to MacCannell, I do not argue that backpackers are driven to find genuine tourist sites as a result of a loss of authenticity in their everyday world. Instead I situate backpacking travel within the context of an emerging lifestyle culture of mobility, consumption and globalization in which global travel is but one important resource through which a new young middle class lifestyle is consumed and incorporated. My interviews, analysis of guidebooks, and my own previous experience as a backpacker indicate that, in light of an ever-expanding tourism industry, backpacking has become a ‗non- institutionalized‘ form of tourism (Uriely 2002: 520), and that  29  discourses of authenticity still remain a key mediator of the symbolic and cultural capital that backpackers accumulate on the road. Thus I examine how backpackers as travelers are able to accumulate symbolic and cultural capital in part through their articulation of their experiences of authenticity in stories which are told on the road. In an effort to move away from an oculo-centric and disembodied approach, since the early 1990s there has been an increasing emphasis and attention paid to the body in tourism theories which deal with ‗other bodies‘ (Johnson 2001), ‗embodied visualities‘ (Jokinen and Veijola 2003), ‗gendered bodies‘ (Pritchard, Morgan, Ateljevic and Harris 2007), ‗the viscosity of race‘ (Saldanha 2007), ‗the sensuous in the tourist encounter‘ (Crouch and Desforges 2003) and ‗cosmopolitan bodies‘ (Molz 2006). These and other studies point to the importance of thinking about tourism as an always embodied and corporeal phenomenon and about the somewhat banal but vitally important reality of tourism that bodies move around and move within and between discrete geographical spaces. In this context, I follow the approach of Cloke and Perkins (1998) in arguing for an approach to tourism that considers ‗being, doing touching and seeing, rather than just seeing‘ (189). On a related theme, several journal-length articles deal with the theme of risk and danger in the context of backpackers‘ experiences and identity, the most notable being the work of Reichel, Fuchs and Uriely (2007), which specifically focuses on Israeli backpackers, but there are others too (Elsrud 2001, Lepp and Gibson 2003). However I depart from this research insofar as I focus on risk and danger as embodied experiences and as valuable forms of ‗cultural capital‘ which are accumulated by backpackers and which thus become important resources in the cultivation of a traveler self. In particular, I address themes of risk and danger through an examination of how stories of risk, adventure, and moral courage become a valuable form of  30  ‗symbolic capital‘ through which a distinctive traveler sensibility is set apart from that of mass tourists. For the purposes of my research I address backpacking as an embodied tourist practice and thus I deal in various ways with how gender and ‗race‘ are performed by backpackers through their accounts of their interactions with locals and with one another. Doing a comparative study of backpacking rather than a monograph in a single place allows the embodied characteristics of travel to be rendered visible. Although the whiteness or ‗race‘ of travelers is mentioned in backpacking research (Teo and Leong 2006), apart from Saldanha‘s recent study of backpackers in Goa India (2007) it is rarely explored as a constitutive factor in structuring the experiences of backpackers and contributing to ideas concerning off the beaten track experiences, an absence in the research which I hope to address. A justifiable criticism of Urry is the scant attention he pays to gender and ‗race‘ as central structuring mechanisms of the tourist gaze. Insofar as guidebooks also tend to construct ‗the traveler‘ as somehow outside of the social categories of gender, ‗race‘, and class, the traveler tends to be constructed as a subject without history and biography, as if from nowhere in particular. Throughout my interviews with backpackers, I am attentive to how these cultural categories are negotiated and contested with respect to the at least implicitly expressed ideal of a supposedly generic traveler. However, while acknowledging the gendered and racialized aspects of backpacking, the primary theoretical approach I adopt to examining backpacking as an embodied practice is through the theoretical lens of Pierre Bourdieu and in particular his concept of ‗cultural capital‘. In ‗The Forms of Capital‘, Bourdieu notes that ‗the accumulation of cultural capital in the embodied state, i.e., in the form of what is called culture, cultivation, Bildung, presupposes a process of embodiment, incorporation, which insofar as it implies a labor of inculcation and  31  assimilation, costs time, time which must be invested personally by the investor‘ (Bourdieu 1986: 244). In this sense, the practices of backpackers who are engaged in corporeal travel can be examined through what backpackers do, what they say, how they spend their time, and how their particular style of budget travel all allow for the accumulation of distinctive types of ‗cultural capital‘ and the development of a more embodied cosmopolitan sensibility through travel. In recent years there has been a significant increase in the scholarship on cosmopolitanism (Harvey 2000; Beck 2006; Featherstone 2002; Calhoun 2003; Turner 2002). Much of this scholarship, including many of the authors mentioned above, has concerned itself with formulating, theorizing and critiquing ‗cosmopolitanism‘ as a foundational concept in the contexts of political theory, democratic theory, debates on globalization, global ethics and citizenship and so on. As such, while there has been a plethora of conceptualizations of different cosmopolitanisms ranging from Beck‘s ‗banal cosmopolitanism‘ (2006: 10) to Szerszynski and Urry‘s ‗cosmopolitan civil society‘ (2002: 477), insofar as the promise of broadening one‘s mind, of transforming parochial sensibilities and so on, has long been a part of the discourse of travel, the work of Beck is particularly relevant. In his recent book Cosmopolitan Vision (2006), Beck outlines his ‗five…constitutive principles of the cosmopolitan vision‘ (7), many of which deal specifically with understanding cosmopolitism as a sensibility or ‗vision‘ that can be actively cultivated in people. For example, he speaks about ‗the awareness of interdependence‘, cosmopolitan empathy and perspective taking‘ and the ‗experience of crisis‘ (7). In the context of this study, I critically consider Beck‘s principles in order to examine how the cosmopolitan promise of travel is articulated, disrupted, and negotiated by backpackers on the road. Furthermore, following David Harvey‘s approach to cosmopolitanism which argues that  32  ‗cosmopolitanism bereft of geographical specificity remains abstracted‘ (Harvey 2000: 557), I draw from his approach by geographically situating backpacker travel as a potentially (and problematic) cosmopolitan practice in Ireland, Canada and India. In addition to the seminal contemporary studies of tourism noted above, I also draw upon James Buzard‘s detailed historical analysis of the tourist/traveler distinction and of anti- tourist discourse in his book The Beaten Track (1993). In Buzard‘s (1993) succinct formulation, ‗off the beaten track‘ has become a ‗master trope‘ that denotes a mode of travel, a type of person, and a kind of place that derive their value and meaning in large part from its antithesis. Although Buzard focuses on tourism and travel in Europe during the period 1800-1914, these master tropes and mythological codes continue to persist in today‘s world of backpacking. However, the social context and cultural terms through which these discourses and codes are formulated and practiced have taken on new variations. Thus we can see continuity as well as divergence and discontinuity at work between the discourses of travel and anti-tourism in different historical periods. I provide some contemporary illustrations of some of Buzard‘s key concepts and insights while going beyond his analysis in order to examine the international geographical context in which the tourist/traveler distinction is articulated. The historical work of Rudy Koshar (2000) on early travel guidebooks is particularly relevant in this regard, especially his ideas concerning the use of guidebooks as enlightenment texts and their capacity to act as ocular devices. Koshar‘s work is therefore relevant to my analysis of Lonely Planet guidebooks as ‗active texts‘ in mediating and facilitating the cultivation of guidebook reading, transforming tourists on the beaten track into off-the-beaten-track travelers. Although these scholarly works are directly related to the study of tourism and backpacking, there are other theoretical approaches that I selectively draw from. The work of  33  Pierre Bourdieu, as already noted, is particularly relevant, especially his ideas on cultural and symbolic capital, habitus and field. In Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, Bourdieu (1984) provides a theoretical framework for understanding how status-based distinctions operate to legitimize and reproduce certain aesthetic and moral judgments about the world as ‗naturally‘ better than others, and thus are active in reproducing and replicating forms of distinction. In the context of my study, I show how discourses of authenticity, ‗off the beaten track‘ and the traveler self serve as important sources of cultural and symbolic capital for backpackers, and are constitutive of a distinctive backpacker ‗habitus‘ within the ‗field‘ of tourism. As I noted above, Bourdieu argues that cultural capital is accumulated through practices of embodied cultivation which takes time and effort (Bourdieu 1986: 244). Backpacking is an important vehicle through which the cultivation of the traveler self is learned, practiced and incorporated. In light of Bourdieu‘s argument that all forms of capital can be expressed symbolically, I pay particular attention in my interviews with backpackers to their stories and comments regarding their off the beaten track experiences, their distance from tourists, and their particular style of travel, which I consider to be examples and oral articulations of how cultural capital is symbolically expressed. In Practical Reason: On the Theory of Action Bourdieu defines habitus as ‗classificatory schemes, principles of vision and division‘ (1998: 10). The tourist/traveler distinction is one such classificatory scheme which acts as a ‗generative and unifying principle‘ allowing backpackers to actively distinguish themselves and what they do, or more generally, to differentiate their style of travel from mass tourism. Thus, although backpackers occupy a distinctive position within the broader ‗field‘ of tourism, their distinctive discourse and style of off-the-beaten-track travel marks them as different from and in opposition to the practices of mainstream mass tourism. In  34  other words, for the purposes of this study, I consider the ‗field‘ of tourism to be bounded by how backpackers negotiate the borders between the beaten track of tourism and off the beaten track of backpacker travel. Bourdieu further defines habitus as ‗a generative and unifying principle which retranslates the intrinsic and relational characteristics of a position into a unitary lifestyle that is a unitary set of choices of persons, goods and practices‘ (1998: 8, my emphasis). I argue that there is a distinct and identifiable backpacker ‗habitus‘ which amounts to a ‗unitary lifestyle‘ on the road, one characterized by an ethos of frugality and budget travel, distinctive discourses of travel, anti-tourism and authenticity, and a preponderance of guidebook use. It is important to note that backpacking is increasingly a heterogeneous phenomenon, but one that is still held together by a relatively distinct and recognizable choice of ‗persons, goods and practices‘. In this sense I examine backpackers‘ distinctive habitus within the field of tourism as a recognizable ‗community of practice‘, that is, ‗an aggregate of people, who united by a common enterprise, develop and share ways of doing things, ways of talking, beliefs and values - in short, practices‘ (Eckert and McConnell-Ginet 1999: 186, quoted in Currie et al 2009: 14). I examine ‗off-the-beaten-track travel‘ as the defining practice which unites backpackers as a community of practice and it is in this community of practice where backpackers ‗learn‘ to become travelers. In this respect, the backpacker communities of practice are also the sites for the production and accumulation, circulation and consumption of symbolic capital in the form of storytelling. Bourdieu notes that symbolic capital becomes a kind of literacy that people learn in order to read and utilize distinctions. In ‗The Forms of Capital‘ he notes that ‗symbolic capital, that is to say capital in whatever form…is represented i.e. apprehended symbolically‘ (Bourdieu 1986: 255). The use of stories by backpackers is one such way in which cultural capital is  35  ‗represented‘ in a symbolic form. Whereas Bourdieu notes that all forms of capital - economic, social and cultural - can be symbolically represented and reproduced through oral discourse and in everyday speech, I pay particular attention to the different forms of cultural and symbolic capital that are used and circulated by backpackers to differentiate them from mass tourists in their practices and discourse. In particular, I examine how their ‗off the beaten track‘ stories serve as an important type of symbolic capital which conveys authenticity, difference and distinction. In analyzing more precisely the reproduction of ideological and mythological codes through a variety of textually, visually, and orally mediated discourses, I found that the work of Dorothy Smith and Roland Barthes provides a key theoretical resource for this aspect of the research. Smith (1990a) conceptualizes texts as ‗active‘ in the organization and reproduction of social relations. Although she focuses on the world of work, especially women‘s work, her concepts are useful in understanding the textual and oral mediation of leisure discourse and how practices of both work and leisure are increasingly organized and reconfigured through these ideological codes. Smith defines the ‗ideological code‘ as ‗a schema that replicates its organization in multiple and various sites‘ (Smith 1999: 159) and ‗a generator of procedures for selecting syntax, categories, and vocabulary, written or spoken, ordered by it‘ (my emphasis, ibid). In the context of this research I examine the tourist/traveler distinction as an ‗ideological code‘ that regulates, organizes, and gives meaning to both the written and visual discourses of Lonely Planet guidebooks as well as the oral or verbal discourses of backpackers. In particular, I examine how these ideological codes are replicated ‗in multiple and various sites‘, while at the same time paying attention to how they are also articulated differently in India, Canada, and Ireland. Thus, my research draws upon and expands Smith‘s insights to consider how these  36  worlds of leisure and consumption are mediated through the materiality of texts. Like Smith, I see texts as encompassing more than just books and consequently I examine how websites and other electronic sources mediate the world of travel. I consider the increasingly important role of the internet in the inter-textual mediation of backpacking travel and use excerpts from the Lonely Planet website to further situate and extend my analysis of the guidebooks themselves. The twin interrelated binaries of ‗the tourist/traveler distinction‘ and ‗the beaten track and off the beaten track‘ serve as exemplary ideological codes through which the discourse and textual strategies of Lonely Planet guidebooks are organized and mediated by the discourses and practices of backpackers on the road. The work of Roland Barthes takes this point even further by providing a compelling and useful methodological and theoretical framework for decoding photographs and texts. For Barthes (1993), images and texts are important mythological technologies, or forms of ‗mythic speech‘, which circulate through popular culture. Barthes‘ ideas about myth and mythic speech provide an important analytical and interpretive method for understanding how the ideological voice of Lonely Planet speaks through its guidebooks. For Barthes myth can be anything that has already been worked on by humans if it is used as a sign to convey meaning: ‗speech of this kind is a message. It is therefore by no means confined to oral speech. It can consist of modes of writing, or of representations, not only written discourse but also photography, cinema, reporting, shows, publicity, all these can serve as a support to mythic speech‘ (1993: 110). For my analysis of Lonely Planet photographs, I draw upon Barthes‘ essay ‗Rhetoric of the Image‘ (1985) and utilize his insights and methodology concerning the ‗photographic paradox‘, that is, the apparent communication of ‗a message without a code‘ (1985: 5). In particular, I analyze Lonely Planet as a popular brand which produces ‗mythic speech‘ in representing off-the-beaten-  37  track places as undiscovered, untouched, and ready for consumption by the western traveler. In this sense, guidebooks such as Lonely Planet help to keep the ‗mythology‘ of travel and the traveler alive. With its explicit discourse of ‗travel‘, texts by Lonely Planet and backpackers stories draw upon the historical and cultural power of travel as an important signifier of individual cultivation and cosmopolitan enlightenment. In adopting a historical approach (especially in Chapter 1), I examine the historical genesis of these ideological and mythological codes, and I consider how they continue to organize and mediate the experiences of contemporary backpackers and the written discourse of guidebooks (especially in Chapter 2). In this context I theorize how socially and culturally constructed realities become ‗mythologized‘ by being represented as transparent, self-evident, unchangeable and naturally occurring in the mythic speech of Lonely Planet texts and photographs, and in the oral everyday discourse of backpackers on the road. In light of the emphasis on space and place in recent studies of globalization (Robertson 1995, Pieterse 1995), the particularity of ‗place‘ has assumed a heightened importance as globalization is increasingly played out on the ground in ways that demonstrate that ‗geography matters‘ (Tao and Li 2003: 302). As backpacking illustrates particularly well, Marc Augé‘s concept of ‗non-places‘ (1995) helps us to examine how mobility and consumption are key factors that help produce both place and non-place. Augé focuses on what he characterizes as the non-places of airports, supermarkets and highways by emphasizing their character as transit sites which travelers must pass through in order to arrive at their eventual destination. The concept of ‗non-place‘ is useful in characterizing those places that become overused, bypassed, and eventually forgotten on the backpacker trail. In other words non-places can be characterized as those in-authentic places that backpackers typically seek to avoid or pass through on their travels  38  which have become too touristic and over-commercialized. Augé specifically notes the importance of texts such as maps and advertizing signs in the use of non-places (1995: 56), which he treats as ‗instruction manuals‘ that make non-places user-friendly and thus more efficiently navigated. His insight into how texts are instrumental in the efficient use and successful transit through non-places can be illustrated by backpackers‘ use of guidebooks. I consider how guidebooks can be thought of as ‗instruction manuals‘ for navigation through various places that backpackers visit, and how they produce contradictory tensions that increasingly bring place and non-place into sharper relief. From this theoretical perspective, we can say that backpackers are ‗in the middle of nowhere‘ in the sense that they are constantly negotiating the borders between the beaten track of tourism and off the beaten track of travel. In this respect, the world that the Lonely Planet traveler discovers ‗off the beaten track‘ is an imagined geography with routes that potentially go everywhere, a smooth surface of open possibilities. Hardt and Negri (2000: 202, 235) claim that Empire is both everywhere and nowhere, it is ‗a non-place or Utopia‘ and yet ‗Empire is materializing before our eyes‘. The travel of backpackers and guidebooks helps to constitute a ‗roaming‘ Empire‘. travel off-thebeaten-track does not arrive at a final terminus but rather spirals in a perpetual circulation which reflects this new form of power. In order to function effectively as an imagined but not imaginary geography, the coded binaries of ‗the-beaten-track‘ and ‗off-the-beaten-track‘ work together to produce ever new circuits of desire and repulsion around the world. Chapter Outline: A Guided Tour The historical aspect of the emergence of backpacker and guidebook discourse is the subject of Chapter 1 ‗The Historical Genesis of the Tourist/Traveler Distinction‘. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a genealogy of the traveler self by examining how the traveler and the tourist have been perceived and spoken about in European public discourse, with an emphasis on 39  distinctively British articulations of these themes. In order to more fully understand the genesis of the tourist/traveler distinction at work in the practices and discourses of the backpackers I interviewed and in the guidebooks I analyzed, I found it was necessary to provide an historical context to the mythological and ideological codes of the distinction between the tourist and traveler and between the beaten track and off the beaten track. Here I explore the historical, cultural and discursive foundations of the tourist/traveler distinction with reference to key documents which demonstrate how travel is typically articulated as an educative, authentic, and cultivating practice. Rather than conceptualizing backpacking and its culture of travel purely as an entirely new phenomenon, as the latest niche-market example of a heterogeneous tourism industry, I historicize the most pertinent aspects of backpacking culture by focusing mainly on the period between 1800-1900 when modern tourism emerged as a discrete and culturally identifiable practice in Europe. I draw upon the most pertinent discourses that helped to shape European ideas about travel, in particular European discourses of Romanticism, including romantic primitivism, Enlightenment and education. Examining the historical genesis of the tourist/traveler distinction helps us to better understand how the identities and practices of contemporary backpackers draw upon well-established cultural repertoires of anti-tourism, selfcultivation, and authenticity with respect to travel. Here I focus on the historical framework that James Buzard provides concerning ‗the beaten track‘ and the tourist/traveler distinction as well as on the theoretical work of Pierre Bourdieu, especially his concepts of cultural and symbolic capital, in exploring how the cultivation of the traveler self emerged and developed. In this chapter, I also examine two of the most well known and popular brand of independent guidebooks in the 19th century, those of John Murray and Karl Baedeker, who were both early entrepreneurs of independent travel. The guidebooks of Murray and Baedeker were instrumental  40  in helping to popularize and institutionalize discourses of educational self-cultivation and particular modes of seeing that signaled the emergence of the independent traveler as a recognizable and antithetical figure to the tourist. Here I draw upon the work of Rudy Koshar in particular in analyzing the cultural role of guidebooks as ‗active texts‘ in the emergence of the European traveler self. These central historical themes are further developed in Chapter 2 ‗Legends of Lonely Planet‘, where I examine how guidebook companies like Lonely Planet also draw upon and use these discourses/cultural repertoires in order to successfully brand its guidebooks, and thus to further legitimate their authority and symbolic capital as ‗travel experts‘. The primary focus is on the Lonely Planet guidebook and the different textual and authorial strategies that are employed to secure its authority and popularity among independent travelers. More specifically I examine why and how the Lonely Planet guidebook, as a specific type of ‗active text‘ or ‗performative genre‘, has become an authoritative voice in the travel industry and a popular choice of travel within the backpacker world. I discuss how Lonely Planet guidebooks evoke and utilize goals of education, enlightenment and cosmopolitan cultivation for readers. In particular I utilize the theoretical and methodological work of Dorothy Smith and Roland Barthes in analyzing how ideological and mythological codes are textually replicated and reproduced in Lonely Planet guidebooks. I also consider how particular textual strategies employed in Lonely Planet guidebooks are formulated in ways which  transform people and places into objects of  knowledge and desire, and I explore how these guidebooks make knowable, visible and comprehensible these places and people through a variety of means. For example, I show how Lonely Planet guidebooks serve as ‗cartographic legends‘ to non-places which are ‗off-thebeaten-track‘ in so far as they act as ocular devices which render visible authentic and  41  inauthentic places. Here I draw upon and extend Marc Augé‘s theory of non-places, a theme which is continued in Chapter 3 in relation to how backpackers actually use their guidebooks on the road. I contextualize these cartographic legends within broader historical and geographical forms of mapping and knowing these previous colonies of the British Empire. I explore the discourse of travel and the anti-tourist discourses articulated by Lonely Planet, and consider how these discourses help to provide further authority and legitimacy to Lonely Planet‘s brand of travel through particular writing and reading strategies. There is a significant shift in focus and empirical material as I move from Chapters 1 and 2 to Chapters 3 and 4. These remaining two chapters deal with the interviews and ethnographic material as I explore the lived experience of backpackers who are on the road in Canada, Ireland and India. In Chapter 3 ‗The Beaten Track‘, I begin by examining how Lonely Planet guidebooks occupy an ambiguous and contingent place in the discourse of my interviewees, as well as how Lonely Planet guidebooks help to facilitate the independence and cultivation of a traveler self. I explore how Lonely Planet guidebooks are used and read in the ethnographic field by many of these backpackers in ways that are often surprising, illuminating and contradictory. In particular, I focus on the dominant characterizations of tourists and tourism narrated by my interviewees. Here I use Bourdieu‘s concept of cultural capital in relation to how tourism is seen as less prestigious and valuable to my interviewees in terms of what tourist do, where they go, and how they travel. I explore how discourses of travel among backpackers are tied into perceptions of tourists and locals across all three sites. Through interviews with backpackers and ethnographic observations in each setting, I examine how ‗the tourist‘ and the beaten track of tourism that they travel on are spoken about, experienced and characterized by backpackers. Then I examine how these travelers differentiate and distance themselves from holidaying  42  tourists. Focusing on India in particular, but with the comparative frame of my interviews with travelers in Ireland and Canada in mind as well, I examine the ‗threat‘ that tourists and tourism pose both to the places that these travelers are travelling through and to the ‗locals‘ that live there. As the chapter title makes clear, the focus here is on ‗the beaten track‘ and the perceptions, stories and opinions of backpackers about the holiday of tourism and the practices and mentality of tourists and what these mean and signify in the context of a traveler habitus. Once the beaten track has been explored and analyzed, in the subsequent and final chapter I turn to how the offthe-beaten-track stories of backpackers offer a distinct and valuable form of symbolic capital for backpackers who are on the road in India, Canada and Ireland. In Chapter 4 ‗Off the Beaten Track‘, again with a focus on my interviews and ethnographic observations, I explore what kinds of ‗off-the-beaten-track‘ places and interactions are experienced by these travelers in all three sites. I analyze three stories narrated by my interviewees where their Lonely Planet guidebook has facilitated their own off-the-beaten-track adventures. Employing Marcel Mauss‘s concept of ‗the gift‘ (1990), I analyze their accounts of authentic interactions and genuine exchanges with locals in terms of inter-cultural reciprocity and personal generosity. The primary focus of this chapter is India, my main ethnographic site, with examples from Canada and Ireland brought in to highlight what is distinctive and different as well as similar and shared in this crucial test for backpacker travel within a larger global context. Through a detailed consideration of stories of risk and danger, I analyze why India continues to be constructed and experienced as the true test for the western traveler in comparison with Ireland and Canada. I examine how these western backpackers narrate their experiences of India and situate their own geographical subjectivity as westerners within broader historical discourses of India. I argue that for these western travelers, India acts as a ‗heterotopia  43  of compensation‘ (Foucault 1986), that is, as a place that offers salvation through the consumption of cultural difference. The terms under which this difference is articulated is also addressed. I examine instances when the beaten track and its antithesis are experienced in paradoxical and contradictory ways by these travelers. In this chapter, in contrast to Urry (1990) and MacCannell (1989), I also attempt to bring the travelling body back into tourist theory. Because backpacking is an international phenomenon nowadays, backpackers and their tracks really do ‗cover the globe‘. An important international aspect of my analysis was therefore to interrogate whether self identified travelers, originating from a variety of countries, shared and participated in a recognizable ‗habitus‘ or ‗community of practice‘. Can the tourist/traveler distinction be found operating among different backpackers in all three different countries? Are the discourses of travel and anti-tourism a common feature of backpacker narratives regardless of where one interviews them? Do places considered ‗off-the-beaten-track‘ by these differentially located and internationally diverse groups of backpackers share common and enduring characteristics? And finally, what can be said about the historical, political and geographical conditions that allow the inhabitants of this travelling global village to recognize what they are, where they are from, and where they are going? Does backpacking travel off-thebeaten-track really lead to places ‗in the middle of nowhere‘ where the promise of a ‗lonely planet‘ can be realized for everyone?  44  Chapter 1 The Historical Genesis of the Tourist/Traveler Distinction The prosperity of a country depends, not on the abundance of its revenues, nor on the strength of its fortifications, nor on the beauty of its public buildings; but it consists in the number of its cultivated…men of education, enlightenment, and character; here are to be found its true interest, its chief strength, its real power. (Martin Luther, quoted in Samuel Smiles, Character (1871: 1) This comment by Martin Luther, as well as the context in which it was quoted by Samuel Smiles, captures and crystallizes three central themes of the following chapters. More precisely the major themes are captured in the three essential qualities that he indicates are essential for a prosperous country: ‗cultivated…men of education, enlightenment and character‘. Although Luther outlines with certainty the type of person required for successfully building a prosperous nation, he does not explicitly indicate how these qualities were to be instilled and developed. This is where Samuel Smiles and his popular writings come to play a significant role some 400 years later. Samuel Smiles, a liberal English author, is widely credited as the author of the first self-help book. The book, appropriately titled Self Help (1859), was an instant bestseller7 and was called ‗the bible of mid-Victorian liberalism‘ (Cohen & Major 2004: 611). A little over a decade later, Smiles published his second book Character (1871) where he further developed his earlier theme of self, with reference to famous men of character whose lives and works could serve as role models for his readers. Martin Luther, among others, was one of Smiles‘ main examples and it is the above quote from Luther that Smiles uses in the thematic introduction for his book Character.  7  th  Self Help was published the very same day as Darwin’s Origins of The Species (24 November 1859) and consistently outsold the latter (O Connor 2009).  45  Although the above words of Martin Luther and the self help writings of Samuel Smiles have no direct bearing on the chapter that follows, they are nonetheless important and relevant for several reasons. Even though Luther did not indicate how his three characteristics were to be realized, in this chapter I argue that, within European history, one ‗vehicle‘ in particular was considered by many as the primary way through which the three essential characteristics identified by Luther, and Smiles, could be successfully cultivated. This vehicle or institution was ‗travel‘, and over the space of several hundred years in Europe ‗travel‘ was practiced in different historical periods, in different social contexts, and by different individuals and groups of people as one of the most important means for realizing and instilling these virtues. John Murray, the guidebook publisher we will meet later on in this chapter, owned and ran one of the publishing companies that sought to publish Samuel Smiles‘ bestseller. Although Smiles eventually went to another publisher, the brief crossing of paths between the best selling and famous self-help author and the even bigger selling and more famous guidebook producer provides a useful segue for a consideration of how travel guidebooks became ‗textual vehicles‘ through which certain European ideals and civic goals could be practically accomplished. Samuel Smiles provided his readers with a sedentary text that he hoped could internally propel them towards achieving his (and Luther‘s) goals of cultivation, education, enlightenment, and moral character. John Murray and other guidebook entrepreneurs such as Karl Baedeker likewise provided their readers with a more mobile type of ‗self-help text‘ through guidebooks that would help to mediate and practically facilitate the realization of the individual and social goals of travel. In the course of this thesis these three themes appear again and again as we move from the 16th century exhortations of Martin Luther to the more contemporary exhortations of Tony Wheeler, the co-founder of Lonely Planet.  46  A Genealogy of the Traveler Self: ‘Travel’ and the Genesis of the Anti-Tourist Discourse The cultivation of education, character and enlightenment are the three pivotal themes in the genealogy of the traveler self. By identifying the key historical periods in which the traveler was formed as an identifiable type of figure through a discussion of the main discourses of travel in early modern Europe, this chapter aims to retrospectively reconstruct the key historical and discursive moments in which the traveler self emerged and became codified in highly significant national and colonial contexts through the articulation of the tourist/traveler distinction. Beginning with a discussion of the Grand Tour of Europe and the importance of education to the formation of the traveler self, I then examine two threads of Romanticism. The first focuses more on the aesthetic dimensions of the traveler as a type of upper-class person with a cultivated and refined taste, whereas the second focuses more on the ‗work of travel‘, and how the individual must develop a type of moral character that embraces adventure, risk and hard work. In conjunction with these two threads of Romanticism I show how an anti-tourist discourse emerged concurrently with Romanticism and how the tourist, understood as someone who also travels, was characterized as a debased and underdeveloped cultural figure, one who, in contrast to the traveler, did not have the requisite education, cultivation or character that was found so abundantly in the traveler. The final aspect in the genealogy of the traveler self, namely ‗enlightenment‘, is examined in terms of how guidebooks functioned as ‗active texts‘ in the enlightenment of readers and how the tourist was offered a form of textual salvation who could aspire to become a traveler through the use and cultural mediation of a guidebook. Throughout this chapter I examine ‗anti-tourist discourse‘ through an analysis of newspaper articles, literary works and guidebooks. Many of the critics of tourism and the tourist in these instances do not themselves constitute a group of self-styled travelers in the way that backpackers do today. In subsequent chapters, I examine how anti-tourist discourse is articulated 47  and practiced by people ‗on the road‘. While ‗the traveler‘ has been an ‗ideal type‘ which drew its legitimacy and currency from a variety of different models over several centuries, it only became a collective identity in the past several decades in the sense outlined above. As tourists and tourism emerged as identifiable mass phenomena, the individualized ideal type of ‗the traveler‘ remained a more nebulous and ephemeral form of prestige and status. Nonetheless the ideological code of the tourist/traveler distinction was central in textually organizing and regulating public discourse, allowing for the mass reproduction of these codes to permeate public consciousness and further entrench status-based distinctions that continue to be articulated to this day in the world of backpacking Examining the discourses and practices that are historically foundational to travel and to the emergence of the traveler self helps us to better understand how and why the tourist became such a despised figure and tourism such a frequently denigrated practice. The predominant European ‗discourses of travel‘ that circulated from the 16th century to the 19th century need to be contextualized for us to understand how they became crystallized into a more focused ‗antitourist discourse‘, and how dominant discourses of travel and tourism have become self-evident ‗truths‘ within particular ‗communities of practice‘. Early discourses of travel were by no means formulated exclusively as a reaction to the emergence of tourism in 19th century Europe, but by the beginning of the 19th century they were increasingly held up as a mirror by critics concerned to project a nobler ideal. Romanticism had a profound and enduring part to play in this antitourist discourse and in the concurrent development of the traveler self. Since the birth of modern tourism in the nineteenth century, the meanings attached to both travel and tourism have been symbiotically interrelated and in constant tension with each other. Of course, all tourists ‗travel‘. This general and relatively uncomplicated meaning of the  48  word ‗travel‘ is used as a straightforward description of the movement of people from any point to another. For example, every day I travel to work and in the evening I travel home again on the bus. If I were to go on a two week vacation somewhere I would go to a travel agency to make the bookings. However, despite this everyday usage of the word, there are also historical and contemporary ‗discourses of travel‘ that refer to and evoke very specific cultural practices, ideas, and values. With the birth of modern European tourism, which heralded an explosion of predominantly middle class travel throughout Europe and beyond, came its counterpoint ‗travel‘ understood as a distinct and distinguishing practice that is decidedly not tourism. James Buzard‘s (1993) argument that anti-tourist discourse has historically been a definitive yet largely unacknowledged element of modern tourism is confirmed by my examination in later chapters of backpacking as a contemporary example and practical manifestation of this paradoxical distinction. Both backpackers and companies like Lonely Planet posit travel as a more educative, authentic, and character-forming practice. As Buzard (1993) notes, ‗‗tourist‘ made it first appearance in English in the late 18th century, functioning as a straightforward synonym for ‗traveler‘‘ (1), and thus did not yet appear to carry any of the pejorative connotations that it has today. However, he makes the further point that ‗‗tourist‘ had acquired this darker side by the middle of the nineteenth century‘ (1). In fact, contrary to his claim that it was not until the mid 19th century, the word ‗tourist‘ had already begun to acquire a pejorative meaning as early as 1815. For example, describing the Battle of Waterloo, which took place in Belgium, June 18th 1815, A.V. Seaton (1999) quotes an illuminating comment by Lord Wellington, head of the victorious British-led allied forces against Napoleon‘s armies, who after the battle quipped: ‗I hope the next battle I fight will be further from home. Waterloo was too near: too many visitors, tourists, amateurs, all of whom wrote accounts of the battle‘ (The Times  49  1934: 17, cited in Seaton 1999: 133). Seaton argues that it was because of the unexpected surprise attack on Napoleon‘s troops in Belgium that many holidaying tourists were subsequently present to both witness the battle and write about it afterwards, much to Wellington‘s chagrin. Buzard (1993) further notes that the denigration of tourism and tourists was linked to ideas of culture at the time, and more precisely to notions about what type of person was considered capable of properly appreciating culture. Much of the anxiety surrounding mass tourism lay precisely in such ideas, in that the tourist was characterized as a type of person who could never fully grasp, comprehend, or appreciate the various cultural aspects of travel when confronted with them. Instead, according to the critics, the tourist remained mired in superficiality, easily duped by inauthentic representations and generally poor taste (Buzard 1993: 1). With the birth of mass tourism, those who railed against tourism drew upon many of the more elitist discourses of travel from the Grand Tour as well as Romanticism in order to retain the prestige and status of a more pure and superior practice of ‗travel‘ in the face of its more vulgar cousin ‗tourism‘. With ever increasing numbers of middle class tourists venturing around the continent and further afield, and with improvements in the technology and of an increasingly tourist-specific infrastructure, the symbolic and cultural capital of travel which expressed and embodied the privilege of mobility and wealth was subject to the threat of dilution through massification, a point echoed by Georg Simmel: It is said that it is part of one‘s education (Bildung) to see the Alps, but not education alone for its twin sister is ‗affluence‘ (Wohlhabenheit). The power of capitalism extends itself to ideas as well: it is capable of annexing such a distinguished concept as education as its own private property (Simmel [1895] 1997a: 220)  50  The German word Bildung generally means education but it also has a whole series of other interrelated meanings, such as development, cultivation, and learning.8 Although it is beyond the scope of this thesis to give a history of the concept of Bildung, suffice to say that Bildung has frequently been translated as ‗self cultivation‘ (Bruford 1975). Thus, when Simmel in his essay ‗The Alpine Journey‘ comments that ‗it is considered part of one‘s education [Bildung] to see the Alps‘ (220); he is at least implicitly referring to discourses of self cultivation in wide circulation in the 19th Century. In fact these meanings of Bildung are deeply rooted in the German philosophical and literary traditions stemming from Goethe, Schilling, Von Humboldt, Herder, and have long been intertwined and used interchangeably. The concept of Bildung expresses the convergence of educative self-cultivation which pervades the discourses and practices of travel. Central to the concept of Bildung, especially as it was used by Goethe, is the idea of the formation of individual character and the cultivation of the inner qualities or culture of the individual. The literary genre of the ‗Bildungsroman‘ or ‗novels of formation‘ typically features a young protagonist who undergoes a journey through various trials, only to emerge later as a mature individual. This genre is generally considered to have been inaugurated by Goethe‘s famous novel Master William‟s Apprenticeship (see Wilhelm Dilthey‘s comments in Crouter 2005: 27) and revolves around the formation of ‗William‘s‘ character through a series of individual and unique experiences. Dilthey‘s conceptualization of the word ‗experience‘ (Erlebnis), as ‗a test or trial that is lived through‘ (in Makkreel 1975: 282-283), already resonates with present-day backpackers who search for ‗experience‘ by traveling the world. Thus, as a form of Bildung, travel can be theorized as a modern-day ‗technology of the self‘ (Foucault  8  Beolingus Online German English Dictionary http://dict.tuchemnitz.de/dings.cgi?lang=en&service=deen&opterrors=0&optpro=0&query=Bildung&iservice=&comment=&em ail=  51  2003) in which individuals search for experiences by taking part in a broader process of selftransformation and cultivation. Throughout this chapter I examine key texts from the early modern history of travel that have helped to formulate and define the ‗technique of travel‘ as both a social-cultural institution and an individualized practice of Bildung. Although the idea of educational self-cultivation is an extremely broad one and encompasses multiple meanings and practices, in the remaining chapters of this thesis I utilize the concept of Bildung strictly within the context of the practice of travel and its anti-thesis, tourism. As I discussed in my introduction, Pierre Bourdieu argues that ‗cultural capital‘ is made manifest in embodied states. In particular, he notes that ‗the accumulation of cultural capital in the embodied state…implies a labor of inculcation and assimilation, costs time, time which must be invested personally by the investor‘ (Bourdieu 1986: 244). In this chapter I critically examine the largely invisible ‗costs‘ and invisible privileges underpinning the cultivation of the elite traveler self in England and Europe that became codified and entrenched in the tourist/traveler distinction, allowing the denigration of tourism to appear as a self evident and natural discourse in 19th century England. Beginning with a brief examination of Francis Bacon‘s Treatise ‗On Travel‘ written in 1625, I examine how ‗The Grand Tour of Europe‘ became established as an important institutionalized educational practice for the British aristocracy up until the 19th century. Then, through an examination of the guidebook advice and newspaper writings of William Wordsworth, the travel writings of John Ruskin and the travels and writings of Lord Byron I examine how Romanticism became a key discourse that was instrumental in helping to lay the foundations of anti-tourist discourse, and to redefine travel as a more solitary and individual pursuit practiced by cultivated people. Romanticism became a key discourse through which a strong anti-tourist discourse was articulated and ideologically codified, and also drew upon the  52  educational ideals of the Grand Tour formulated earlier. However, the Romantic movement in art and literature also introduced important new categories of aesthetic distinction against which the tourist was denigrated as a debased cultural type, with tourism increasingly seen as a destructive force and ‗blight‘ on the ‗natural‘ landscape. In particular, Romanticism helped to establish the importance and value of ‗the picturesque‘ as a mode of vision. In this light, I also examine the most salient contours and dominant aspects of anti-tourist discourse through the travel writings of several cultural critics in the popular Blackwoods Magazine. I then return to Georg Simmel‘s essay ‗The Alpine Journey‘ for the way it articulates another key ‗thread‘ of Romanticism that shaped how 19th century travel was thought about, namely, in terms of hard work, endurance and individuality. In the final section, I examine how guidebooks became didactic and ‗salvational‘ texts that functioned within the logic of the tourist/traveler distinction and that drew upon Enlightenment discourses. From Bacon to Byron on the Grand Tour of Europe When a man had passed through some great public school, and attained a tolerable facility in verse composition in the dead languages - when he had capped this result by a university degree, and made what was called the Grand Tour of Europe - his education was said to have finished. (Blackwood‟s Magazine 1855: 685) In order to better understand how the discourse of travel came to be vaunted as superior to tourism, it is necessary to examine first how European travel became an important symbolic and cultural resource for the English upper classes and a vital marker of status, economic power and prestige. The Grand Tour of Europe was a key institution in English society from the 16th to the 19th centuries through which travel became a necessary and desirable cultural ‗apprenticeship‘ for the elite classes. By the early 1800s, The Grand Tour fell into decline amongst the English upper classes. As Burk (2005) notes, important reasons for the decline include the rise of bourgeois individualism, which emphasized an ethos of hard work, self- sufficiency, and the 53  rejection of inherited aristocratic privilege, combined with an increasing moral ambivalence exhibited by the upper classes regarding the respectability of the Grand Tour. As Towner (1985) indicates, an increase in the amount of upper middle class professionals who were increasingly taking a shorter version of the tour, especially at the end of the 18th century and early 19th century, also contributed to its demise as an exclusively aristocratic institution and to a diminution of the Grand Tour as an important form of cultural capital for the English elite. The Grand Tour of Europe consisted of predominantly young aristocratic English men who traveled around Europe for up to several years. They were typically accompanied by a guide who would tutor them on a whole host of subjects, ranging from language instruction, in particular French, to education on classical architecture, systems of government, and various forms of etiquette. Italy was the main destination, mainly due to interest in the Renaissance as well as the abundance of Roman ruins there. The Grand Tour typically started from England, then to Paris in France, and continued on to the cities of Italy, with Florence, Rome and Naples considered the focal points. Although the history of The Grand Tour stretched over 300 years, the routes and destinations were well established and did not vary enormously over time. The Grand Tour was essentially a circuit that began in France, looped through Italy, parts of Germany, and eventually finished back in England. It is likely that the word ‗tourist‘ developed from the Grand Tour since a central characteristic of tourism is that of a predetermined and relatively predicable route structured around certain ‗must see‘ places in between. Also as Towner (1985) notes, The Grand Tour was instrumental in establishing a specialized tourist infrastructure of inns, transportation networks, and guides that catered specifically to the needs of these Grand Tourists.  54  The quote from Blackwood‟s Magazine above makes clear that at the very heart of The Grand Tour was the idea of education. The ideal goal was the cultivation of the minds and manners of young English men through a first-hand extended study of the classical art and architecture of Rome and Naples, visits to the royal courts of Paris, as well as lessons in recent scientific discoveries that edify the young traveler by exposing him to both the old world and the new. In other words, The Grand Tour provides a key to understanding the emergence of travel as a type of Bildung. As John Towner argues, there was a difference between ‗The Classical Grand Tour‘, that ran from the early 16th century to the mid to late 18th century and was distinguished by its exclusive focus on education and social manners, and the ‗Romantic Grand Tour‘ of the 19th century, that saw a move towards ‗a passion for the medieval and a love of wild nature with its sublime and picturesque scenery‘ (Towner 1985: 314). For now, however, let us take a closer look at look what the Classical Grand Tour consisted of by considering one of the foundational ‗proto-guide books‘ of the Grand Tour. ‗Of Travel‘, originally published by Francis Bacon (1561-1626) in the second edition of his Essays in 1625, is a brief précis which gives some expert advice to travelers about the educational purpose of European travel. Bacon writes, ‗Travaile, in the younger sort, is a part of education, in the elder a part of experience‘ (Bacon 1936: 23). He further comments, That young men travel under some tutor, or grave servant, I allow well; so that he be such a one that hath the language, and hath been in the country before; whereby he may be able to tell them what things are worthy to be seen, in the country where they go; what acquaintances they are to seek; what exercises, or discipline, the place yieldeth. For else, young men shall go hooded, and look abroad little (24).  The importance of a guide or tutor was seen as an essential part of the educational process of the Grand Tour. The guide and tutor was instrumental as a translator and as someone already familiar with the foreign country in question. Importantly, the guide or tutor was instrumental in 55  directing the attention of the young grand tourist to the important sights and educating him about ‗what things are worthy to be seen‘, as well as placing these sights into an intelligible frame of reference for the novice. A key aspect of The Grand Tour was thus how it was mediated through the guidance of a more experienced and knowledgeable tutor. The guide was crucial in maximizing the educational value of The Grand Tour for the young ‗grand tourist‘, without which he would (according to Bacon), ‗go hooded, and look abroad little‘ (ibid). An appropriate guide was one who had already been abroad and possessed the requisite language skills, and thus could act as both translator and educator for the young grand tourist. In the final section of this chapter I consider how this practice of educational tutoring was eventually replaced by and textually mediated through the travel guidebook. Concerning the people that the grand tourist was meant to meet, Bacon was quite specific: As for the acquaintance, which is to be sought in travel; that which is most of all profitable, is acquaintance with the secretaries and employed men of ambassadors: for so in travelling in one country, he shall suck the experience of many. Let him also see, and visit, eminent persons in all kinds, which are of great name abroad; that he may be able to tell, how the life agreeth with the fame (25). The Grand Tour was therefore also an important occasion to make social connections that could be useful in future enterprises. The classical Grand Tour was not focused solely on the individual experiences of the traveler but rather on cultivating the young man as a future ambassador or head of state. The idea that travel could be an important apprenticeship for the cultivation of ambassadors has not entirely disappeared from the discourse of travel. Indeed when we examine the travel discourses of Lonely Planet in the following chapter we will see how this idea reemerges in the context of ‗global citizenship‘. In the final passages of this essay Bacon ends by cautioning the would-be grand tourist. When a traveller returneth home, let him not leave the countries, where he hath travelled, altogether behind him; but maintain a correspondence by letters, with those of his 56  acquaintance, which are of most worth. And let his travel appear rather in his discourse, than his apparel or gesture; and in his discourse, let him be rather advised in his answers, than forward to tell stories; and let it appear that he doth not change his country manners, for those of foreign parts (25). What is striking about this passage is that, in comparison with the later travels of Lord Byron (discussed below), here Bacon explicitly cautions against any substantial change in the individual character of the young men. Bacon acknowledges that the returning grand tourist should of course have learned important lessons from his educational experience, but these experiences should not bring about a substantial transformation in individual sensibility. We can see how the Grand Tour was seen as an important way of establishing and maintaining diplomatic relations as well for meeting ‗eminent persons‘ whom the traveler could look to as future versions of his own self. Interestingly, Bacon warns that upon their return the young man should not hold onto any of the ‗foreign‘ dress or manners that he may have picked up while in Europe, but rather insists that ‗his travel appear… in his discourse‘. In other words, the returning traveler should be able to integrate his experiences into his persona and speech, and socially perform the fruits of his travel education while remaining unchanged in appearance and manner. Bacon advises that the returnee should not tell travel stories, however, but rather answer questions with decorum, erudition and restraint. By the time that Bacon had written this treatise (1625) The Grand Tour of Europe was already becoming increasingly popular. Bacon‘s advice was written during the time of the classical Grand Tour, and by the time the Romantic Grand Tour was coming to an end at the beginning of the 19th century, a new cultural figure of the traveler had emerged that would serve as the role model for many future tourists and travelers. Lord Byron‘s Grand Tour at the begin inning of the 19th Century was different in many ways from the traditional ideas of The Grand Tour laid out by Bacon at the beginning of the 16th century, and signified a transformation in the 57  relationship between education, self-cultivation, and travel. From then on, adventurous individual experiences as well as the possibility of self-transformation were to become the central focus of travel. Adventure, romance, heroism, sexual excess, and an anti-establishment ethos came to characterize this new figure of the ‗Byronic hero‘ who would serve as the archetype for many English travelers in Europe and elsewhere. This emulation and imitation was secured by the fact that Byron‘s publisher was none other than John Murray, who alongside Karl Baedeker would become one of the most widely published and read travel guidebook authors of the 20th century. Byron‘s Childe Harold‟s Pilgrimage, published in 1812, a long narrative fictional poem that described the unorthodox grand tour travel experiences of a troubled young man, was originally published by John Murray. Although Byron‘s Grand Tour was by no means typical, Byron was after all one of the most notorious, infamous, and scandalized of British travelers: he serves as an important transitional figure that bridges the gap between the eventual demise of the Grand Tour on the one hand, and the emergence of the romantic traveler on the other. Thus, through figures like Lord Byron, travel as an institution of Bildung changed from having a scholarly focus to being a more romantic and adventurous mode of individual experience emphasizing self-transformation and the development of a cosmopolitan sensibility. In a letter to his mother, Byron quipped: I am so convinced of the advantages of looking at mankind instead of reading about them, and of the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander, that I think there should be a law amongst us to set our young men abroad for a term among the few allies our wars have left us (quoted in Elze 1872: 88) Here we can see that the goals of cosmopolitan self-cultivation achievable through travel that Byron has in mind are quite different from those outlined by Bacon. In contrast to Bacon‘s more cautionary advice to the young traveler about the need to remain more or less unchanged following his travels, Byron evokes travel as a necessary and desirable form of civic virtue, one 58  that could potentially challenge ‗the bitter effects of staying at home with all the narrow prejudices of an Islander‘ (ibid). Echoing Ulrich Beck in his recent book Cosmopolitan Vision where he criticizes the ‗self centered narcissism of the national outlook‘ (2006: 2), Byron evokes continental travel as a desirable vehicle through which a ‗cosmopolitan vision‘ may be cultivated. Importantly, Byron became one of the first figures of travel to celebrate estrangement from the mores and values of elite society in England, and the ‗Byronic hero‘ became a wellestablished cultural figure in shaping the romantic traveler as a type of outcast through which travel became a practice of liberation and rebellion. Through the publications of John Murray and through the many references to Byron in Murray‘s guidebooks, Lord Byron became a figure worthy of emulation by many middle class tourists and readers of Murray‘s guidebooks who sought ‗picturesque‘ landscapes and adventurous and transformative experiences in their own travels (Buzard 1993: 117) Romanticism and the Genesis of the Anti-Tourist Discourse The figure of Lord Byron, and the type of adventurous romantic travel he engaged in and became infamous for, thus signified an important historical and cultural shift in the European discourse of travel. On the one hand, Byron‘s travel writings were increasingly popular at a time when modern mass tourism was a nascent cultural phenomenon (1800-1850) and Byron, amongst others, was an important icon whom Murray‘s guidebook readers sought to emulate. Lord Byron, along with William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Joseph Mallard William Turner, were all leading figures of a new romantic movement that helped to reshape the aesthetic and cultural sensibilities of how landscapes and people were viewed and experienced through the category of ‗the picturesque‘. Romanticism helped to define and articulate new modes of perception and experiences of travel that facilitated the emergence of an anti-tourist discourse  59  through which the traveler was defined as a type of person with a particular sensibility that displayed a more profound ‗ability‘ to experience and see the world. Romanticism helped to define the aesthetic and cultural terms through which travel experiences should be understood. It helped to provide some of the key distinctions and ‗cultural spokespersons‘ (such as Byron, Wordsworth, Ruskin and others) who would help to crystallize how, or in what terms, the differences between travelers and tourists would be framed, legitimated, and articulated. In short, Romanticism helped to develop a new ‗literacy‘ of taste and sensibility that became the dominant aesthetic sensibility through which an anti-tourist discourse was subsequently articulated. In the introduction I outlined the theoretical approach of Pierre Bourdieu in Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste (1984). I noted that Bourdieu provides a conceptual framework for understanding how ‗taste‘- based distinctions operate to legitimize and reproduce certain aesthetic and moral judgments about the world as ‗naturally‘ better than others, and thus are instrumental in reproducing modes of aesthetic domination through everyday expressions of taste. The tourist/traveler distinction is an example of such literacy at work in the leisure sphere by allowing for the valuation of certain experiences and modes of perception over others as having more legitimacy, importance, and status. By looking at European and especially English society in the 1800s at a time when the emerging middle classes were increasingly using tourism and travel as an important marker of mobility and prestige, we can see how tourism and travel became important markers of class and status distinction and how certain ideas and practices concerning travel as distinct from, and better than, tourism were germinated. In other words, travel and tourism were coded and evaluated through a literacy of taste, and Romanticism became an important discourse in this process.  60  The poet William Wordsworth, in the introduction to his Guide to the Lakes ([1810] 2004), succinctly expresses attitudes related to travel, culture, and taste: In preparing this manual, it was the author‘s principal wish to furnish a guide or companion for the minds of persons of taste, and feeling for landscape, who might be inclined to explore the District of the Lakes with that degree of attention to which its beauty may fairly lay claim (2004: 27; my emphasis). Ironically, Wordsworth‘s guide was instrumental in making his beloved Lake District all the more popular, and much to his consternation, a plan was proposed for the building of a railway that would vastly increase the volume of visitors to the area. Upon hearing that a public railway was to be built to the town of Windermere in the Lake District, Wordsworth sent two letters of protest, and wrote two sonnets on the matter to the local newspaper The Morning Post outlining his objections to such a project. In the second letter dated 14th December 1844 (quoted in Harrison, Wood and Gaiger 1998: 216-220), he summarizes his argument in this way: The scope of the main argument…was to prove that the perception of what has acquired the name of picturesque and romantic is so far from being intuitive, that it can be produced only by a slow and gradual process of culture, and to show as a consequence that the humbler ranks of society are not and cannot be in a state to gain material benefit from a more speedy access than they now have to this beautiful region. (220) Here Wordsworth is not objecting to the actual presence of the ‗humbler ranks of society‘ in the region, but rather to the idea that building a railway to ensure ‗a more speedy access‘ to the Lake District would not benefit them, as he argued that the proper cultivation of romantic modes of sensibility can only be produced through a ‗slow and gradual process of culture‘. According to this logic, even if the humbler ranks had greater opportunity to visit his beloved Lake District, it would not make any difference since they were not ‗cultivated‘ enough or lacked the cultural capital to benefit from it in the first place. For Wordsworth, such travel simply would be a waste of time! Of the many criticisms of the tourist which have helped to shape anti-tourist discourse, one of the most consistent is related to time, and here we can see how Wordsworth typifies such 61  an attitude: the value of a picturesque landscape is lost upon those who do not have the time to appreciate it, which of course begs the question of what group of people were cultured enough to appreciate the place in the first instance. Bourdieu notes that the accumulation of cultural capital ‗implies a labor of inculcation and assimilation, costs time, time which must be invested personally by the investor‘ (Bourdieu 1986: 244). In the context of Wordsworth‘s criticisms, where self cultivation comes from a ‗slow and gradual process of culture‘, we can see more clearly how time was itself a luxury affordable to the few. With the ever growing middle class tourism industry in England beginning to make inroads into places that were once the exclusive ‗property‘ of the upper classes, the symbolic capital of picturesque places and their value as sources of aesthetic pleasure were increasingly under threat (a theme I discuss in relation to Simmel later on in this chapter). At the same time as Wordsworth was waxing lyrical about the solitude afforded to ‗the stranger‘ visiting the Lakes of Coniston, the tourist as a new type of cultural figure was entering into public discourse and cultural representations. For writers like Wordsworth and John Ruskin, dismay and angst about mass tourism seemed to arise from their suspicion that although actual tourists come and go, the tourist and all the attendant infrastructure of railways and hotels would not be departing anytime soon. Although the very first tourists of Thomas Cook stayed in Leicester for just a few hours, returning that same day, the tourist as a particular type of person was destined to become a permanent fixture on the moral landscape of modernity, and in particular on the cultural and physical landscape of Europe and beyond. Thomas Cook and his company were instrumental to the development of tourism in England and abroad, and according to Piers Brendon, Cook made a ‗unique contribution to simplifying, popularizing and cheapening travel‘ (Brendon 1991: 17). It was precisely Thomas Cook‘s contribution in ‗popularizing,  62  simplifying, and cheapening‘ travel that aroused the frequent ire and condemnation from the upper classes of English society as more and more places that were once the exclusive ‗property‘ of those who could afford to travel were now shared by middle class tourists in their droves. Cook enthusiastically promoted and utilized the burgeoning railway system as a way to make travel both more efficient and less expensive for more people, but how his tourists traveled became one of the focal points of criticism by people like Wordsworth, Ruskin, and others. Cook‘s tours were the originators of the modern day package holiday. Accommodations, transport and food were paid for in advance and the tour was guided by a company representative who acted as both guide and chaperone for the tourists. The holidays and excursions were meticulously planned out, with preset timetables and itineraries. Of course the idea of such a common way of traveling shocked and disgusted many of those such as John Ruskin who perceived Cook‘s form of tourism as the very antithesis of what real travel should be. Later on in this chapter I examine how the guidebooks of Murray and Baedeker functioned as an independent alternative to the tours of Cook and provided the textual means by which their readers could become independent travelers rather than mass produced tourists. In The Art of Travel (2002), Alain de Botton notes that literary and cultural critic John Ruskin was a particularly vituperative critic of tourists, whom he loathed for not taking sufficient time to slow down and truly appreciate the places they were visiting. In a lecture given in Manchester in 1864 Ruskin produced a personal tirade which captures what the physical effect of mass tourism meant to those romantics who sought solitude in the Alps, away from the ‗masses‘ and industrial modern urban life:  63  Your one conception of pleasure is to drive in railroad carriages. You have put a railroad bridge over the fall of Schaffenhausen9. You have tunneled the cliffs of Lucerne by Tells chapel 10. You have destroyed the Clarens shore of the Lake of Geneva, there is not a quiet valley in England that you have not filled with bellowing fire nor any foreign city in which the spread of your presence is not marked by a consuming white leprosy of new hotels. The Alps themselves you look upon as soaped poles in a bear garden, which you set yourself to climb and slide down again with ―shrieks of delight‖ (Ruskin, quoted in de Botton 2002: 223) The narrative of loss and destruction of ‗the natural‘ pervades Ruskin‘s lecture. The beautiful Alpine falls are replaced with a ‗consuming white leprosy of new hotels‘. The Alps, one of the most important landscapes for Romantics, are turned into a fun fair, their only use now as a form of frivolous entertainment for ‗shrieking tourists‘. Here we can see how tourism signified to people like Ruskin an inevitable destruction of places deemed sacred by many Romantics, and which in many ways provided impetus to find new places outside the tourist orbit. Although Ruskin is mainly criticizing the destruction of the physical and aesthetic landscapes his words also serve to highlight how the tourist was increasingly characterized as a mindless pleasureseeker, devoid of any feeling or capacity for the appreciation of the ‗sacred‘ character of the Alps. Echoing Wordsworth‘s comments on ‗those swarms of pleasure seekers‘ in the Lake District, Ruskin too denigrates and infantilizes the sensibility of the tourist as primarily concerned with entertainment and pleasure. He evokes the somewhat childlike image of tourists sliding down poles and ‗shrieking‘ with delight. As I show in Chapter 3, this infantilizing characterization of the tourist as a mindless pleasure seeker continues to this day among backpackers. Romanticism, with its focus on the self, also helped to consolidate the idea that certain places, peoples, and landscapes held restorative qualities for the travelling individual, in sharp  9  An alpine waterfall immortalized in a watercolor by the English landscape artist John Mallord William Turner Tells Chapel was captured in another famous painting by John Mallord William Turner.  10  64  contrast to the emerging industrial urban centers at the time. Most importantly, Romanticism articulated a key discourse that helped cement the connections between travel and the discovery of an authentic and ‗natural‘ place under perpetual threat from an ever-encroaching industrial modernity. As we will see in the following chapters, this Romantic discourse of authenticity became further entrenched in anti-tourist discourse as it helped to contrast the in-authenticity of tourism as a type of artificially produced world made for consumption, in comparison to the ‗naturally‘ occurring world that the traveler invariably ‗discovers‘. The romantic ideal of a spiritual connection with nature was predicated upon the idea of nature as a mirror image to the world of industrial urban modernity, which was also the place where the ‗masses‘ were jostling for space on the same streets as the wealthy. ‗Nature‘ was pictured as something that existed outside of the city, a place of rejuvenation, purity, and peace, where the modern romantic self could go and feel transformed in the process. Foucault describes these types of places as ‗heterotopias of compensation‘ (1986: 27) that provide an idealized ‗counter-place‘ to the noisy, crowded and profane metropolis. For the Romantics, solitude was one of the fundamental prerequisites for the proper appreciation of nature and the picturesque. Only through intimate and individual contact with the beauty and awe of nature could the romantic traveler properly cultivate his own sensibilities. In describing the Lake of Coniston in the Lake District, Wordsworth wistfully expresses such a sentiment: ‗The stranger, from the moment he sets foot on those sands, seems to leave the turmoil and traffic of the world behind him‘ (Wordsworth 2004: 32). However, this capacity to appreciate such places fully was not something that was automatically available to anyone: it was considered by many Romantics as a sensibility that had to be cultivated over a long period of time, and in a space which was very much away from the ‗madding crowd‘ of the tourist masses who increasingly began to frequent these places.  65  When Ruskin visited the Alps he travelled there in a horse-drawn carriage that could accommodate up to six people. In typical snobbish prose he sentimentalizes the horse-drawn carriage as a far superior form of transport that allows for intimacy to develop among those sharing the ride. Speaking about tourists traveling by rail, Ruskin sketches a somewhat bleak picture of people who mindlessly use the railway to travel around Europe: The poor modern slaves and simpletons who let themselves be dragged like cattle or felled timber through the countries they imagine themselves visiting, can have no conception whatever of the complex joys, ingenious hopes, connected with the choice and arrangement of the travelling carriage in old times - the little apartment that was to be home for five or six months (Ruskin, quoted in Harrison 1920: 199-200) In a familiar refrain, these infantile, underdeveloped and ‗poor modern slaves and simpletons‘ are ‗dragged like cattle‘ over ‗felled timber‘ around Europe. What could be a more damning slur and metaphor of mindless docility than to compare a group of people to ‗cattle‘ or an inanimate object? Ruskin critiques tourists for their inability to appreciate what they encounter, deluding themselves that they are fully knowledgeable about a place which they only ‗imagine themselves visiting‘. They have ‗no conception whatever‘ of what real travel is about and how essential is the appropriate form of transport (in this case a road carriage). What Ruskin assumes is that this method of transport allows for a more selective choice of company than on a railway car, and that a considerable financial fortune was required to travel in a carriage which Ruskin could call ‗home for five or six months‘. Of course, if we recall that the Grand Tour could take up to several years and that Wordsworth, Ruskin and Byron all spent several months in the Swiss Alps in search of the picturesque, then we can clearly see how the ideas of culture and cultivation that they spoke of were a direct expression of the wealth and privilege of those who could afford to ‗be cultured‘ in the first place. For Romantics like Wordsworth and Ruskin, deriving ‗mere‘ pleasure from  66  contact with nature in these picturesque places in fact exemplified a debased form of experience. The truly cultured person sought something far more sublime, transcendent, and transformative than those middle class ‗tourists‘, those ‗swarms of pleasure-hunters...that do not fly fast enough through the country which they have come to see‘ (Wordsworth 2004: 28). Rural ‗peasants‘, such as those in the Lake District of Northern England, were frequently idealized by the romantics for not having been corrupted by the forces of modern industrial life. The rural poor became objects of fascination and distant veneration for many Romantics. They were deemed to be somehow living more authentic, less corrupted and morally superior lives than those in the cities. These domestically focused discourses of Romantic primitivism were accompanied by the idea of the ‗noble savage‘ that was gaining currency at the time in the early 19th century, further propagating the idea of a human nature that existed in perfect harmony with the environment, and more importantly, a human nature that had yet to endure the corruption of modern industrial life. As we will see in the following chapters, the trope of the noble savage as the embodiment of a more simple and morally pure state of humanity still remains a persistent lens through which western travelers see many of the ‗locals‘ that they encounter on their backpacking trips in the ‗third world‘. The Romantic Movement emerged in tandem with English colonial exploration and conquest, and debates about primitivism and the moral virtue of ‗the natives‘ were very much part of this. As more and more places and peoples came within the orbit of European knowledge of the world, ‗primitives‘ were held up by many proto-romantics such as Rousseau as examples of an uncorrupted human nature whose distance from European civilization had left them ‗untouched‘ and in a state of innocence, more childlike than adult. Of course, also prevalent was the more Hobbesian perception of ‗primitives‘ as barbaric, violent and savage, living in a ‗state of nature‘. Tales of cannibalism, sorcery and general barbarism were as  67  popular as tales of a rediscovered lost humanity embodied in the ‗natives‘. However, the ‗Noble Savage‘ became one of the defining tropes through which colonized others were understood, and this idea potentially fuelled the imagination of many who went to places like India in the 19 th century. In short, the idea of authenticity and the possibility of recovering a lost sense of humanity through encounters with this authentic human nature became established through Romanticism and this idea became a central organizing principle for the many leisure travelers that emerged in the early 19th century in England. With the increasing incorporation of India into the British Empire, these romantic discourses helped to shape how India, Ireland, and Canada provided new arenas for the transformation of self through contact with people and geographies that were considered not yet to have been ‗contaminated‘ or discovered by western modernity and progress. For example, in Mapping Men and Empire, Richard Phillips (1997) discusses the popularity of the Scottish writer Robert Ballanytane and his books The Young Fur Traders [1856] and The Pioneers [1872] where the cultivation of a ‗white masculinity‘ (60) through colonial travel and trade constituted a central trope in narratives of exploration and discovery. Colonial Canada serves as a ‗terra incognita‘ (58) providing ‗a setting defined by movement and freedom…where the hero defines himself through his actions‘ (59). According to Richards, ‗the setting of the Young Fur Traders is a wild, primitive space in which the hero‘s manhood is defined, physically, spiritually and racially‘ (59). The racial and gender constraints on who could travel and take part in such transformative projects of self-cultivation illustrates how geographical mobility and selfcultivation were produced and realized within particular colonial, racial and gendered contexts. Both the ‗rustic peasant‘ and the ‗noble savage‘ were in fact two different expressions of the same romantic perception of people who were deemed to exist outside of time and modernity  68  and could provide a beacon of moral and social simplicity in the face of an industrial and ‗unnatural‘ urban life (Ryle 1999). In Journeys in Ireland (1999) Martin Ryle discusses the literary writings of English travelers to Ireland in the 19th century. When discussing the West of Ireland he notes that travel helped ‗to constitute a specific cultural geographical tradition, in which English travelers, their scenic tastes formed by the literary and visual aesthetic of the picturesque and the sublime sought in the peripheral Celtic regions…the kinds of landscapes which best met those tastes…as a terrain of ‗tradition‘ and a refuge from modernity‘ (27). Here it is important to note the role played by literary novels in the textual mediation and cultural reproduction of a wide variety of tropes through which the English reading public ‗experienced‘ foreign lands and peoples. The work of Edward Said has been important in bringing attention to how Orientalizing scenes and tropes in the English novel played a significant role in helping to cultivate and naturalize colonial rule and intervention in foreign lands (Said 1993, 1994). British colonialism provided an abundance of places and peoples who could be looked upon as embodying a primitive simplicity and thus provided the European traveler with an important resource or wellspring, through which an authentic self could be recovered from the murk of industrial modernity. Discourses of Empire also provided an important political and ‗moral‘ rationale for the more ‗enlightened‘ and adult rule of those more ‗simple and childlike‘ people who were deemed incapable of ruling themselves. In the context of travel, these ‗rural peasants‘ and ‗noble savages‘ were objects to be looked at rather than subjects with agency and subjectivity in their own right and thus were viewed as part of the scenery of picturesque landscapes which the romantic traveler could gaze upon for his own spiritual edification. In Chapters 2 and 3, I explore how these themes are replicated and transformed in the present with reference to a combination of guidebook analysis and interviews with backpackers.  69  Blackwood’s Magazine and ‘The Tourist’ I turn now to examine more popular and widespread articulations of the tourist/traveler distinction through the lens of Bildung as a practice of educational self-cultivation in the 19th century. I analyze three articles from Blackwood‟s Magazine that illustrate different but interrelated criticisms of the tourist. The excerpts I focus on show how elite discourses of travel, from the educational ethos of the Grand Tour to the anti-tourist discourse of the Romantics, percolated into public discourse and helped to further entrench and naturalize the tourist/traveler distinction in the popular imagination. In short, these texts show how the tourist became understood as a type of person for whom the ‗Bildung of travel‘ was out of reach. I suggest that in order for the ‗Bildung of travel‘ to be upheld as an ideal, that is, for travel to retain its promise of social, cultural, and individual enlightenment and cultivation, it had to denigrate and minimize the cultural value of other forms of popular travel. Over 150 years ago the pages of the Blackwood‟s Edinburgh Magazine, a popular conservative magazine published from 1817-1980, contained book reviews and political and social commentary which were replete with disparaging comments, vitriolic denouncements, and thinly concealed disgust for tourists and their habits. Why was the tourist such a hated, denigrated and lampooned figure in the popular press? Blackwood‟s Magazine, well known for its satirical tone and barbed reviews, provides some important clues in helping us answer these questions. Here anti-tourist discourse was never articulated in precisely the same terms as it was by the Romantics but rather drew upon other aspects of travel to present a superior, cultivating practice: The merits of the railroad and the steamboat have been prodigiously vaunted, and we have no desire to depreciate the advantages of either…but they have afflicted our generation with one desperate evil; they have covered Europe with tourists...If we are told that this is but a harmless impertinence after all we reply No - it does general mischief; it spoils all rational travel; it disgusts all intelligent curiosity; it repels the student, the 70  philosopher and the manly investigator from subjects which have been thus trampled into mire by the hoofs of a whole tribe of travelling bipeds who might rejoice to exchange brains with the animals which they ride (Blackwood‟s Magazine 1848: 185) The anonymous author of this article begins by carefully acknowledging the ‗merits of the railroad and the steamboat‘, two very important inventions of the industrial revolution that were instrumental in reducing travel time between destinations. Although the steamboat had replaced the sail ship and the railway had replaced the horse drawn carriage, the author expresses a certain ambivalence regarding the social use of these time-saving inventions. The steamboat, and in particular the railroad, allowed for an increase both in the volume of people who could now travel and in the frequency of such travel so that more people could travel further, faster, and more often than previously. Just seven years previously (1848), Thomas Cook, described by many as the father of modern mass tourism (Brendon 1991), had successfully brought a party of over 500 teetotalers and temperance campaigners from Leicester to Loughborough (11 miles apart) by railway in what has been described as one of the first organized tours. Three years after the publication of the Blackwood‟s Magazine article, The Thomas Cook Company organized the travel of over 150,000 people to the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London, held in 1851 (Brendon 1991). The reason for the ambivalence towards the new technologies is quickly revealed in the comment that: ‗they have covered Europe with tourists‘, whom the author considers a ‗desperate evil‘ which cannot be easily dismissed as a ‗harmless impertinence‘. In his subsequent remarks, the author reveals his reasons for finding the presence of tourists so troubling and abhorrent in a way which introduces a theme which we can recognize in the present day. The author quips that tourism ‗spoils all rational travel‘ and ‗disgusts all intelligent curiosity‘. His polemic is therefore not against tourism per se, but rather that tourism threatens to scupper the sanctity of that form of  71  travel that is practiced by ‗the student, the philosopher and the manly investigator‘. Here we have a list of three types of people that would have been easily identifiable as being key figures of European travel: the student, such as one taking part in The Grand Tour; philosophers such as Francis Bacon as well as others had published treatises on travel; and the manly investigator, probably representing scientific journeys typically done by men (see Justin Stagl (1995), A History of Curiosity). All three types share reason, intelligence, and curiosity. The gendered contours of this diatribe are unmistakable, and as Buzard (1993) notes, the tourist and traveler were frequently evoked as gendered figures. The author reserves his most acerbic words and unrelenting condemnation for tourists who are more akin to animals with ‗hoofs‘ than to humans with brains. Here the ‗rational‘ traveler is sharply contrasted to those who travel en masse, like animals in a herd. ‗Intelligent curiosity‘ is contrasted with the stupidity of those who might actually be better off intellectually if they did ‗exchange brains with the animals which they ride‘. In contrast to the individualized student, philosopher, and manly investigator, these ‗traveling bipeds‘ form an undifferentiated ‗tribe‘, who lack civility and pose a possible danger, or who may at least be an object of disgust and repulsion. Again we hear echoes of a gendered discourse of travel that reflects dominant ideas about the capacity of women to appreciate and participate in cultural life. Mainland Europe, once an exclusive destination for the gentry and upper classes of English society in the times of the Grand Tour, was being ‗invaded‘ by masses of tourists. The symbolic and cultural capital of travel, once the exclusive preserve of the English upper classes, was being diluted by middle-class English tourists who could now travel to mainland Europe and back in a relatively short period of time. By virtue of their ever increasing numbers, tourists were automatically precluded from such individualistic pursuits as travel.  72  If tourists ruined serious travel for ‗students, philosophers and manly investigators‘ by stampeding across Europe, they were also incapable of truly appreciating anything encountered while on tour. Another Blackwood‟s Magazine article, published in 1847, gives us a less caustic but more precise indication of the kinds of ‗cultural sins‘ that tourists were frequently admonished with. ―Well, I can say I have seen it,‖ says your routine tourist - whereby, if he knew the meaning of his own words, he would be aware that he conveyed to mankind a testimony to his folly in having made any effort to look at that which has produced no impression whatever on his mind, and in looking at which he would not be aware that he saw anything remarkable, unless the guidebook and the waiter at the inn had certified that it was an object of interest (Blackwood‟s Magazine 1847:152) Here the author castigates the ‗routine tourist‘ for not having the right mind (or requisite cultural capital) to appreciate some important object or place encountered on holiday. The hypothetical tourist in question seems to be speaking defensively, as though anticipating the subsequent critique by the author. The ‗routine tourist‘ claims that there is a certain value in having simply seen the object in question, and thus in the knowledge that many other people, especially the working classes, could not easily see such a thing: at least he has seen it, which is a lot more than others can say. However, the author of the article urges us not to accept such a defense. Simply to have ‗seen it‘ is not enough since the object should also make an ‗impression‘ on the mind, which it clearly fails to do so in this case. Just as the tourist is unaware that his words are ‗a testimony to his folly‘, so too are his actions, which, in the context of sightseeing, are full of hidden meanings. Precisely because the tourist lacks a sensibility and mentality that can be moved by viewing such an object, he is ‗uncultivated‘ and the potential educational effect of viewing a worthy object is lost on him. As the author concludes, the tourist is incapable of independently recognizing what is truly of value, unless it is pointed out to him: he is ‗culture blind‘ and needs to be told what is significant, in contrast to the cultured traveler who 73  presumably would immediately know what is worth seeing. In theoretical terms, the tourist lacks the cultural capital to truly appreciate and really grasp or understand the cultural significance or worth of what he sees. Since he remains impervious to the ‗cultivating‘ effect that objects can have, to state that he has at least ‗seen it‘ is to miss the whole point and lesson of travel. The tourist remains unchanged as a result of his travels, the cultivating effects are lost on him, and he begins and ends his journey no more educated, cultured, or changed than before. This theme concerning the superficiality of touristic perception, and the inability of the tourist gaze to penetrate the depth of things, has remained common in the criticism of tourists. This cultural trope exhibits a distinctively class based criticism of the masses who lack individuality, good taste and cultural capital. An important criticism that this author levels at the tourist is related to the use of guidebooks. For the Blackwood‘s author, it is precisely due to a lack of cultivation that the tourist needs to be ‗told‘ by the guidebook that the object he is looking at is an object of value and significance. Contrary to the more ‗cultured‘ and ‗educated‘ author, the tourist is characterized as a type of person who does not ‗naturally‘ or automatically know the importance or meaning of what he or she encounters, a childish or culturally ‗under-developed‘ figure who needs to be told by others what various objects in the world actually ‗mean‘. Of course it is impossible not to recognize the class dimensions to these characterizations. In Bourdieu‘s terms, the naturalizing and essentializing ideology of the tourist as a type of person who lacks the appropriate ability to grasp things is articulated in purely personalized terms of reference. By denigrating the need to rely on a guidebook, the author implicitly renders invisible the privileges of wealth and education that the more cultured traveler has accumulated throughout the course of his life, and expresses them simply as a naturally occurring phenomenon. the tourist does not  74  automatically and ‗naturally‘ know what he is looking at, and thus requires some education from the guidebook by ‗blindly‘ following sightseeing advice and information. As Koshar (1993) notes, although the Baedeker guidebooks which had become more widespread at the time had the goal of educating, cultivating and enlightening readers, and thereby distinguishing them from the mass tourist, cultural critics such as John Ruskin and the editors of Blackwood‟s Magazine castigated guidebook use as symptomatic of a ‗slavish‘ and ‗primitive‘ mentality. A typical feature in the denigration of tourists and their inability to appreciate culture is related to time. The tourist was frequently characterized as always in a rush, trying to cram as many sites into as short a time as possible. The growth of the middle classes in England meant that although they could afford leisure time for holidays, they by no means could afford several months or years in Europe as could many of the Grand Tour gentlemen or upper-class Romantics. This restricted itinerary was a common target of ridicule and scorn by commentators who also considered such lack of time as a contributing factor to the inability of tourists to appreciate what they saw while on tour. The following article from Blackwood‟s Magazine, published in 1845, gives us a good idea of the style of ridicule that the frenetic tourist was subject to. It also echoes the previous criticisms of Wordsworth who had argued that ample time was a fundamental prerequisite for truly appreciating the world that was encountered. Figure to yourself an energetic tourist, who protests everywhere that he comes only to see the lakes…simply in search of the picturesque. Yet this man adjures every landlord…which is the nearest road to Keswick…whether they are taking the shortest road. The author‘s reply is to say ―most excellent stranger, as you come to the lakes simply to see their loveliness, might it not be as well to ask after the most beautiful road rather than the shortest‖. (Blackwood‟s Magazine 1845: 273) Here the author suggests that the ‗energetic tourist‘ is a subtle hypocrite, who proclaims that his true purpose is to be ‗in search of the picturesque‘, even as he tries to find the shortest and thus most economical route to the lakes. In the author‘s mind the tourist illegitimately attempts to lay 75  claim to the symbolic capital of a romantic sensibility by way of a short-cut, thereby missing the entire point of coming in the first place. The tourist simply wants to go to the lakes, claim that he has ‗seen it‘, and then leave in search of the next picturesque place. The final sarcastic question posed by the author is already answered: if the tourist really wanted to appreciate the scenery of the lakes then he would take ‗the most beautiful road rather than the shortest‘. The key ideas and general mood of these authors express how, in their eyes, tourism spoils the educative potential of ‗real travel‘. ‗The tourist is happy simply to have seen something, remains somewhat at a distance, and is unchanged as a result. the tourist can sometimes espouse the same goals as the traveler, but is betrayed by the method of realizing these goals. The threat posed to the value of the symbolic and cultural capital of ‗real‘ travel came from a perceived vulgarization and massification in the form of tourism. The democratization of travel through new means of transport such as the railway and steamship meant an ever increasing encroachment of the masses, deemed incapable of grasping the true cultural value of travel, and in fact were held responsible for actually eroding its value through their increased numbers. Although written over 150 years ago, these characterizations of the tourist, as a herd animal devoid of individuality, good taste, and enamored with the superficial, still persists today. Incapable of appreciating nature, since time and sensibility are needed to do so, and incapable of recognizing the value of cultural objects or being changed by gazing at them, the tourist is portrayed as ignorant, lacking in cultural capital, and satisfied with the superficial. Travel is thus reduced to frenetic sightseeing, pleasure seeking, and a mass stampede. Simmel, Romanticism and the ‘Work of Travel’ If the Alps offered a place where Romantics such as Byron, Wordsworth, Ruskin and others could experience a sublime and picturesque nature in solitude, away from the madding crowd, they were also a place where the ‗manly‘ romantic travelers with the same veneration of 76  the picturesque could encounter a physical and moral challenge. I now turn to a second important aspect of Romanticism that helped to shape the anti-tourist discourse and was also important in defining travel as a practice of individual effort and endurance. This second aspect of romantic travel, ‗the work of travel‘, was increasingly defined against the apparent easiness and luxury of tourism in the late 19th century. The work of travel draws upon the etymological roots of the word travel as travail, which the romantic traveler in this context embodied as an ethos of hard work, endurance and asceticism. While the picturesque of the Alps was meant to cultivate the aesthetic sensibilities of the romantic traveler, this same landscape was also the stage where the traveler could overcome physical and psychological challenges, endure hardship, and be cultivated as a supremely individual and self-sufficient being. Georg Simmel offers an insightful analysis of what exactly the arrival of the tourist masses and their accompanying infrastructure meant for those who so clearly venerated a pristine and sublime Alpine nature. His brief essay illustrates how the relationship between solitude, place and ‗the work of travel‘ emerged as an important aspect of anti-tourist discourse through Romantic critiques of the tourism industry. He writes: I disagree with that foolish romanticism which saw difficult routes, prehistoric food and hard beds as an irremovable stimulus of the good old days of alpine travel: despite this it is still possible for those, who wish, to find solitude and quiet in the Alps (Simmel 1997a: 219) Georg Simmel‘s brief essay ‗The Alpine Journey‘ from 1895 (1997a) can be considered one of the very first sociological commentaries on romantic travel in the way that he highlights and critiques the associations between the work of travel and romanticism. Furthermore, by virtue of the fact that it was published in 1895, the essay also serves as a key historical text that was produced at a time when mass tourism in Europe was at its height. The essay serves as a critical sociological commentary on Romantic travel while at the same time being a ‗product of its time‘ 77  in the context of debates about tourism and travel. In 1899 Thorsten Veblen had written on tourism and leisure in his Theory of the Leisure Class. As Lawrence Culver notes: Veblen‘s formulations of ―conspicuous consumption‖ and ―conspicuous leisure‖ offered a simple explanation for tourist behavior: recreational travel was merely a marker of class status. One traveled in order to be seen traveling, and leisure was the ―chief mark of gentility‖. (Culver 2010: 8) Simmel, as always, takes a different approach by critically illustrating the inner meaning that alpine travel had for a certain strata of the German upper middle class (Burgertum), the transformations that tourism was bringing to the Swiss Alps, and by questioning the pedagogical value that such transformations could have on the upper strata of German society who had previously laid claim to Alpine travel as an ‗important element‘ of their ‗psychic life‘. His choice of ‗destination‘, the Swiss Alps, is by no means accidental. For several decades the Alps had been increasingly established as one of the must-see destinations on the Grand Tour of Europe. The Romantic Movement in particular had a special relationship with the Alps and saw the likes of Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Goethe and Herder all wax lyrical about their picturesque and sublime qualities. The Alps became the European destination for those wishing to experience the sublime in nature as an object of aesthetic pleasure. It is precisely the perceived threat that a tourism infrastructure and masses of tourists present to those looking to encounter the sublime in the Alps that Simmel focuses on and criticizes. Simmel begins by observing that ‗destinations that were previously only accessible by remote walks can now be reached by railways, which are appearing at an ever-increasing rate‘ (219). Again, the railway is depicted as a literal ‗vehicle‘ of social change and a new form of mass transportation bringing significant changes to once relatively inaccessible places and as the encroachment of a literal and metaphorical ‗beaten track‘ in the Alps as well. Simmel implicitly touches upon an important aspect of tourism here, namely, time. The ‗remote walks‘ that were 78  once the only way to access distant places in the Alps would have entailed a significant timeinvestment for the traveler. Another important element of Alpine travel concerns the relative independence and hardiness of the traveler who would have taken these remote walks. The remoteness of the walks implies a degree of danger and self-sufficiency. Accidents happen and one must be prepared for all eventualities if one is stuck in the ‗middle of nowhere‘. The act of walking suggests the epitome of self-reliance and independence. At one point in the essay, Simmel gives perhaps the ultimate example of the contrast between the luxury of tourism and the ‗work of travel‘: ‗the railway-line up the Eiger appears to have been finalized and the same number of climbers who have scaled this difficult peak can now be brought up in a single day by rail‘ (221). The first recorded ascent of the Eiger was in 1858 and just 40 years later those who could afford the railway ticket could catch the train up to the Eigergletescher Railway Station, bringing them to an altitude of 2320 meters, over halfway up the mountain. The sublime experience of high altitude and picturesque views of the mountains made available to the railway tourists were once the preserve of an elite alpine fraternity. There is a direct relationship here to the economic capital needed to afford such views and experiences in the first place: the time and expense it took to arrange a climbing party would have certainly been beyond the means of the middle class tourists who could now enjoy a comparable experience of the Eiger for the price of a railway ticket. Furthermore, the difficulty of getting there by ‗remote walks‘, and the physical danger from avalanches, was now circumvented by the railroad. The experience of alpine travel was now available to more and more people in a way that was safer, cheaper, and quicker than before. But for the upper strata the educational value of such progressive forms of travel was highly questionable, simply because it was so easy to accomplish in the first place. Simmel is quick to note the consequences of these developments for the romantic alpine traveler: ‗The  79  Faustian wish ‗I stand before you nature a solitary individual‘ is ever more rarely realized and so increasingly rarely declared‘ (Simmel 1997a: 219). The growing impossibility of solitude in light of the arrival of mass tourism, coupled with the physical transformation of once inaccessible areas, meant that the conditions necessary for the romantic appreciation of nature (solitude and the absence of symbols of modern industrial life such as railways) were under threat, along with the conditions necessary for dominating nature through feats such as mountain climbing which involved risk, difficulty and independence. The growing popularity of Alpine travel led to a potential devaluation of the symbolic capital of the Alps and of its pedagogic value for a certain stratum of the German upper class, as Simmel elaborates: Now there is the lure of the ease of an open road and the concentration and convergence of the masses - colourful but therefore as a whole colourless - suggesting to us an average sensibility. Like all social averages this depresses those disposed to the higher and finer values without elevating those at the base to the same degree. (219) Here Simmel articulates a common anxiety of the German educated middle classes surrounding the ‗leveling effect‘ of mass tourism and its effects on the culture of the individual. On the one hand, Romanticism introduced new hierarchical categories of aesthetic perception such as the ‗picturesque‘, which helped to distinguish the traveler as a figure of solitude, individuality and discerning taste from the tourist. One of the key aspects of Romanticism already discussed was the necessity for solitude as a prerequisite for the enjoyment of places and landscapes. However, this solitude was framed not so much in an exclusively positive way but rather as the absence of the tourist masses who, according to Romantics such as Ruskin and Wordsworth, sought a more debased and less valuable form of aesthetic pleasure. On the other hand, the increasing ubiquity of mass tourism also helped to shape the perception of the romantic traveler as one who  80  embodied a morality of endurance and effort as distinct from the more pampered and tame form of travel practiced by the tourist. There is one other type in the history of European travel that has undoubtedly proved influential in the construction of the traveler as an adventurous, fearless explorer who journeys to dangerous and foreign lands, namely, the cultural figure and historical reality of the ‗colonial explorer‘ in the 19th century. The colonial conquest of the ‗Dark Continent‘ of Africa inspired innumerable novels, such as Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness (2000), which recounted tales of the ‗discovery‘ of lost and savage tribes and of places untouched by the hand of ‗modern civilization‘. These stories of undiscovered peoples and places were by no means purely a literary affair; there was also an entire colonial apparatus of scientific experts, administrators, and others who documented, detailed, described, and (in cases like the Hottentot in Germany) actually displayed these people as living museum specimens to be gazed at, spoken about, and scientifically discussed by leading experts of the day. Figures like Dr Samuel Livingston, the British explorer of Africa in the 19th century, became enormously popular heroes with the British public. Although the vast history of European exploration and conquest cannot be adequately detailed here, it is instructive to note that the trope of the fearless explorer who ‗discovers‘ and lays claim to exotic and foreign lands, and who encounters strange natives on his voyages, recurs in the backpacking discourse prevalent in the former colonies of the British Empire. As I show later in this chapter, the shared historical geography at work here is evident among predominantly white westerners who travel to third world countries and encounter racialized others can be understood as a modern-day reproduction and repetition under present day circumstances of what Mary Louse Pratt calls ‗contact zones‘. Pratt conceptualizes contact zones as ‗the space of colonial encounters‘ (2008: 25) where people who are usually geographically  81  separated from each other are ‗encountered‘ and constituted spatially through unequal and asymmetrical power relations. Although today‘s backpackers are not part of a colonial apparatus in the sense that the early modern explorers and administrators were, in places like India backpackers are encouraged to ‗discover‘ untouched places and peoples in ‗contact zones‘ constituted through historical relations of inequality and ‗picturesque‘ modes of viewing. In Chapter 3 ‗The Beaten Track‘, I explore these themes through in depth interviews with backpackers and examine how the tourist continues to haunt and frustrate the quest for solitude, authenticity, and the picturesque that many backpackers so fervently desire. Despite, or perhaps because of, the incessant wave of criticism, rebuke, and general disrepute that the middle class tourist was faced with, all was not lost. Although Thomas Cook‘s guided tours and guided tourists were the butt of endless jokes, cultural critiques, and relentless snobbery, a new genre of travel text emerged that promised a type of ‗salvation‘ for their readers from the lowly status of the tourist. ‘Enlightened’ Travel Guidebooks and the Salvation of ‘The Tourist’ Although travel guidebooks had been popular in England and Europe since the middle of the 18th century, it was not until the arrival of John Murray and Karl Baedeker that those involved in leisure travel could avail themselves of the advice, expertise, and good taste of a learned and experienced traveler on the mass market. Primarily read and used by a middle class audience who were able to afford to travel and stay in accommodation in the first place, the guidebooks of Murray and Baedeker functioned as pedagogical texts that aimed to ‗teach‘ readers valuable knowledge and to appreciate what they encountered on their travels. The guidebooks of Murray and Baedeker would ‗teach tourists how to become travelers‘ by giving them the independence, knowledge, and security that was necessary if they were to venture ‗off the beaten track‘ of tourism and to cultivate themselves as independent travelers who did not 82  have to depend upon guided tours. Despite the inevitable criticisms, some of which we have already encountered in Blackwood‟s Magazine, these travel guidebooks occupied an interesting and ambivalent position in the tourist industry and in broader cultural debates about travel. If the tourist was one who was trapped in the confines of a narrow and limited worldview, then the guidebook promised a ‗way out‘. In his article ‗Baedeker‘s Universe‘ (1985), Edward Mendelson discusses the cultural significance and social importance of the Baedeker guidebooks. Mendelson begins with a definitive pronouncement: ‗for more than a hundred years, Karl Baedeker was Europe‘s ideal parent‘ (Mendelson 1985:1). As I note in the following chapter, the trope of the guidebook writer as father figure re-appears in Lonely Planet through the authority of Tony Wheeler. In each case, the relationship between guidebooks and travel is conceived as a kind of modern day, cultural and paternal ‗technology of the self‘ (Foucault 2003), in which readers and users are guided from a state of relative ignorance and dependence to a more fully developed ‗adult‘ state. As Rudy Koshar cogently writes: It is common in cultural criticism and scholarship to distinguish between the individual traveler, ripe for unexpected adventure, and the ‗mass tourist‘, cowed by the triple hegemony of guidebook, itinerary and travel agency. The Baedeker goal--and the goal of many subsequent guidebooks--was to obliterate this distinction, to give every tourist the opportunity to become the traveler (Koshar 2000: 31) Although Koshar includes guidebooks among the crutches that the mass tourist is ‗cowed by‘, he rightly notes that, although ‗it is common in cultural criticism and scholarship‘ (my emphasis) to make the distinction between the mass tourist and the individual traveler, it is not necessarily a correct estimation but rather a reflection of the anti-tourist sentiment (as well as class snobbery) at work within cultural criticism and scholarship. In the introductory chapter I noted such snobbery in the works of cultural critics and scholars such as Paul Fussell and Daniel Boorstin,  83  and above in Blackwood‟s Edinburgh Magazine. In identifying the roots of this attitude, Koshar nicely highlights the prevailing ideal type of the traveler who is an independent individual ‗ripe for adventure‘ in contrast to the ideal type of the ‗mass tourist‘ who lacks the individual autonomy and desire for adventure. We have already seen how the tourist was frequently characterized as a somewhat childlike figure, constantly seeking pleasure, lacking autonomy, and ignorant of the surrounding world. Ruskin‘s patronizing and caustic denouncement of tourists, denigrating them as ‗simpletons‘ who having ‗no conception whatever of the complex joys, ingenious hopes, connected with the choice and arrangement of the travelling carriage‘ (Ruskin, quoted in Harrison 1920: 199-200, my emphasis). Complexity and ingenuity are thus absent from the mind of the ‗simpleton‘ tourist whose childish, pleasure-seeking behavior was endlessly berated by Ruskin: ‗the Alps themselves you look upon as soaped poles in a bear garden11, which you set yourself to climb and slide down again with ‗shrieks of delight‘‘ (Ruskin quoted in de Botton 2002: 223). Wordsworth too patronizingly complains of the ‗swarms of pleasure-hunters...that do not fly fast enough through the country which they have come to see‘ (Wordsworth 2004: 28), again evoking the idea of tourists as young children running around without direction, seeking fun and pleasure, and unaware of the adult world in which they play. Mendelson makes a related comment about the role of Baedeker‘s guidebook: For every traveler who joined a guided tour, there were others - the many thousands who combined within themselves a romantic personality and a bourgeois character - who insisted on traveling alone. For these travelers Karl Baedeker perfected his wholly new kind of guidebook. ―Its principal object,‖ he [Baedeker] wrote in the foreword to his guide to Germany and Austria, was ―to keep the traveler at as great a distance as possible  11  th  th  Bear Gardens were popular places of entertainment in England during the 17 and 18 century. The entertainment consisted of bears, dressed up in costumes, made to perform dance routines and tricks while standing on hot surfaces.  84  from the unpleasant, and often wholly invisible, tutelage of hired servants and guides (and in part from the aid of coachmen and hotelkeepers), to assist him in standing on his own feet, to render him independent, and to place him in a position from which he may receive his own impressions with clear eyes and lively heart (Baedeker Deutschland, eighth edition 1858, p.1, quoted in Mendelson 1985: 2) In European discourse, the traveler has been consistently characterized as a more ‗enlightened‘ and ‗adult‘ figure in contradistinction to the tourist who apparently remains in a state of perpetual immaturity and self-imposed ignorance. The traveler is typically characterized as a type of person who is not afraid to strike out on his or her own and to leave behind the comfort of the guided tour and the safe predictability of timetables. The traveler is further celebrated as an ‗evolved‘ and ‗mature‘ figure that embodies independence, seriousness of intent, and wisdom. As Koshar notes, it is within the context of using a guidebook that such qualities and virtues can be most fully realized. We can also see how the tourist and the traveler are gendered types. In comparison to the ‗manly‘ independent traveler who displays autonomy, self-reliance, and confidence in exercising spatial freedom, the tourist was often characterized in disparagingly feminine terms in requiring a protective chaperone like Thomas Cook who would insulate her from the dangers and vagaries of the world (Buzard 1993: 132). This anachronistic construction of the tourist and traveler reflects a commonplace idea in 19th century European public discourse in which women were consistently characterized as childlike, lacking reason, and bereft of intelligence in comparison to men (cf. Gilman 1989). The ‗evils‘ of tourism decried in the Blackwood‟s Magazine (1848: 185) clearly express this gendered aspect of anti-tourist sentiment: tourism ‗spoils all rational travel; it disgusts all intelligent curiosity; it repels the student, the philosopher and the manly investigator‘ (my emphasis). In contrast to the ‗manly traveler‘ who embodies autonomy of thought and movement, the movements of the tourist are characterized as strictly circumscribed and regulated through timetables and protective tours. Not  85  surprisingly, Mendelson claims the man ‗Karl Baedeker…was Europe‘s ideal parent‘ (1985), and sought ‗to give every tourist the opportunity to become the traveler‘ (Koshar 2000: 31). The guidebook for independent travelers, conceived as an instrument for disciplining underdeveloped tourists was thus supported by European enlightenment discourses dating from the late 17th century and early eighteenth century. Immanuel Kant‘s well known and widely discussed essay on the question ‗what is enlightenment?‘, published in the German periodical Berlinische Monatschrift in 1784, provides a revealing window into European enlightenment discourse at the turn of the 19th century. A short time later the first modern travel guidebooks were beginning to emerge and its most prominent guidebook authors hailed from Germany (Karl Baedeker) and England (John Murray), two countries that were centers of the European Enlightenment. As Michel Foucault notes, ‗Kant defines Aufklarung [Enlightenment] in an almost entirely negative way, as an Ausgang, an ―exit‖, a ‗way out‘‖ (Foucault 2003: 44). Considered within this historical and philosophical context, guidebooks can be understood as enlightenment texts which provide the reader with an Ausgang, an ‗exit‘ and way out‘ of the immaturity associated with the tourist mentality but through paternal guidance and advice. In a telling passage, Kant evokes three authorities whom, he argues, help to explain why ‗it is so easy to be immature‘: If I have a book to serve as my understanding, a pastor to serve as my conscience, a physician to determine my diet for me, and so on, I need not exert myself at all. I need not think, if only I can pay: others will readily undertake the irksome work for me (Kant 1970: 2) Here Kant touches upon a key criticism leveled against tourists and touched upon by Simmel in his essay on Alpine travel, namely, that tourists are pampered beings who can pay a travel agent to do all the work for them. He consequently touches upon a key idea in the ‗discourse of travel‘,  86  namely, ‗the work of travel‘. Travel should be difficult, and provide a challenge to the individual. In his 1784 essay Kant defines Enlightenment in the following terms: Enlightenment is man's emergence [Ausgang] from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one's understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! [dare to know] "Have courage to use your own understanding!" - that is the motto of enlightenment. (1970: 2 my emphasis) Considered as paradigmatic Enlightenment texts in the sense evoked by Kant, the goal of these guidebooks was to facilitate a process of development by subsuming the ‗dependent‘, uncultivated, and ‗cowardly‘ tourist into the more mature, evolved and autonomous figure of the traveler. In this context, it is difficult not to consider how Kant‘s text functions as a ‗guide‘ for the relatively ‗unenlightened‘ public he is addressing. Although Kant‘s appeal is for the reader to use his own reason or understanding in matters of public debate and criticism, the theme of independence and autonomy is central to his exhortation. This ‗paradox‘ of enlightenment can be similarly extended to guidebooks. According to Kant, people do not emerge from this selfimposed immaturity in so far as they ‗lack of courage and resolve‘ (ibid), which leads them to depend on the guidance of others. Likewise the tourist is ‗cowed by the triple hegemony of guidebook, itinerary, and travel agent‘ (Koshar 2000: 31, my emphasis). Although Kant stresses the negative aspect of enlightenment as ‗man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity‘ (1970), his text has a dual function. It is an analysis of this selfimposed immaturity, but also an intervention in and textual mediation of the very process of enlightenment. In this regard, both Kant‘s editorial and the guidebook also function positively as ‗salvational texts‘ that diagnose the problem of enlightenment while acting upon the problem they diagnose. The problem that both Kant‘s text and the guidebook reveal and address concerns the relative ignorance of the reader (the guidebook reader is always assumed to be a first time 87  visitor to the place in question), the solution to which is instruction and education on a variety of subjects. In so far as the salvational texts of enlightenment help readers to ‗save‘ themselves from a problem that they presumably ‗suffer‘ from, they can also be described as ‗self-help‘ texts. The irony of a self-help text is that the self-helping reader must depend on it for help in order to realize the goal of independence and autonomy, an irony and paradox of enlightenment that is also present for travel guidebook readers. In Koshar‘s terms, the enlightening goal of the guidebooks of Baedeker and Murray, for example, consists in their quality as ‗self-help‘ texts that espouse, embody, and encourage an ethos of independence, educational self-cultivation, and enlightenment in their readers. Such guidebooks promise a level of independence from the tourist industry for readers. By avoiding (or ‗exiting‘ in Kant‘s terms), the tourist industry and the type of guided tours sold by Thomas Cook and many others, readers of guidebooks can move towards the distinctive cultural goal of practicing travel rather than participating in a mass tourist industry. Whereas Samuel Smiles sought to cultivate the ‗Lutheran‘ qualities of education, enlightenment, and character in his readers through the act of reading (as noted at the beginning of this chapter), both Murray and Baedeker sought to instill those same qualities in their readers not only through the reading but also by encouraging the pursuit of independent travel in which guidebooks ideally played an instrumental and necessary part. In the following chapter I examine how Lonely Planet guidebooks recalibrate and recode these themes through a discourse of cosmopolitan self-cultivation articulated in terms of the tourist/traveler distinction. It is interesting that Ulrich Beck directly draws upon and re-writes Kant‘s essay in the preface of Cosmopolitan Vision, when he asks, ‗What is enlightenment? To have the courage to make use of one‘s cosmopolitan vision‘ (2006: ii). In the following chapter I examine how the  88  ‗cosmopolitan vision‘ of Lonely Planet guidebooks is articulated as a contemporary instance and vehicle of salvation for present day travelers. Murray, Baedeker and the Genesis of the Modern Travel Guidebook In the remainder of this chapter, I want to examine how John Murray and Karl Baedeker developed the mass produced travel guidebook as a distinctive genre in mid 19th century Europe by situating its emergence within a broader genealogy of European travel guides. If we briefly recall Francis Bacon‘s advice to the young gentlemen of the Grand Tour, we can see how the travel ‗guide‘ went from being an actual person who would accompany the grand tourist, to a mass-produced hand-book or manual in the days of Murray and Baedeker. While the guide for the Classical Grand Tour required knowledge and acumen to help the grand tourist fully appreciate and learn from his years on the continent, later on these human tutors/guides become textually mediated in the form of guide-books written by the likes of William Wordsworth. However, it is not until the handbooks of Murray and Baedeker that we find the beginning of the modern travel guidebook as an ‗active text‘ proper (Smith 1990b), one explicitly designed for mass production and incorporating the rational planning and execution of limited time and space into its very design. The handbooks of Murray and Baedeker helped to organize the relations of ruling by textually mediating and reproducing the dominant discourses of travel I have discussed so far: education, cultivation and character formation with the view to enlightening the immature reader and helping him to become more a traveler than a tourist. In other words, these guidebooks were instrumental in ideologically codifying and further naturalizing the discourses of travel and tourism. Smith defines the ‗ideological code‘ as ‗a schema that replicates its organization in multiple and various sites‘, and ‗a generator of procedures for selecting syntax, categories, and vocabulary, written or spoken, ordered by it‘ (Smith 1999: 159, my emphasis). In the context of guidebook use these codes were thus activated and reproduced across a range of 89  diverse and distinct geographical sites through the textual mediation of mass produced guidebooks. William Wordsworth‘s Guide to the Lakes (2004) was, of course, a very different type of guidebook from those published by Murray and Baedeker. Wordsworth‘s guidebook was written for wealthy readers who had weeks and months of spare time to explore the Lake District, and thus could gradually appreciate the beauty and romantic benefits that such visits apparently produced. Wordsworth provided a detailed and practical guide to one area, interspersed with sonnets (many written by Wordsworth of course) and meandering descriptions of the landscape. Despite its literary aspirations, Wordsworth‘s ‗guidebook‘ retains a pedagogical focus and explicitly aims to help visitors to properly understand and appreciate what they experience and look at while in the Lake District. It aims to help teach its readers the ‗right‘ taste in aesthetic sensibility necessary for authentically experiencing this area. It was precisely these modes of vision, taste, and sensibility, embodied and espoused by writers like Wordsworth and Byron, that were reproduced by both Murray and Baedeker in their guidebooks. In particular, the picturesque was a central theme in the Murray guidebook in the mid to late 19th century and was expressed as an important aesthetic goal in sightseeing and viewing natural landscapes. As Koshar (1998) notes, guidebooks played an important role in instructing tourists on ‗what ought to be seen‘ (323). They recall Bacon‘s advice to novices of The Grand Tour, whom a guide and tutor should accompany, so that ‗he may be able to tell them what things are worthy to be seen‘ (1936: 24 my emphasis). ‗What ought to be seen‘ was not simply based purely on the subjective recommendation of the author, but rather on a well prescribed agenda for helping tourists make the most of their time and money in a way that would ensure that their travels were educative, individually cultivating, as well as self transformative. In other words these mass-produced  90  guidebooks offer readers the promise of travel as a kind of Bildungreise, a journey that would serve the purposes of educational self-cultivation. As Grewal (1996) notes, the guidebooks of both Murray and Baedeker claimed scientific accuracy, transparency, and legitimacy by excluding any superfluous description and concentrating on facts and figures. This feature further added to the authority of the guidebook. The guidebooks of Baedeker and Murray championed the principle of efficient reading and accessibility by selectively condensing much of the work already written on particular places but which would be simply too voluminous for one person to bring with him. In fact, it is historically incorrect to describe the Murray and Baedeker books as ‗guidebooks‘ as they were called ‗handbooks‘, a term used by Murray and later copied by Baedeker. Thus the handbook was designed as a supremely portable and instantly accessible text that could be pulled out at a moment‘s notice. Direct empirical observation and accuracy was of paramount importance in these early travel guides, in contrast to the more imaginative and evocative descriptions of Wordsworth examined above. Murray and Baedeker asked their readers to send in any extra information that would help to improve the accuracy of the information gathered. Their guidebooks guaranteed a degree of predictability and assurance for ‗the stranger‘ in a foreign land. Many of the early Murray and Baedeker guidebooks claimed that the author has checked out every place himself and thus the reader could be assured of the first-hand veracity of the accounts given. For example, in the Preface to the Handbook for Travelers in Ireland (1878), Murray assures the reader that ‗the present edition of this handbook, like the last, has undergone careful revision, based in great parts on personal visits and research made by the editor on the spot in order to render it as trustworthy as possible‘ (v, my emphasis). On the one hand, while guidebooks gave  91  the independent traveler freedom from the likes of Cook‘s guided tours, on the other hand, they also provided a degree of security for travelers who go ‗off the beaten track‘. In the same preface Murray provides a justification for the publication and use of his guidebook by noting: ‗how great are the attractions for travelers and visitors which Ireland possesses, and how little they have been explored‘ (v). In the following chapter I will turn my attention to the most successful independent travel guidebook company in the world at the moment, Lonely Planet; in order to show how Murray‘s enthusiastic sentiments about Ireland are expressed in similar ways over 100 years later. In Murray‘s and Baedeker‘s guidebooks, new forms of textual representation and organization rely upon the presentation of a dispersed and heterogeneous assemblage of knowledge, which is collected and systematized and rationally presented. Murray‘s Handbook for Travelers in Ireland includes a table of contents that outlines the various routes with the relevant page number as well as a list of maps and plans, also with the appropriate page number. Immediately following the table of contents, Murray inserts a lengthy ‗General Introduction‘ (see Fig 2 below) which is subdivided into generic categories.  Figure 2: Introduction Page to Murray‘s Handbook for Travelers in Ireland (1878: 1)  92  Murray and Baedeker draw upon the spirit of enlightenment texts, such as the Encyclopedia, and integrate emerging scientific methods for organizing and systematizing a vast and heterogeneous body of knowledge in ways that would also be efficient, accessible, and easy for readers to use. Obviously readers of Murray and Baedeker were the middle and upper-middle classes who did not have the free time available to spend several months away. Hence, the principle of efficiency at work in the references and presentation of information and in the breakdown of routes into daily segments emphasizes the need for more rational methods of time and space management. Furthermore, this feature also allows readers to selectively pick and choose according to their individual specific preferences and desires. Unlike the typical guided tourist who was, in a short time, lead from destination to destination, the independent travel guides of Murray and Baedeker were designed to ensure maximum flexibility and choice of personal preference for the reader. Both the Murray and Baedeker guides appear to focus on generic subjects covered in the encyclopedia: geology, climate, agriculture, minerals, and so on. In this respect, their guidebooks are more modern than neo-classical, and looked to the future rather than the past for terms of reference while including such scientific information as census data, altitude heights, and other points of interest to the modern bourgeois traveler. Immediately following the ‗General Introduction‘ (Fig 2) in Murray‘s Handbook for Travelers in Ireland there follows a table that arranges the many skeleton routes numerically (Fig 3 below).  93  Figure 3 Skeleton Routes in Murray‘s Handbook for Travelers in Ireland (1878: 52)  Here Murray breaks down the ‗Month‘s Tour in the North‘ into 30 distinct and separate days. Each day covers things to do and see as well as all the necessary travel arrangements. These suggested routes give the reader the opportunity to efficiently plan every day of his itinerary as well as the flexibility to diverge from any of the listed options with his own preferences. Although in some ways these guidebooks resembled the type of preplanned package tour typical of the Thomas Cook Company, the crucial difference here is how the guidebook users must themselves plan all their own transport and sightseeing opportunities. The guidebook user also has far more flexibility to pick and choose what sights are worth seeing and the ability to individually customize trips and day trips. The inclusion of alternate routes and itineraries fosters  94  the multiplication of possibilities for the visitor through the development of new modes of rational organization and presentation. As noted above, the relationship of the tourist to time was a frequent feature of antitourist discourse. The tourist is forever rushing places and cannot afford the requisite time considered necessary in order to fully appreciate the place in question. A central goal of the Murray and Baedeker guidebooks was thus to help the reader to organize and maximize time more efficiently in order to get the best ‗cultural‘ return on the money invested. The Preface to the third edition of Baedeker‘s Canada published in 1907 begins with the following ‗mission statement‘: The Handbook to Canada is intended to help the traveler in planning his tour and disposing of his time to the best advantage, and thus to enable him the more thoroughly to enjoy and appreciate the objects of interest he meets with (Baedeker 1907: v). Here the handbook serves a dual function for its users. It is designed to help the reader to use his free time efficiently and economically and to ‗enable him‘ to better ‗enjoy and appreciate‘ the things he encounters on his trip. The emphasis on the efficient use of time in maximizing educational opportunities is important to note as both Murray and Baedeker were primarily used by working middle class tourists with limited time to spare. Although in 1907 only those with considerable savings could afford to travel to Canada for a two-week holiday, such a trip was a far cry from the four to seven years needed to take The Grand Tour of Europe. The guidebooks of Baedeker and Murray championed the principle of efficient reading and accessibility by selectively condensing much of what was already written on particular places but which would simply be too voluminous for one person to bring with him. Their handbooks were designed to be supremely portable and instantly accessible texts that could be pulled out at a moment‘s notice. They therefore functioned as didactic texts, giving readers the requisite knowledge and  95  insight to allow them to appreciate what they encountered on their travels while presenting that knowledge in a thorough, efficient, economical and immediately accessible manner. Conclusion In this chapter I have examined the key historical ‗discourses of travel‘ foundational to the development of travel and anti-tourist discourse. The Grand Tour of Europe helped to articulate travel through an elite discourse and practice of education. By examining key figures of the Romantic movement, I detailed how this notion of travel shifted through an emphasis on self-cultivation, and how romantic ideas about traveling to untouched places and gazing upon simple and morally pure ‗natives‘ helped to establish the figure of the traveler as a person who could lay claim to a somewhat exalted sensibility. The heightened appreciation of the natural and authentic promoted by the Romantics, the keen eye for the picturesque and accompanying abhorrence of the ‗threat‘ that mass tourism as well as mass tourists posed to such precious resources, inform many of the enduring modes of ‗taste‘ that ( as I will show later) are still prevalent among backpackers today. We have also seen how the trope of the colonial explorer has been crucial in establishing the traveler as an adventurous, risk-seeking type of individual who discovers untouched lands and encounters primitive people on his journeys. Throughout this chapter I have also noted how these themes were articulated through a gendered and at times racialized context. The second thread of Romanticism I explored concerned the theme of the ‗work of travel‘. Taking Simmel‘s essay on Alpine travel as my starting point, I unpacked the key characteristics of the romantic traveler as a type of person who embodies an ethos of hard work, endurance, and rugged independence. By contrast, tourism was seen to provide people with an easy alternative that minimized the required effort to arrive at previously difficult destinations in the Alps. I argued that the anti-tourist discourse that emerged at the beginning of the 19th century 96  in Europe resulted from a mixture and crystallization of these discourses of travel that saw the tourist characterized at times as subhuman, lacking sophistication, education or the time needed to properly understand or appreciate what he encountered. At times the use of a guidebook was seen by many critics to be an unmistakable sign of an immature tourist mentality. However the guidebook was also analyzed as a prototypical type of ‗salvational‘ and self help text that emerged in tandem with the development of the tourist industry. The guidebooks of Murray and Baedeker functioned to cultivate and enlighten their readers as independent travelers rather than as mass tourists. How these guidebooks were organized and written was key in establishing their authority as a more scientific and thus trustworthy type of travel text. But to what extent are the guidebooks of Lonely Planet comparable to those of Murray and Baedeker? And to what extent are the ideologically coded discourses of travel and tourism of the 19th century that we have encountered in this chapter relevant to the world of backpacking today? I offer some answers to these questions in the following chapter.  97  Chapter 2 Legends of Lonely Planet [Liz] “How did you find this place?” [Jeremy] “Oh - I‟ve been here lots of times. Just dug it out I suppose. It‟s not in the book or anything.” [Liz] “Which book?” she said. [Jeremy] “The book. The Book. There‟s only one worth having.” [Liz] “We‟ve got the Lonely Planet - is that the right one?” Her face was overcome with anxiety. [Jeremy] “It‟s not the right one”. He paused for effect. “It‟s the only one”. Liz sighed with relief. Are You Experienced? (William Sutcliffe 1997: 23) The fictional novel Are You Experienced? tells the tale of David, a young English man who goes backpacking to India for three months with his friend Liz. It is a satirical and cynical lampooning of backpacking culture, yet for the main character David it is also ultimately an affirmation of the value of travel in India. Acting as parody and rhapsody, the above excerpt from Are You Experienced? helps to illustrate the ‗legendary‘ renown of Lonely Planet guidebooks in India. As Jeremy, a smarmy know-it-all, reverently comments, it is ‗The Book, the only one worth having.‘ Today Lonely Planet has an undeniable presence in backpacking culture generally, as is evident from the many references to it in popular backpacker movies such as The Beach (Garland 1996) and satirical backpacker travelogues such as Are You Experienced? as well as innumerable television travel shows. In this chapter, I critically examine how Lonely Planet guidebooks have attained such a prominent and visible place in the world of backpacking travel, and examine the different textual strategies and discourses it employs to maintain its status in the world of travel as the ‗only one worth having‟. I argue that as ‗active texts‘ (Smith 1999b) Lonely Planet guidebooks are a key to understanding how ideological codes of the 98  tourist/traveler distinction and ‗the beaten track‘ and ‗off the beaten track‘ are articulated and reproduced in contemporary form. In the previous chapter I outlined the historical genesis of these ideological codes and how they were constituted in significant national and colonial contexts in the period 1800-1900. In this chapter I examine how these codes are taken up, reworked, and reproduced through the Lonely Planet guidebooks. Furthermore, unlike the previous chapter, I do not examine the social and cultural milieu (such as 1960s counter-culture) out of which contemporary backpacking culture and the Lonely Planet ethos emerged. The Changing Culture of Travel: Experiential Learning One of the most significant differences between the Murray and Baedeker guidebooks on the one hand, and the Lonely Planet guidebooks on the other, consists of the changing ideas and understanding of culture within the two historical contexts of travel. In the 1970s young travelers were far less likely to be interested in the ‗high culture‘ of ancient ruins, classical architecture or the political systems of a particular country (Baedeker spends several pages explaining the parliamentary system of Canada and system of voting), and they were much more interested in an idea of culture that focused on the individual‘s experience of the everyday world. Culture became an individual experience that ‗happened‘ when one went traveling. One‘s own experience in another, typically ‗foreign‘ culture was now deemed to have an essentially educational and enlightening value for the traveler. Although people still visit ancient ruins, religious temples and museums, a more important goal has become the experience of authentic ‗local‘ culture as it happens before your eyes. Events like taking a local bus or train journey mean that the traveler is ideally seeing and experiencing the everyday culture as it is for the ordinary, local people. It is their worlds that can serve as playgrounds and classrooms in a ‗university of life‘ education for western travelers. This ‗ethnographic‘ approach to culture is hardly new. As Judith Adler (1985) notes, the practice of ‗tramping‘ in the US and Europe in the 99  previous century was a popular way for upper middle class young people to ‗slum it‘ with the urban poor and experience a world of adventure, danger and otherness while traveling on a meager budget. Furthermore, for these ‗proto-backpackers‘, traveling on a meager budget, rather than as a pampered and wealthy tourist, was seen as a sure way of experiencing the authentic local culture as the tramping mode of travel was considered to be by far the best method for maintaining proximity to the locals. Although Adler (1985) has pointed out that ‗tramping‘, a type of middle class youth travel popular in Europe and the U.S. at the turn of the century, was an important precursor to backpacking as we know it today, there is no historical evidence to suggest that these young ‗tramps‘ were part of a relatively distinct group of like-minded people who travelled together in the same places, in the same way, or to the same degree that backpackers do today. Backpacking in places like India can in some ways be seen as a continuation of this practice, but nowadays the third world provides the adventurous edge. By contrast, tourism offers a cocoon and undesirable distance from authentic local culture. Tour buses, fancy hotels, and guided tours on planned itineraries are all perceived as providing a false or inauthentic experience of a foreign culture when it is ‗served up‘ rather than ‗discovered‘ in vivo and unmediated. Thus what is considered valuable currency in the accumulation of cultural capital today has changed considerably since the 19th century. Although Lonely Planet guidebooks provide plenty of readable cultural and historical context in their opening chapters, a personal experience of a place and its culture is considered the defining aspect and goal of travel. For example, the back cover of Lonely Planet India 7th edition (1997) offers the following description:  100  India saturates the senses…Immerse yourself in the teeming bazaars, holy cities, Moghul forts, and the vast array of jostling cultures and religions - make India an experience you‘ll always remember. Here India is represented as a place that will fully ‗saturate the senses‘ of the traveler, a place where the traveler is ‗immersed‘ in ‗teeming bazaars‘ and ‗jostling cultures‘. This frenetic and wholly sensory experience promises to be ‗an experience you‘ll always remember‘. This aim, to make Indian culture accessible or knowable to the reader primarily as a personal experience and memory, animates much of the Lonely Planet discourse of travel. Of course, if culture is now something to be experienced personally through travel then such experiences are intimately tied to into the cultivation, education, enlightenment and character of the contemporary traveler self. Following the Second World War, a discourse of travel and culture emerged in Europe that posited travel and tourism as an important vehicle for the avoidance of future conflict. The eradication of inter-cultural ‗ignorance‘ and misunderstanding through enlightening exposure to other cultural contexts was seen as an important goal for the avoidance of future conflict. For example, the United Nations declared 1967 as the ‗International Year of Tourism‘ and the 21 st session of the U.N. General Assembly announced that such a move would lead to: Recognizing the importance of international tourism, and particularly of the designation of an international tourist year, in fostering better understanding among people everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, thereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world. (UN.org)  In a similar vein, Tad Friend in an online article in the New Yorker (April 2005) recalls the words of some Lonely Planet authors that capture this civic and humanitarian ideal: ‗more than one Lonely Planet author told me that had George W. Bush ever really travelled abroad the United States would not have invaded Iraq‘. Despite the utopian naiveté of such an idea, it nonetheless illustrates the belief in civic virtue and cosmopolitanism that travel apparently 101  automatically bestows upon its practitioners. These Lonely Planet writers may have had the American author Mark Twain in mind. Twain‘s oft-quoted ode to travel, which appears in innumerable travel blogs and travel guides, echoes the very sentiment expressed by Lord Byron concerning the educative and cosmopolitan potential of travel (which I discussed in the previous chapter). Twain states that: ‗travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness… and many of our people need it solely on these accounts‘ (Twain 2003: 35). Even while berating the ‗prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness‘ of his fellow Americans back home, Twain saw no apparent contradiction between his noble platitudes and his racist descriptions of the ‗locals‘ of Tangier in his Orientalist travelogue Innocents Abroad: A New Pilgrim‟s Progress: Original, genuine Negroes as black as Moses; and howling dervishes and a hundred breeds of Arabs, all sorts and descriptions of people that are foreign and curious to look upon… They all resemble each other so much that one could almost believe they were of one family (Twain 1879: 73). An exquisite but troubling irony is at work here, one that exposes the myth that, at least for Americans, travel is an automatic and self-evident vehicle of beneficent and tolerant cosmopolitanism. Unfortunately for the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, the notion that ‗one could almost believe they were of one family‘ has been a staple and stable trope of western colonial domination in the Middle East for many centuries. Thus, in light of the claim by the Wheelers (the co-founders of Lonely Planet discussed below) that ‗people are the same wherever they‘re from‘ we must critically examine how guidebooks such as the Lonely Planet help reproduce such modes of ‗imperial vision‘. Later on in this chapter I examine how the Lonely Planet India guidebook instructs readers in how to gaze at ‗people that are foreign and curious to look upon‘. For Tony and Maureen Wheeler, travel is not simply one possible vehicle, but rather the only vehicle through which people (who can afford to travel Lonely Planet style in the first 102  place) can come together and realize their common humanity and collective responsibility. The Wheelers elaborate further on the cosmopolitan and educative potential of travel: It's when you make those cross-cultural connections - even though initially you may have thought you had nothing in common - that it hits you again: people are the same wherever they're from; we all have the same needs and desires, aspirations and affections. Revelling in that realisation is the holy grail of travelling.12 Here Lonely Planet attempts to mediate and capitalize on the supposed relationship between travel and universal brotherhood (or simply humanity). The realization of the universal truth of a shared and common humanity is considered ‗the holy grail of travelling‘ (ibid). However, this ‗holy grail‘ is made possible only by traveling to (or making ‗pilgrimages‘ to) different cultures in the first place. According to Tony Wheeler, the co-founder of Lonely Planet along with his wife Maureen, among the most important aspects of ‗travel‘ is that it can be a powerful force for the good of humanity, a vehicle of global communion whereby ‗we‘ discover that ‗we‘ are all part of a universal humanity. Here we can find a re-articulation of one of Ulrich Beck‘s ‗five…constitutive principles of the cosmopolitan outlook‘ (Beck 2006: 7). Beck outlines the fourth principle as ‗the principle of cosmopolitan empathy and of perspective taking and the virtual inter-changeability of situations‘ (ibid). Lonely Planet guidebooks promise to make this idealistic goal practically possible. In the ‗Responsible Travel‘ section of the Lonely Planet website, Tony and Maureen explain why travel is so important: It's only through travelling, through meeting people that we begin to understand that we're all sharing this world. We are all coming along for the ride, despite the barriers which governments, religions and economic and political beliefs often seem to build up between us.13  12 13  http://www.lonelyplanet.com/responsibletravel/travel_tips.cfm http://www.lonelyplanet.com/about/responsible-travel  103  Here again travel is construed as a vehicle of universal human emancipation, in particular from the ‗artificial‘ confines of political and economic systems that are apparently imposed on ‗us‘ from the outside. This echoes Beck‘s first principle of the cosmopolitan vision where ‗the awareness of interdependence and the resulting ‗civilizational community of fate‘… overcomes the boundaries between…us and them, the national and the international‘ (Beck 2006: 7). The Wheelers maintain that through travel such a cosmopolitan sensibility is engendered. The world, it seems, is ‗our‘ collective property, a ‗gift‘ that ‗we‘ all share and have a mutual responsibility for maintaining. In Chapter 4, I explore in detail the ideal of travel as ‗gift giving‘ and mutual reciprocity with reference to interviews with backpackers about their personal experiences ‗on the road‘. However, the ‗gift of travel‘ can only be found in authentic places and with locals who remain outside of the orbit of the mass tourist industry. Lonely Planet presents its guides as important mediators through which ‗cosmopolitan enlightenment‘ can be practically achieved. In the ‗About Lonely Planet Guidebooks‘ section included in the ‗Foreword‘ of their guidebooks, Lonely Planet is quite clear about its aspirations: ‗the main aim is still to help make it possible for adventurous travelers to get out there - to explore and better understand the world‘ (Lonely Planet Vancouver 2002: 6, my emphasis). Lonely Planet guidebooks aim to help readers to ‗better understand the world‘, thereby implicitly acknowledging the relative ignorance of the reader in comparison to the expertise of the writers of the text. Lonely Planet guidebooks are thus construed as an essential educational aid to enlightenment that renders the world more intelligible and comprehensible by developing the understanding of its readers. Echoing Kant‘s motto that it takes courage and resolve to emerge from immaturity, Lonely Planet guidebooks also aim to ‗make it possible for adventurous travelers to get out there‘ and ‗explore‘ rather than remaining fettered to, and dependent on,  104  travel agencies, predictable timetables and itineraries. Finally, it is interesting to note how guidebook discourse constructs ‗the cosmopolitan traveler‘ as somehow outside of the social categories of gender, ‗race‘, and class and as appearing to be from nowhere in particular. The traveler tends to be constructed as a de-territorialized subject, without history and biography. Below I highlight some of the ways in which this discourse of ‗cosmopolitan travel‘ articulated by both backpackers and the ‗travel industry‘, of which Lonely Planet is an outstanding example, tends to naturalize and individualize the social privileges and global inequalities that are at work in the world of backpacking. This discourse masks privileges of mobility and global inequality through an individualizing and naturalizing discourse that locates the ability and desire to travel within the personality of the individual rather than within social structures of class and status and in geopolitical relations of domination. Geographies of Repulsion and Desire: The Beaten Track and its Discontents One of the most frequently used expressions in the travel and tourism industry today, ‗off-the-beaten-track‘, has become a catchword for all that is new, different, exciting and authentic. If, in the words of one Blackwood‟s Magazine reviewer over a century and a half ago, ‗the tourist‘ ‗has a track in space to which he is bound‘ (1843: 551), then the traveler is forever trying to get off that beaten track. The following definitions of ‘beaten‘ from the Online Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides some important semantic and conceptual directions for better understanding what ‗the beaten track‘ and its antithesis denote. Beaten 1: hammered into a desired shape <beaten gold>2: much trodden and worn smooth; also familiar<a beaten path>3: being in a state of exhaustion: exhausted 14  14  http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/beaten  105  With these definitions in mind, we can say that ‗the beaten track‘ suggests a well-worn track of standardized tourist desire: the tacky souvenirs, the overcrowded and over-rated ‗must see‘ sights and the consumption of food that is not ‗local‘ but rather specifically tailored for the domestic taste of visiting tourists. If the beaten track has been ‗hammered into a desired shape‘ this is because the type of tourist desire that is operative there demands a prepackaged, familiar and easily consumable type of experience. As a much trodden track we can see how the desire that is operative on the beaten track is clearly a type of ‗taste‘ that is shared by many people. It is in this sense ‗common‘, undifferentiated and symptomatic of mass desire rather than of individual desire. The ‗beaten‘ track denotes a smooth and uneventful journey through a predictable monotony of sameness (yet ever more safe because of its predictability). The beaten track has an exhausted quality to it. It is worn out from overuse by the ‗masses‘ that frequent it. As a symbolic resource we can say that for the traveler the beaten track is a ‗spent‘ or exhausted resource, a non-renewable form of symbolic and cultural capital. As Bourdieu notes in ‗Forms of Capital‘: ‗the specifically symbolic logic of distinction additionally secures material and symbolic profits for the possessors of a large cultural capital: any given cultural competence…derives a scarcity value from its position in the distribution of cultural capital and yields profits of distinction for its owner‘ (1986: 245). As an alternative to such a spent resource, backpacking is a way to make the world renewable and sustainable for those who practice travel rather than tourism. Why would the traveler want to journey along such predicable lines? The traffic congestion, the conformity, the lack of challenge and immense predictability of it all! As a spatial metaphor ‗off the beaten track‘ denotes a route away from the crowds of mass tourist traffic, whose standardized and undifferentiated tastes have etched out predictable and familiar circuits of travel. Travel ‗should be‘ an unpredictable and challenging adventure, undertaken by  106  individuals whose cultivated tastes are distinguished from the masses. One feature of this discourse of travel is that it tends to be articulated in terms of how the prototypically male solitary traveler must work hard and take risks if he is to legitimately earn the ‗rewards‘ such challenges provide. In contrast, tourism has generally tended to emphasize how organized groups of tourists pursue leisure and luxury in an attempt to escape from the workaday world. Although there are important differences between a two week holiday and the kind of long haul budget travel typically practiced by backpackers, each has become a well established industry with wellbeaten tracks of its own. For backpackers to escape from ‗the beaten track‘ and to experience the solitude of their ‗lonely‘ planet, coveted places must ever-increasingly be found around the next corner. Like mass tourism, backpacking is inexorably implicated in a game whereby places become ‗loved to death‘15. That is, they become popular with backpackers until they become too ‗touristic‘ and the search for the next ‗unspoiled‘ place must begin again. This heightened condition of global mobility and consumption contributes to the distinctiveness of the backpacking style of travel. As we will see in the following chapters, real life backpackers are by no means bound exclusively to either track. Instead, ‗the backpacker as traveler‘ moves between and along both tracks in his or her real world travel; experiences places and has interactions with people which are never fully and exclusively authentic or in-authentic; and is never fully a traveler or a tourist Through ‗the work of travel‘ backpackers must align their subjectivity, practices and experiences further away from the beaten track frequented by tourists. As travelers these backpackers must have experiences of authenti