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Friday, August 22, 2008

Pology: presenting the beauty in travel normally lost in the routine of the mundane

The latest issue of Pology is out. Do you know it? It's a wonderful web magazine on travel and world culture that showcases travel stories and photos that editor Neil Schwartz calls "impassioned vignettes of cultural exploration" which he hopes will inspire people to get out and see the world. Neil writes of Pology's aim: "In a time where representations of the world are fed to us through polarized lenses, traveling has become of supreme importance. Traveling can remind us that in any situation there are multiple and often conflicting truths. Traveling can humble us, and remind us of how little we know. Immersion in a new culture can force us to see a beauty in the world that all too easily gets lost in the routine of the mundane." I couldn't agree more. And this issue's articles, on places like Uruguay, Benin, India and Peru, do just that. (There's also a wonderful Portraits of Thailand photo series, which is why I've posted one of my own portraits taken near Chiang Mai on our trip last October.) What I like about Pology's style of article is that they read like short stories rather than travel features. Their length and form provides enough space for 'characters' to reveal themselves, enabling us to more closely identify with the storytellers and their situations, and allows sufficient time for the narratives to develop so we can better engage with them. Neil writes: "Too much of today's travel writing focuses on where to stay, eat and shop, but I'm convinced that there is a breed of traveler out there that knows getting lost and having the details unfold spontaneously is what leads to the stories that can be fondly retold for the rest of your life." While I get paid to write about those places to stay, eat and shop, I'm with Neil on this one. I do believe there are travellers out there who want more - savvy travellers who know how to get off the beaten track and who have the skills to seek out the best local spots to eat and interesting places to sleep, but who still want to read inspiring travel writing that motivates them to move in the first place, stories that they can relate to, which ring true, and which remind them of their own travels. Travellers like me and you.

3 comments:

Prêt à Voyager said...

Very cool find. I've been frustrated with my travels lately - sticking too much to the big places (ie. Bangkok) and not venturing off the beaten path. I will definitely use this resource for inspiration!

Anne

Prêt à Voyager said...

Very cool find. I've been frustrated with my travels lately - sticking too much to the big places (ie. Bangkok) and not venturing off the beaten path. I will definitely use this resource for inspiration!

Anne

Tamara said...

Thank you for this link; I am enjoying reading the culture blog.