The End of the Exotic

It used to be that there were places in the world no one you knew had ever seen, foods that you’d never heard of, things you’d never done, and the strangeness of these things was part of their appeal.

Then my daughter lived in Shanghai. I still can’t get over how weird that is. My daughter, my little girl, was living and working in Shanghai, on the far side of the frickin’ planet.

She’s back, but now her brother is working in Hangzhou. In fact, I may have been to conventions in dozens of states, but Julian’s been to conferences in lots of countries. He’s visited Costa Rica, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, China, South Korea, Argentina, Paraguay, Australia…

There is no more “exotic.”

And this summer, on just a few weeks notice, I accepted speaking engagements in Hanoi and Athens. International trips used to take months, even years, of preparation and planning, but I was in Vietnam four weeks after I got the invitation.

4 thoughts on “The End of the Exotic

  1. On this trip so far I’ve been in Iceland and Finland. (I was only in Iceland for an hour to change planes and go through Customs and Immigration for the EU, which was astonishingly easy.)

    Monday I will be in Sweden and France. Again, Sweden only to change planes.

    Then Tuesday, England.

    You inevitably know more than I do about this: would Jules Verne be astonished and pleased, or horrified, or what? I think Nelly Bly would be thrilled.

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