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There are stay-cations, where the tourist stays at home. While I don’t intend to discount the value of these, they are not my immediate concern. I am interested at this time in leisure travel; one that involves a change in place. Put another way, change of place is a means to achieve differentiation. Differentiation stimulates interest, then engagement, a deeper observation of our surroundings. Changing our location takes us out of our routine surroundings that we move through each day often on automatic pilot without looking as we have seen everything already, a hundred time before. In a new place much is novel and in this it is engaging, elevating excitement, and adrenaline. There are mental and physical responses.

Differentiation allows us to interrogate our normal. We contrast what we see in the place we visit against our normal place and by seeing the differences we have an opportunity to see our normal in a new light and maybe learn something about it, draw an insight. As authors John Urry and Jonas Larsen observe in their book The Tourist Gaze 3.0, “… tourism is significant in its ability to reveal aspects of normal practices which might otherwise remain opaque.” (p.3)

Thus, the first step is the departure that carries us away physically and mentally.

Departure from Toronto


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