Thursday, October 27, 2016

The ordinary traveller, who never goes off the beaten route and who on this beaten route ... does not need to show much more initiative and intelligence than an express package - T Roosevelt

Manaus
We must not fall into the foolish error of thinking that the first explorers need not suffer terrible hardships, merely because the ordinary travellers, and even the settlers who come after them, do not have to endure such danger, privation, and wearing fatigue — although the first among the genuine settlers also have to undergo exceedingly trying experiences. The early explorers and adventurers make fairly well-beaten trails at heavy cost to themselves. Ordinary travellers, with little discomfort and no danger, can then traverse these trails; but it is incumbent on them neither to boast of their own experiences nor to misjudge the efforts of the pioneers be cause, thanks to these very efforts, their own lines fall in pleasant places. The ordinary traveller, who never goes off the beaten route and who on this beaten route is carried by others, without himself doing anything or risking anything, does not need to show much more initiative and intelligence than an express package. He does nothing; others do all the work, show all the forethought, take all the risk—and are entitled to all the credit. He and his valise are carried in practically the same fashion; and for each the achievement stands about on the same plane. If this kind of traveller is a writer, he can of course do admirable work, work of the highest value; but the value comes because he is a writer and observer, not because of any particular credit that attaches to him as a traveller. pp. 171-72

From Through the Brazilian wilderness (1914) by Theodore Roosevelt

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