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To Wreck and Ruin

Almost everybody wants to travel. Leave the world they know behind, if only for a little while, and find a new place to exist. Most of us do so when we travel to university. As young children we are always told that there is so much beauty to be discovered in the world, if the surface can be scraped a little. As the years fly by, it is becoming more and more common for the dream of travel to be realised. Many Fresher students will have taken time off their studies to indulge in the joy of exploration; some having journeyed around Eastern Europe by train, while others have spent a year travelling the Americas. The world is slowly shrinking. But unfortunately, although travelling still causes excitement for some that cannot be realised in any other way, there are repercussions to the human’s incessant curiosity. Unlike in centuries before, it is no longer simply the brave who can choose to travel. It is no longer the opportunistic few who are able to admire the wonders of the world. And because of this, some would say that the world’s wonders are being lost. In Amsterdam, British boys caught in the fumes of marijuana relax on dark leather couches. But by this time next year, these boys will not exist, with Dutch officials worried that tourists are just visiting Amsterdam for drugs. Look then, to the far reaches of South America; where tribes are losing their homes, and any richness they had, because of their exposure to the Western world. You can travel responsibly of course. Obey the rules and regulations set in place by governments. But rules and regulations can cause a place to lose its soul. My friend tells me of how she visits the great colosseum in Rome; she sneaks behind the barriers and steps quickly away from the tour group, takes a trip through the ruins that is forbidden even to the guide. She found the soul of the place, but she also broke the rules and regulations that keep the colosseum intact. It’s a fine balance then, keeping the world whole for generations to come, and retaining the purity of it. I am not sure if it can even be done. But what I do know is this – everybody should travel, even if it is only across the breadth of the UK for university. There is so much to be discovered, especially in the great, grey city of London. So, in the words of Jack Kerouac, live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry. By Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff

To Wreck and Ruin  

Travel journalism

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