In an era where travel is more accessible than ever before, the allure of wanderlust and the thrill of being hypermobile have become deeply ingrained in our modern lives. Yet, beneath the romanticised notion of exploring new horizons and experiencing diverse cultures lies a complex web of consequences.
In this podcast episode, I speak with Chris Christou – a writer, educational curator, activist and founder of the End of Tourism Podcast. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Chris moved to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2015 after a decade of “delirious wanderlust”. In 2016, Chris began concurrently working in and writing about the tourism industry. In 2021, he created and launched the End of Tourism Podcast where he holds deep dialogues that confront, unknot, and subvert the unauthorised histories of wanderlust and exile.
“For some, tourism can entail learning, freedom, and financial survival. For others, it means the loss of culture, land, and lineage,” he says. In this episode, we talk about the “other” side of tourism – how our freedom of movement has inherent consequences on place, people and culture.
Chris shares his knowledge and insights from years as an academic in this arena, as well as learnings from guests he hosts on his podcast. We discuss gentrification, exile, capitalism, tourism and radical hospitality. We talk about the exploitative similarities between colonialism and tourism and refer to Dr Rupa Marya’s studies on this relationship.
I recorded this podcast while in the city of Medellin, Colombia – a city that is facing rapid gentrification. Most apartments in the popular tourist and digital nomad districts rent for prices so inflated that locals can’t afford to live there anymore. Walking down the street, I noticed a sign that read, “prevent the colonizers from inflating prices.” The sign felt harsh, but a common discourse as of late as towns and cities across the world suffer from immense inflation. It’s a complex problem with no single solution. But it’s real, and I feel honoured to be able to bring this topic into discussion on the podcast.
Get ready for thirty minutes of deep dialogue and thought-provoking discussion about what it means to be human in the age of hypermobility.