The price of progress

I love a good resort as much as the next person, and while I am in favour of progress, it makes me sad to revisit places that are dear to my heart and no longer recognise them due to the entire place being rebuilt. There is a sadness that builds inside me when I see trees being cut down to make way for housing estates and roads.

I have done a lot of travelling to remote faraway places and for me; part of the main allure is the lack of tourists, the simplistic rustic beauty of the place, the remoteness that makes you feel as though you have stumbled across something special and magical. Remote places like these make you feel as though you have discovered a secret hideaway, a magical treasure that only you have the key to.

I struggle at times with progress, while the media will always tell you how amazing it is for growth of communities, and yes it may bring in more income to local families, but I can’t help but question: are the locals really happy with all the extra chaos and the frantic new pace of life? Do they really enjoy seeing old shacks that they or their ancestors built plowed down to make room for luxury resorts? Does this extra income and change of lifestyle really increase their happiness and value of living?

How do we have the right to tell communities and villages what is right for them, just because we feel it would it right for us. Do we kill the magic and allure of the place with all the re-development, so in essence are driving tourism away?

Are we that greedy a society now, that we are willing to step over everything and demolish all the beauty in our path just for our own financial gain?

As a surfer I understand the quest for that remote surf spot, that piece of hidden paradise only few are aware of. We would spend days/weeks on primitive transport just to reach these faraway places, when we could spend far less time travelling to our luxury accommodation, yet we don’t as we know that the end result is not the same.

I question my own logic of spending more money and more time to reach a crumbled down bungalow than a 5 star resort, yet logic is thrown out the window when it comes to finding a hidden piece of paradise. There is something so immensely gratifying about camping, sleeping out under the stars and being a part of nature that words can rarely describe and this you can never put a price on.

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Posted on February 21, 2012, in NEW POSTS. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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