Travel and tourism have a long association with the notion of transformation, both in terms of self and social collectives. What is surprising, however, is that this association has, on the whole, remained relatively underexplored and unchallenged, with little in the way of a corpus of academic literature surrounding these themes. Instead, much of the literature to date has focused upon describing and categorising tourism and travel experiences from a supply-side perspective, with travellers themselves defined in terms of their motivations and interests. While the tourism field can lay claim to several significant milestone contributions, there have been few recent attempts at a rigorous re-theorization of the issues arising from the travel/transformation nexus. The opportunity to explore the socio-cultural dimensions of transformation through travel has thus far been missed. Bringing together geographers, sociologists, cultural researchers, philosophers, anthropologists, visual researchers, literary scholars and heritage researchers, this volume explores what it means to transform through travel in a modern, mobile world. In doing so, it draws upon a wide variety of traveller perspectives - including tourists, backpackers, lifestyle travellers, migrants, refugees, nomads, walkers, writers, poets, virtual travellers and cosmetic surgery patients - to unpack a cultural phenomenon that has captured the imagination since the very first works of Western literature.
’How might we understand the experience of travel? How can we theorize it and place it within a context of social and cultural enquiry? These are important questions for a topic that has always had a kind of stand-alone quality in terms of academic speculation. Whilst travel literature provides insights that often combine the cognitive, affective and emotional in engagements with place and the performance of mobility, this book adds a whole new perspective and depth of meaning to these experiences. The long-attested connection between travel and transformation is given a thorough overhaul and examined for what it is or might be for individuals, cultures and encounters. In a series of fresh and well-focussed essays spliced together with great knowledge, ingenuity and sensitivity by the editors, this volume makes an original and timely contribution to the understanding of travel as a cultural phenomenon.’ Steve Watson, York St John University, UK '... the editors have compiled a rich discursive text on the transformative power of travel. Insightful debate by academics of diverse philosophical and epistemological orientations, voicing a wide range of participants in the travel system, makes this an important addition to tourism social science'. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure & Events 'With a focus on complex ideas, this book takes a broader approach to the overall book theme and is able to synthesise knowledge in a refreshing style. The book takes the reader on a journey to explore new and emerging perspectives of transformation and in doing so engage in a range of interdisciplinary analyses.' Tourism Planning & Development