International travel and the hedonic treadmill

Lion of the Blogosphere

A hundred years ago, regular international travel was an activity only for the extremely wealth, and even then they’d only travel between established areas like the United States and Europe. Visiting Africa for fun was limited to the extremely adventurous and well-funded, such as Teddy Roosevelt.

It should also be noted that you needed a lot of free time to travel back then, because an ocean voyage from New York to London took a week. But the interesting thing about the rich back then is that they had more free time than today’s rich, because today’s rich are busy working while yesterday’s rich placed greater value on leisure.

Today, the bobo class views international travel as an essential activity in order to achieve self-actualization. Thus I pick international travel as an example of the hedonic treadmill, in which something unavailable in the past suddenly becomes essential when it becomes more…

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