Samuel James Conroy

Chreia Progymnasmata

Chreia Progymnasmata

            Pico Iyer has put out great work on not only his personal travels but traveling as a whole. His experience as being a foreigner in multiple countries has given a great insight on the intricacies of travel.

In his article, “The Foreign Spell,” Iyer goes into the life of being a foreigner and what it truly means. He gives his personal experience of being a foreigner in Britain and America due to his family originally coming from India. He states,

“I was a foreigner on all three of the continents that might have claimed me—a little Indian boy with an English accent and an American green card” (Iyer Para. 1).

Iyer would even be considered a foreigner in his “home” country of India due to not being born there and having an English accent.

Iyer goes into the minutiae of what it means to be a foreigner due to the ever-growing number of foreigners in the world. Iyer mentions about how there will soon be more foreigners on earth than there will be Americans. He also describes how in most major cities you will find people on just about every corner speaking a different language and dealing with different customs than yourself. Due to this growing population Iyer wants to give his insight on what it means to be a foreigner in order to bring more familiarity to the matter and explain the benefits rather than draw on the negatives.

Iyer warns of not assuming we have common values or feelings in our global world just because we are simply more connected than ever. He relates his own life to this sentiment by explaining his travels growing up. Iyer was able to travel between England and California numerous times a year unlike most humans had ever traveled before, yet, he never felt comfortable settling in just one place due to this constant movement. This is not all bad as Iyer says,

“all I thought then was that nearly everywhere I knew was foreign, which meant that nearly everywhere had the power to unsettle and surprise me, forever” (Iyer Para. 29).



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