Nathan Ryan Reeves

Narrative (simplified from the reading)

A poet and avid traveler had a journey from the mainland to the islands of the Caribbean where he had always dreamed of going to. His journey was planned ever since he was a little boy, and never got the chance until he was an adult. However, the people that told him to go, also told him to “tread lightly” and that he could be tricked at some point there. Knowing that he was an outsider and was obvious since he was traveling from a distant land. The poet was looking for an authentic experience outside of what he was used to and decided that he would play it by ear when he got to his destination. When he got into the market at the shore, he saw many stores and stands with food, and signs saying the “Best [insert food] in the world”, and other attractions that could be for him. He knew of places to go to down towards inland of the island because he had heard of great pieces of art, and statues that were advanced for their time, and not to forget, the more modern shops that reminded him that this place was still a place where people lived. He had walked for some time before he had gotten past the touristy attractions and got to real shops. He wondered to himself, what was the normal thing to do at a place like this? What is a traditional day like? And what is the significance of this journey? What experience can he grab from this place that no other tourist had experienced before?

Although the monumental sites are cool and the beaches are fabulous, but he wondered if it was a good idea to steer away from the “traveler norm” and wondered what someone does on a day to day basis. And thought of his own life back at home, and wondered if the traveler’s norm is really so much different from the normal life. He gave it some thought about whether or not he visits monuments in his home town and realized that he has only done so when he walks to work in the mornings.

The poet realizes in a flash that he had not heeded the warning of the place trying to trick you. While it didn’t trick him literally, the concept of something authentic was right in his face the whole time, and he had decided to not listen to it until now. He pondered whether or not the market was a “front” and if there were no tourists coming if there was ever an opportunity for the market. The poet had decided to take a walk deeper into the island on the roads and went wherever the roads had taken him in the end.

Jack Albert Nusenow

Romanticizing Foreignness

Progym: Narrative

Urry places an emphasis on the visual arm of capitalist tourism advertising as he weaves his arguments together. We have come a long way since Petrarch, and though our history is riddled with colonialism, I don’t believe our reasons for traveling are simply to subject those foreign settings we visit to our own visual interpretation.

I found value in Urry’s breakdown of the different types of the Tourist Gaze and especially related to the idea of the romantic gaze.

In 2015 I visited Rome. While there, I visited all of the places Urry would say that I was told to, but my love and lasting memories of that trip can’t be found in the Colosseum or even any of the pictures I took.

My most valuable memory is sitting in a restaurant whose name I still haven’t forgotten. Cafe Belsiana is tucked away on a small street conveniently called Via Belsiana. As I sat eating bread and pasta, from the very moment I had sat down, I watched an old man drink his espresso, read a magazine, and walk out happy. This memory is what drives my persistent want to travel, but I couldn’t help but feel defensive when I read Urry’s essay. Would he describe this experience as visual appropriation? In my mind, I was captivated by the romantic gaze. But does this make me a tourist in that restaurant inherently? I’ve looked at people in American bars drinking cocktails in the same way. Is this gaze, this moment, really colonizing as Urry says it is? Or is it the inescapable colonialist history that is present wherever we travel?

Phillip Wade Wilson

The Tourist Gaze “Revisited” – John Urry: Narrative

“The most mundane of activities, such as shopping, strolling, sitting having a drink, or swimming, appear special when conducted against a striking visual backcloth”

It always seems that when I travel somewhere different the most boring of activities I almost dread to do at home become somewhat of an excitement. I’m not sure if it’s the excitement of doing this activity somewhere new or the fact that I’m happy or even excited about being in that different place altogether so everything seems fun. As Urry has stated, we tourists love to look for the perceptions we want to see in a different place and the visual impact this has on us is based on the presence we are in and what that means to us. I think about every place I have been, especially recently, and I remember how seeing a style of architecture or a landmark changed my perspective of the city or area I was in. On my last trip abroad when I was in Milan, I remember the sights I saw most of all… least of all I remember the smells of the city, the taste of the food, and the sounds I heard. I remember bits and pieces of the latter, but the sights are ingrained much deeper in my memories than everything else.

The idea of sightseeing and using our vision that Urry portrays, in a way, reminds of me of ‘veni, vidi, vici’ (I came, I saw, I conquered). As a tourist, I go to a certain country or city or town or even historical site. As a tourist, I see all the site has to offer while documenting my time there via camera and memories I get to savor for a lifetime. As a tourist, I conquer the place I visit by experiencing all it has to offer and taking it all in so that I can take them back home with me.

Aongus Mui

The Tourist Gaze by John Urry

The Tourist Gaze
John Urry

Progym: Narrative

As a person who travels multiple times in a year, I have seen some truly amazing views. A couple of summers ago my family and I vacationed to The Dominican Republic. We left our house while it was still dark out to catch an early flight. The weather in Boston was beginning to cool down towards the end of summer. When we arrived in Dominican I remember the humid air and warmth of the blazing sun. We stayed in a beach side hotel, I will never forget the view at the right hours. I would wake up earlier than normal to try and catch the sunrise. It was an unforgettable view, there weren’t many people because of how early it was, giving me a clear view of the sunrise with almost no distractions. It was the perfect time to lose my worries and just gaze at the picture perfect landscape. The bright golden rays of the sun, white sand, and the sound of crashing waves made it all feel like a dream. It was quite a challenge to not get lost in the moment.

After a day passed I started to notice that just seeing a photogenic view was not good enough. I wanted to explore The Dominican Republic, outside of the beaches. On day five of the trip we took a tour to the middle of the island. Although the view was nowhere as close to the one from my hotel room, I enjoyed it ten times more. The common city smell, and the locals made it more real for me. I got to try local food and get indulged in the culture. This is one of the main things that I took from the vacation, it’s not always about the scenic views or getting the perfect picture. It was more about learning about the traditions of the place and truly getting the full experience.

John Urry advises us to not only go to the known locations but we should enjoy every aspect of travel, and all the little things that come with it. One of the things that stood out from Urry’s writing is that he advises us to take the time to just enjoy where we are, scenic or not. I chose to write a narrative on how I related to some of Urry’s points For instance, Urry covers what is “suitable” for the “tourist gaze.” My personal answer to that would be everything, from the nature of the destination to the more urban section. The “tourist gaze” is a matter of perspective, it differs for each person depending on what they find intriguing.

Jack Albert Nusenow

The Art of Travel: A Sorting Machine


Airports, the beautifully industrial purgatory that we spend so little time in yet seem to understand so well. When you spend any time in an airport, and possibly this is only true in a post 9/11 world, you exist under an unwritten social contract. The rules aren’t written anywhere… but you know them. You couldn’t conceive of yourself saying “bomb” out loud. You know how early to arrive, what to have with you, which of your grooming products and drinks will inevitably be stolen from you by security.

You know not to bother anybody. Arrive, security, gate. Maybe food, maybe $25 headphones. Flight, land, maybe bathroom. Walk to baggage claim like your bags will be there when you get there, but they never are. Then leave. If you’re not home that’s good, but where Botton is wrong in my opinion is that returning home is drab and depressing.

I was inspired to describe airport experiences in this way after Botton’s scene about flying. It feels importantly to evaluate the processes that we navigate that sandwich such a powerful experience like flying.

My favorite part of airports is how we enter almost into a hivemind there. Everyone is in an airport for the same reason. There’s a collective understanding that breeds humility. Everyone wants to get where they’re going, and fortunately, that stops everyone from impeding eachother.


Nathan Ryan Reeves

The Love For Exploration (Description/Narrative?)


As a person who has been confined to the US and its territories, I have surprisingly always had this itch for travel. While most of the time when I travel, its for a family vacation, or just to visit family. While this can sometimes be difficult to control where I want to go, it does not limit my imagination to where I can go next. And while each time I travel is nerve-wracking, I’m convinced that after the struggle of the journey, that there’s always something to look back at after the fact and something to be happy about and reflect upon once at the destination.

The question of the “why” we travel to be something related to curiosity, or something that is hidden deeper inside of us. Sometimes that why comes along with an “I need this” or just some time to explore aimlessly. In the reading for this assignment, Iyer says that

“…we travel, in essence, to become young fools again — to slow time down and get taken in and fall in love once more”.

When he writes that there is a falling in love once more with whatever we are doing, it hints that there is an idea of the fall. That we all have a curious tie to this love in nature, or whatever passions you have, and there is this moment where you have this enlightening experience to travel.

I’ve haven’t specifically had an enlightening experience, but a moment of enlightened realization of nature and of myself. Before coming to school, and during this whole summer I had developed this sensation and feeling of anxiety and “corona depression”. I was self-aware but hadn’t come to terms that I was living, but I was not “alive”, and that this Pandemic had left a toll on my mental health. A couple of weeks before I moved back to DC I was driving to a campground in the Adirondacks with my family and had insisted to myself that this was a reset that I possibly needed. While the driving wasn’t taxing, the time had felt like forever once I moved into the second half of the trip. It was my impatience needling, and my desire was growing. The desire to do something other than sit, and in the moment, I wanted to just walk, or even run the rest of the way then drive.

Once I had gotten there, I drove up to the campground I was staying at. All were separated by about 100 ft of space, and the grounds were as empty as a ghost town. I practically saw 20 people in total close to me, which gave me this sense of isolation. I had to go for a run at some point by myself, and since I was in the Adirondacks, I felt as if this were the perfect opportunity to “explore”, or to just run and be relaxed and in the moment.

When I first started on my route, I wanted to see as much as I could, so I decided on an out and back. A few miles in I was surrounded by forest on these isolated roads, which towered me and made me feel as insignificant in size as I could feel. It was relaxing because there were no cars, and (since it was the Adirondacks) I saw multiple mountains in the distance. They looked as if they were small and distant, but I knew better since I could see some up close eventually and would get to feel the real size of the mountain.

I fell into a Xen mode where I had zoned out and wasn’t thinking about anything except for that the pine trees around me created this contrast with my surroundings to create a tunnel where I felt insignificant. Suddenly I had stumbled upon a clearing in the forest where power lines were leading through. I was curious to see what the view looked like, and as I passed, saw this mountain in the clearing, and had really felt the sense of where I stood. On my way back, I sat down on the side of the road in the dirt, and just sat down and took in the view. While not the biggest mountain ever, I had this feeling of relishing the moment since I was by myself, and as in the middle of nowhere as I could be. At this moment I had fallen in love with the nature around me and proceeded to explore more of what was unknown to me. This time that I had was something that I needed, but it was important since I had this feeling of excitement and wanting a whole lot more than what I originally wanted.

Samuel James Conroy

Creative Narrative Progymnasmata Post

Samuel Conroy

Rhetoric of Travel

September 4, 2020

Professor Comstock

Creative Narrative Progymnasmata

In “An Autumn Effect,” the author departs his town and goes on an adventure into the woods. Upon his travels, the season has changed to fall and is providing a beautiful ambience for the author to travel through. He states, “my whole view brightened considerably in colour, for it was the distance only that was grey and cold, and the distance I could see no longer” (Stevenson 4). Fall is described to be the best time of the year due to the change in color, the calmness of the insects, the movement of certain animals, and the aura of serenity that seemed to come over the land. The story continues of the author’s adventures throughout Great Britain taking in all of the autumnal force, before returning to London on a train to go back to everyday life.


Below is my best attempt to draw the author departing town to go into nature and experience fall: