In praise of travel in middle-income countries

Mexico, Turkey, and Brazil stand between “the developed world” and “the underdeveloped world.”  They are all diverse regionally.  They are different enough to be exotic, and wealthy enough to be comfortable.  On your trip you can move between worlds with ease.  They all have superb food and world-class sights.  They are not finished works, but rather they are in the process of creating themselves.  The journey is full of suspense.  Two of the three (not Brazil) are cheap to travel in.  Two of the three are safe.

Ankara is splendid, yet it receives few words of praise.  Imagine that by visiting the current city you would be witnessing a world from centuries away.  How you would swoon!  The markets, the intact buildings, the exotic foodstuffs, the political monuments, the dynamism of the human spirit there, fill in the desired travel cliche.  Suddenly you wake up and realize that you are viewing the Ankara of your own time.  Why should all of that swoon go away?

Drop your bias against the temporally proximate; ruins are ruined, Ankara is not.


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