Jeremiah Rogers

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Exotic Becomes Normal

Monks becomes a tree. Chiang Mai, Thailand. 2015.

Once I’d travelled for a while I found that things didn’t feel strange anymore. I said that they didn’t feel exotic.

I said that Asia felt “normal”. That it wasn’t interesting to me anymore.

My friend Gareth responded, aptly, that “exotic” is a dirty word. Exotic is something we look for to mark what’s foreign. It’s a box we can put things in that are unfamiliar. It may give us an excuse to avoid exploring them further.

When something stops being “exotic” it really just means that it has become “normal”. What isn’t “exotic” is now a part of myself.

The world is better — I certainly think — when people understand things instead of labeling them as foreign or exotic.