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Place is wherever you’re sitting, standing, lying down, wherever you are as you read this.

Place is the totality of feelings you have for where you are right now.

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Destination is how you imagined it would be before you got there.

Destination is how you would describe it to other people.

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Place has an inherent (if forgotten or unobserved) name and story.

Place is where people live, die, raise families, each with their own names and stories.

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Destination is how their names and stories and how their places’ names and stories are advertised.

Destinations are inhabited by “locals.”

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Place is defined by time, so the story of a place is never finished.

As place is defined by time, we can “return” to place in memories and dreams.

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Destinations exist outside of time, so their stories may be written in one sentence.

As destinations exist outside of time, they cannot be the setting for memory or dreams.

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Think about the word “birthplace.”

Think about the word “graveyard.”

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Compare this with the word “nationality.”

Compare this with the word “passport.”

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It’s easy to simultaneously inhabit place and destination; we do it every day on the internet.

It’s easy to simultaneously inhabit place and destination; we do it every day when we write.

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Wendell Berry said, “There are no unsacred places; / there are only sacred places / and desecrated places.”

Writing

 

About The Author

David Miller

David Miller is Senior Editor of Matador (winner of 2010 and 2011 Lowell Thomas awards for travel journalism) and Director of Curricula at MatadorU. Follow him @dahveed_miller.

  • Stanley Gray

    Thanks David, You put Place Vs Destination in perspective for us.

  • Nicky Classen

    Good read:)

  • Nicky Classen

    Good read:)

  • Travel Media PEI

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

  • Travel Media PEI

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

  • Travel Media PEI

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

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