Why I Read Liz Hamil Scott: "When I travel, I seek joy."

My neighbor, friend, and (metaphorically speaking) fellow traveler Liz has outdone herself today at Travels with Pain. No holds barred, she takes on Paul Theroux's article, Why We Travel," with an athletic intensity. Humor, grit, and a clear-eyed position on her own embodiment as a person with a disability marks Liz Hamill Scott's writing as a voice-that-will-be-heard. Liz Hamill Scott - 2.jpg


And that's good for us as the global disability community! 

Even though, as she points out with tongue in cheek, her refusal to perform the socially sanctioned scripts of "travelwriterdom" carry their own hazards to professional health:

I'm now going to admit something scandalous: I hate Paul Theroux. Not the man himself-I've never met him; he might be lovely in person. I hate Paul Theroux's writing. Yes, that pretty much revokes my membership to all travel writing guilds. Theroux is the golden boy of post-20th century travel writing.

Still, I wager that Liz's skills as a writer win out in the end - guild or no guild behind her. 

After a memorable one-line directive on animal husbandry, Paul, and his camel she makes the Inclusive Tourism marketing point with imagery that gives the raw statistics a human face:

 I bet it's never once occurred to Paul Theroux that there are, quite literally tens of millions of travelers out there who are in delicate health, as he so snarkily puts it. I certainly am. Physically weak, in constant pain, and prone to unpleasant bacterial infections in personal places, I don't need to travel to Somalia or Tibet to overcome adversity. I overcome adversity every time I travel to the supermarket around the corner.

My fiancé suggested that we might bottle up some tap water from Mexico City and let Theroux drink it on a nonstop plane trip from Mexico to Taiwan. He would get to overcome a whole bunch of travel adversity! His trip would look, smell, and feel remarkably like that which my friend Andrew, who suffers from severe Crohn's Disease, gets to experience every single day of his life.


She continues, "As a travel writer, I turn common difficulties into '10 tips' articles, while the weirder ordeals evolve into humor essays. "

With a kind reference to my recent note on Theroux's same article (and a reference to "our mutual adoration of polysyllabic verbiage") Liz leads us, once again, ever more deeply into the lived experience of invisible disabilities, keen perceptions, and travels with pain. 

Don't deny yourself the fun of reading her blog, Travels with Pain.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Recent Entries

TRANSED 2012: Pedestrian mobility & safety for livable communities
Image via WikipediaHere is an invitation to action from Subhash Chandra Vashishth:Most pedestrian pathways in Delhi are ill-designed from the perspective…
Why I Read Liz Hamil Scott: "When I travel, I seek joy."
My neighbor, friend, and (metaphorically speaking) fellow traveler Liz has outdone herself today at Travels with Pain. No holds barred, she takes…
Accessible Barbados? This Random Test Proves Encouraging!
Image via WikipediaHaving a particular interest in Barbados right now I cannot help but wonder what standards of accessibility  Regatta Travel…
Cidades Acessíveis - Uberlândia (Portuguese)
Parabéns a política pública da cidade, que trabalha para melhorar a acessibilidade, recebendo o reconhecimento da ONU como referência mundial…
First WHO World Report on Disability to be released June 9, 2011
Produced jointly by the World Health Organization and the World Bank, this publication reviews evidence about the global situation of…
According to the Times of India global standards of corporate social responsibility (CSR) are driving employment of people with disabilities…
India's Quiet Revolution: Inclusion in Employment and a Bit of Deaf Culture
Image via WikipediaSouth Delhi is learning to distinguish itself in a quiet way:The Costa Coffee outlet in South Delhi's Green…
Your Feedback: Disability Studies, Travel, and Justice
If I were to lead the workshop on Tourism & Social Justice today - instead of Friday June 17 at…