I have often heard people who normally travel widely claim that I cannot "get" a place until I have physically visited it and "seen it with my own eyes".
But is that really true?
I basically never traveled. Some of the reasons for this are: lack of money, fear of flying, fear of the bulls / thugs in sketchy countries, the complete lack of privacy (especially nowadays), not enjoying being with people, not being social at all, I have nobody with whom I can travel, a general inability to "get along" in general even when I live and grew up (let alone in a completely foreign environment) and not have the "peace of mind" to simply "see the world" (which I do think that's very selfish) etc.
Anyway, me to have I've seen very high definition video / audio from anywhere on this planet (assuming, of course, they didn't somehow fake everything, which seems extremely unlikely). For many years. Both in films, television series, documentaries, news reels, online videos of various types and in recent years in live streams from exotic and less exotic locations of all kinds.
Of course, if someone were to film (or even allow me to make) the place where I grew up and then show it to someone around the world, I wouldn't consider him "understood" what it means to me . But then again, I wouldn't expect that even if they had come here physically and seen it with their own eyes. (And not just because it has been changed / ruined since then.)
Maybe people who say this mean I can't know how people would treat me just because they treated the person filming / streaming X well / badly? And of course there can be many things that are not shown in the video / stream. For example, someone thinks local women are extremely attractive and loves foreigners, but doesn't say that in a documentary. This is an example of information that I would be missing if I only watched a video / stream from one place.
Overall, however, I think that I understand practically every "well-known" place on this planet very well, because there are nice and cheap massage places in numerous "poor" countries and that there are different nice places, but I also know how poorly cared for their buildings and how poorly the animals are treated, how dangerous it is and how easy it is to be cheated etc.
Although I don't pretend to be "well traveled", I wonder if my collective understanding of the world is not correct by watching so many different videos of different types, often without talking / music / editing, at least "quite enough" to determine that it is not worth it for me to put a fortune of my poor savings in some of the places that I find most attractive.
As miserable as it sounds, I am "satisfied" in many ways with "being" in these places in my head, supported by the video / audio material. In some cases, when I had a VR headset, I "visited" some places in VR that were as impressive as technology allows.
Yes it could Be it that when I arrive in China, all the beautiful Chinese girls flock around me and attack me with kisses and hugs and treat me like a famous superstar. I am sure that many male travelers hope to do so. In reality, however, I would probably just be another stupid tourist, and the only girls who speak to me are part of a gang of scams. When I fast forward an hour, I notice that my wallet is gone, just like these charming young ladies who just wanted to take a photo with the "exotic foreigner".
What I'm saying is that given that I'm "at home" (here) an anti-social loser, I strongly doubt that changing the scene would change anything. I honestly have no interest in walking around with a camera and shopping in shops that sell identical items to tourists, and I've often wondered what travel is all about and how there can be so many people doing so much Pay money and spend so much time, energy and enthusiasm with it.
It would be different if I was specially invited by a royal family or if I were rich in my own superyacht or if I had to inspect a factory of mine or the like. Then there would be a good reason for me to be there instead of desperately hoping that "good things" would happen to me just because I am far from home.