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34 Chapitre 1 De l’errance à la rencontre Un texte toujours d’actualité qui résonne dans une bonne partie du globe. C’est effectivement la course à la conquête, à la découverte, à l’exploitation, au profit qui engendrera plus tard ce que nous appelons le tourisme. Si certains auteurs, dont Gilbert Sigaux (1965), font remonter l’origine du tourisme jusque dans l’antiquité gréco-romaine, ses racines lointaines, tout au moins en Occident, sont plutôt à glaner quelque part du côté de l’Europe médiévale et sans doute des croisades, ces pèlerinages sacrés qui, sous forme de jihad chrétiens, ont inauguré on ne peut plus mal la « rencontre » entre des cultures différentes.

Et si, dans un ultime et méritoire effort, ils essaient d’aller voir par eux-mêmes les lieux de leur choix (et non de les laisser venir à eux comme les y invitent la télévision et les spécialistes de l’“entertainment”), ce sont encore et d’abord des images qui les y accueillent » (Augé, 1997 : 11-12). À l’instar des derniers peuples « oubliés » qui se visitent à travers le globe, la liberté de voyager est en voie de disparition. Le monde devient tel qu’on nous le montre et non plus tel qu’il est.

Ne serait-ce que pour aller vérifier par soi-même ; goûter aux joies de l’effort et aux surprises de l’imprévu ; au plaisir de se 31 Désirs d’Ailleurs faire peur, de connaître et de repousser ses limites. Le voyage est une thérapie contre la pensée unique, un vade-mecum contre le train-train qui tue plus sûrement que le changement. Fuite en avant ? Pas si sûr, mais pourquoi pas ? Si “partir c’est mourir un peu”, rester, c’est s’enterrer beaucoup », précise, non sans brio, Jacques Lacarrière, dans la présentation d’un numéro du Monde de l’Éducation consacré au voyage (mai 1997 : 19).

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