My own private Iceland (also via Mefi), critiquing “overtourism”. I live in one of the most touristed cities in the UK; in the summer months the street outside my office is heaving with visitors. I moved here in part on the basis of old memories of visiting it as a tourist. When I first visited the UK, the world’s population was two-thirds of what it is today, and air travel wasn’t as affordable as it became by the late 1990s; travelling in Europe felt less crowded. But I don’t pretend that makes my past tourism any better than today’s. It’s just an accident of timing.
The island where I grew up probably occupies a similar “end of the earth” position to Iceland in the minds of many, and has noticeably more tourists when I visit it nowadays. When I visit it nowadays, am I a tourist? Sometimes. I’ve been a tourist everywhere ever since leaving home half a lifetime ago, some of the time.