You must’ve had some unpleasant experiences with some snooty travelers to be so bitter. I confess that I too may be guilty of some of the truths in your article.
But still, you judge people’s comfort zones quite harshly.
I agree that if your idea of travel is going to Cancún (as Dmitriy said) then you don’t have much to brag about, nor would I consider it a mind stretching experience. The same goes for all exclusive resorts, whether they be Puerto Rico, the DR, or wherever.
If you go to the DR, rent a car, dodge the motos and the guaguas, spend time in the bateyes. Eat what they’re eating. Then you’re getting an eye-opening experience. But not everyone can handle that level of excitement.
I live in a rural part of Virginia where neighbors fly the Confederate flag. They would benefit from a trip to New York or even Washington DC. They might realize that there are a lot more Brown people out there than they thought, and a lot of them are quite good people.
I completely agree with your last sentiment. Engaging the local culture, getting outside of the tourist areas, communicating when there is no common language. In my case for example, being the only white guy in an Asian hawker stall trying to buy mystery soup for lunch. These are the kind of memories that last.