Once upon a time, before the average person could hop on a plane and see a desert/palm tree/iceberg/tiger for oneself, folks relied on artists' renderings (and later photography a la National Geographic) for visual knowledge of everything on the planet that did not exist in their immediate environment. Storytelling and imagination fleshed out the essence of such lands, such beasts, such humans.
15th Century painting of a Giraffe by Ming dynasty painter She Du (public domain)
I think this may happen again, in my lifetime. We will use up all the Earth's finite energy resources and won't have the capacity left to find and employ new ones. Then only soldiers, pirates, and the very wealthy will get the opportunity to travel great distances, especially via air. Only they will have first hand, primary visual experience of a foreign land and its inhabitants in person rather than in books (or on screen if there is any energy to power the equipment.)
So, I travel and document what I see as the essence of a place from life, while I still can. Acknowledging the inevitable outcome of our carefree ways with the planet's resources makes me so serious while on location. My focus intensifies. I treasure the moment. Seize the day. Can't relax much! Gotta paint.
I suppose enjoying drams of single malt is part of this as well. These won't always be so readily available. I know I am guilty. Cheers.