Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why do we travel???

Why do we travel?

The endless pursuit of happiness, to meet people and learn about new places, because we can, to share our stories with others, to do things (ie. Kite/surf) that we can’t do at home, again because we can we believe we work so hard and do deserve extravagant vacations, to learn language and try new foods, to tell stories to our friends and families, to make life more interesting, relax, I really don’t know the answer, it’s probably a bit of all of the above.  When did travel become engrained in our culture?  When did we start deserving to travel?  Don’t get me wrong I do love it, but I think maybe for reasons that are not obvious.  I think I loved speaking broken Portuguese with the kids and practicing Yoga and Capoeira (Brazilian karate) with them in the front yard at night more than actually kiting their most amazing beaches and steady winds…  In Hatterass I think I enjoyed spending time with 60 other crazy kiters high on life more than actually spending time on the water connected to kite and board… 

I just finished reading two excellent books which I highly recommend.  The Indian Creek Chronicles about a young lad (21ish) a complete outdoors novice who spends 7 months basically alone in a canvas tent in the mountains of Montana.  It a great tale of wilderness and silence and being alone and taking the time to think and reflect and really enjoying nature.  He talks of his college friends and until recently himself in the pursuit of fun without thinking.  I wonder how much of that goes on in our pursuit of travel and holidays…  Fun without thinking.  If I think about it, I think I do this all the time.  The story ends in a great paradox where all the while he is craving the end of winter when the loneliness will end and he will get to go back to civilization, when it finally comes he misses the lonely forest with all the animals and the way of life he has come to love…

The other book was A Brave New World by Huxley.  A Utopia or Dystopia where civilization has advanced to the point where women no longer give birth to babies and there is no sorrow in society.  People live in constant happiness, everyone belongs to everyone, there are multiple lovers but no sole love, you don’t get to connected to anyone, they enjoy sex, drugs and recreation all the time.  Everyone knows there role in the world and plays it.  It sounds idyllic but is it? 

My roommate recently said there comes a point when there is a marginal return on fun.  Where you have maximized your enjoyment out of holidaying or kiting or partying and you need to get back to doing something that you may not really enjoy if only to really enjoy all that other stuff again. 

So arriving home from Brazil and what did I learn?  


  1. If you haven't read "Man's Search for Meaning", I highly suggest it on this topic.

  2. thanks Ben, just ordered from the library!!