Is travel all in the mind?

Travel and brochures and illusions - Rino Breebaart


  1. This is exactly my primary reason for disliking travel. No place is really better than where you are if you keep a habit of entertaining yourself regardless of your surroundings. In most cases travel just means annoying, unfamiliar customs and people, and an uncomfortable bed.

  2. Ted - agreed. I sometimes get the nasty feeling it's the transferral of boredom from one place to another. That silly need to be entertained all the time. Like those British tour guided/leisure trips to Ibiza with their manic must-do team activities and the like (ugh, shudder).

    But then there's another part of travel which is the expansive side: the seeing how other people live and interact - the wonder of the difference-in-the-similar, the different and alluring smell of fields in the French countryside, knowing there's a vineyard over the hill. etc.

    I'm in two minds about it...

  3. I love that phrase, "the transferral of boredom". How true! I often expect that it will be a different me at the destination - one with a sunnier disposition, a tolerance for crowds, feet that don't ache, and a brain that doesn't ask -- "I came all this way for what, again?"

    I plan my vacations at least two full months in advance so I can bask in the anticipation of it, browsing and admiring pictures of the destination even if I have been there before and know the reality of it (the triumph of hope over experience). For the most part, I opt for urban vacations over resorts, so thankfully I'm not looking to be blown away by the scenery.

    I agree it's all in the mind - once I have made my travel arrangements, I find myself instantly calm and content, and if anything happens to ruffle my feathers, I can just think ahead to my impending trip and smile. The first day after I return from vacation is rather depressing, of course...

    On the topic, have you seen this:

  4. Adwoa - that's a good piece. I'm starting to suspect the same.

    Maybe a new holiday is the offline holiday - where you simply don't access the net for a week, by any means. No mobiles, no laptops, no YouTube. Sounds ghastly - but also free!

    I like the anticipation of a break too. When I'm actually on the break I can't stop myself thinking: it's tuesday, halfway through. It's saturday, nearly over. One more day. Got to enjoy it now! ANd then, monday comes around and it's like I need a post-holiday to process the fact I've been away at all - and had no decompression back to work.

    It sounds like I'm incredibly hard to please! But really, it might be an inability to focus on quality time when it happens. And quality time happens all the time, not just in exotic locations.

  5. While it may not be for everyone, the virtual escape of console and computer gaming has been giving me (and those like me) mini-vacations for many years. And the more immersive the game, the more it lets you let go of reality and kind of "refresh".

    There is often a fine line between going overboard and playing "too much", but when you can balance it with your own reality, the need for a vacation to get away is no longer a need. I can "get away" for a couple hours every night, if I so choose, so a physical vacation becomes something more of an exploration event and really any new place will do.

  6. I know exactly what you mean by 'complicit' in the illusion. I do the same whenever I'm at a 'honey-pot' destination. I try to make a picture postcard view. I'll even go as far as getting someone to wear a red T-shirt and provide some foreground interest. The bluer the sky and the fluffier the clouds, the better. Once I have taken a few pictures like that, I can get on with making more 'creative' images. And I suppose some of your concerns are what prompted me to explore VR panoramas. Just like being there. Went out yesterday afternoon and made one of a local attraction.

  7. PS: deek: I don't play games but I do get a sort of 'holiday' experience when I trawl through the posts of the Typosphere. Maybe we need a holiday poster...The Typosphere is so bracing!

  8. Anonymous3:05 am

    For me vacation and travel don't always go together, or, don't need to. If we want to explore a new place, then that is for the sake of going to do something interesting. However, if we want to rest and relax, we can do that at home or on a beach in Hawaii or anywhere, really. In fact, the lovely Mrs. and I were just talking about how it would be nice to find a little cabin in the woods near us (like, within an hour or two) where there is no option of internet or anything like that, just to be able to head out on a weekend to relax and enjoy.

    Regarding the travel brochure thing, we once went on a trip to New York City with my wife's sister and her husband. The hotel was in the heart of downtown, and was super-cheap. It looked okay; not luxurious but simple and good. Well, when we got there, the beds were broken, window shades were tattered and torn, and the showers... Well, you wouldn't want to step in one with shoes on. So we bailed and found a more expensive place that was actually clean. The place's website, however, made it seem pretty decent. Apparently they had a good photographer... :)

  9. Mr SNohomish - agreed - I think everyone needs a place in the country and a place in the town. It sounds incredibly bourgeois and all that, but damn it - we need more nature and space in our lives. We all need a lo-fi home without all the connections and trappings.

    Travel is good because of variety and different culttures/ways of life, but I increasingly feel like wanting to focus on the detail of the here and now. Mindful travel. Or such.


Nice comments are welcome!