Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom.
What’s the point of travel?
It’s to help make us into better people. It’s a sort of therapy without anything mystical being meant by this. All of us are in one way or another on what could be termed an inner journey; that is, we’re trying to develop in particular ways.
In a nutshell, the point of travel is to go to places that can helps us in our inner evolution. The outer journey should assist us with the inner one.
Evey location in the world contains qualities that can support some kind of beneficial change inside a person
Take these two hundred million year old stones in america’s Utah desert, it’s a place but looked at psychologically, it’s also an inner destination, a place with perspective, free of preoccupation with the petty in small-minded, somewhere imbute with calm and resilience
Religions used to take travel much more seriously than we do now
For them, it was a therapeutic activity. In the Middle Ages, when there was something wrong with you, you were meant to head out for pilgrimage to commune with relics of the saint to remember of the Holy Family
We no longer believe in the defined power of journeys
In an ideal world, travel agencies will be meant by new kind of psychotherapist. They take care not just of the flights and the hotels, they’d start by finding out what was wrong with us and how we might want to change.
The anxious might be sent to see the majestic immemorial waves crashing into the cliffs on the west coast of Ireland, people a bit too concerned with being admired and famous might be sent to contemplate the ruins of Detroit. Someone out of touch with their body might be recommended a trip to Porto Seguro in Bahia, Brasil
Nowadays too often we head off without fully knowing what’s wrong with us or precisely understanding how your chosen destination is meant to help us.
We should become MORE conscious travelers on a well-articulated search for qualities the places possess like calm, perspective, sensuality…
We should follow old-fashioned pilgrims in striving to evolve our characters according to the suggestions offered up by the places we’ve been to.
We need to relearn had to be ambitious about travel seeing it as a way of helping us to grow into better versions ourselves.