travel philosophy

Do you believe in the spirit of place?


The novelist and island writer Lawrence Durrell believed we are each aligned with certain places. This is where we do our best work because we resonate with the Spirit of Place.  He believed landscape is not a projection of the psyche — an interpretation of your surroundings based on your interior — but a tutelary spirit which guides the growth of personality and art. This isn’t an original...

Drifting Down to a New Sunrise


On the flight back, somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico, the feeling changed. I crossed some sort of invisible divide where I re-entered the life of the States: the life of work, obligation, responsibility and long hours. I dropped back into that weight as though it had never been lifted. It almost felt natural. But it’s not. I realized at that moment that Central America is a separate...

Cruising Through the Bu


    I’m just back from a couple weeks in LA, hanging with some of my magazine friends. Cruising through Malibu, walks on Santa Monica beach, shopping in Beverly Hills, and lunch on Sunset Blvd. Ahh, LA, you’ve got it all: a warm breeze, a coastline kissed by waves, fast cars and beautiful girls, and vast stretches of desert just over the next hill. That’s a place I could spend a...

Show Your Faces If You Dare


Clive J. from the UK asked: What do you know as a result of travel the rest of us don’t? I think the most important lessons are things we forget in the day to day, not things we don’t know. When you’re cut off out there on the road, the everyday frivolity of life at home – office politics, the rat race, “noble” ambitions, catching every episode of some stupid...

Silver Drops on Thirsty Lands


  It’s necessary to be alone to become fully aware of the way that music recalls the past, provides a soundtrack to the present, and gives hope for the future. For those of us who travel alone, music fills those empty nights closed in by the walls of concrete rooms. And it entrances us on long journeys by bus or rail, occupying the conscious mind and allowing insight to float up from...

How Deep Are Those Lines Between Countries?


  Borders signify change and a new beginning. They’re a crossing over into unknown territory, evoking feelings of possibility that contain great hope as well as great fear. But borders are also a closing off. When we enter new terrain, we’re closing off what came before both physically and philosophically. We can never go back. Nature allows no birth without a corresponding death...

Don’t Be Seduced by Immediacy


  I came across a quote last week that I want to share with you. It’s taken from a letter that Charles Darwin—the Father of Evolution—wrote at the end of his life. He said: “Up to the age of 30, or beyond it, poetry gave me great pleasure. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out...

You Can’t Buy All Your Dreams


All travelers agree that no trip has the same soul-shaking impact of that first time you set out alone on the road. Looking back, I can see how necessary it had been for me to go to Central America. I had to leave home to acquire the necessary vision and experience, to come to an understanding of what it is to live for living’s sake.  There are times when we know that the way we are living...

Numen of Regret


  It’s strange to think that after everything, when it’s all over, you just quit. Your light simply goes out and you are no more. What I find saddest about that whole notion is all the questions left unanswered when we die. Nothing will be solved. No one will tell us what it was really all about. How we did. Worst of all, we’ll never find the answers to all those nagging...


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