HOW WE TRAVEL: AN INTRODUCTION AND INVITATION
Many first-rate Web sites are devoted to improving the “outside” part of the travel experience – with reliable information about where to go and what to avoid, what to pack, and how to get there faster and cheaper. Howwetravel.org is the first Web site to focus on making the “inside” part of the travel experience as good as it can get, so that whenever we’re headed anywhere and however we’re getting there, moving around can be as richly rewarding as the rest of our lives, not just something to get through or put up with. The trip itself – even a walk around the block – can become a second destination.
There’s always more to travel than the dimensions we’re already good at thinking about, such as comfort, safety, and reliability – essential as those dimensions are. Because of the way our minds are constructed, there’s constantly an “extra aspect” to traveling because, unlike other living creatures, when our bodies are in motion, our minds accelerate, too, often in unexpected ways. In Motion explores this “hidden dimension” of travel – a talent, an ability, a capacity, an intelligence built into all us that everyone has experienced at one time or another. Whenever it appears, it makes everything around us vivid, memorable, intensely interesting. I call this state of mind Deep Travel. It feels like waking up while already awake – or like crossing an invisible, unmarked frontier from the familiar into the new, the not-yet-known, the waiting-to-be discovered.
So how is it “hidden,” if everyone has already experienced Deep Travel, at least now and then? Because, oddly, although Deep Travel is one of the three most prominent waking states of the human mind – along with daydreaming and focused attention – it has yet to find an official place in our modern understanding of ourselves: in the learning or teaching we encounter in schools and colleges; in the way businesses operate; in the way we put together the places we all live in and move through. “Hidden in plain sight” perhaps comes closer to it. The schools we attend as preparation for life pay a great deal of attention to the two states of mind we recognize easily – and in the process determinedly spend years trying to suppress daydreaming in order to encourage and train focused, pinpoint attention. And all the while ignoring the wider awareness of Deep Travel almost completely – what it notices, how it functions, and where it comes from; the many gifts it offers us, such as the way it reconnects us to larger “heres” and longer “nows.”
Deep Travel makes a rich contribution to human fulfillment unlike any other, and we can reclaim it as our own by no longer treating it as a stepsister of the mind. Deep Travel gives us the full and regular use of all our waking abilities – meaning the complete 3/3rds of our waking minds. What a good time to get to know it better, in the second decade of a confusing and challenging century, a period when, more than ever, we’ll need to have all our wits about us to survive and thrive as individuals, as a society, as a species. Fortunately, the wider awareness of Deep Travel is something we can easily familiarize ourselves with, learning to enter and leave it at will, by choice rather than by chance. I’m looking forward to a time when we’re all Deep Travelers. But we’ll get there a lot quicker if we pool our understanding, such as what we’ve discovered as commuters and travelers; and how we can strengthen the “experiential infrastructure” of travel; and by encouraging the people who design, build, and run the transportation systems we all rely on to do a better job of surrounding our trips with the kind of stimulus that can evoke Deep Travel around every turn.
Working together as Deep Travelers – that’s the premise of this Web site and its interactive forums. Here are places for people to post their own Deep Travel accounts and offer insights about Deep Travel they’ve found in literature; to offer tips about entering Deep Travel effortlessly and using it more effectively; to bring up ideas that could quickly begin transforming modern transportation systems.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE DEEP TRAVEL EXPERIENCE?