We have always been a nomadic species. In a relatively short period of time, we have evolved from discovering how to use fire and simple tools, to a people who can create computers and sky-scrapers and artificial organs. For all these incredible advances, somewhere along the way we have, for the most part, become sedentary; no longer roaming as we once did. But the desire, the instinct to wander is still strong in us. Perhaps it's why we build submarines and rockets, ships and trains. The need to explore and to go to uncharted places is so deep in our souls that no amount of comfort or industry can remove our desire to hit the open road.
Because of this manufactured production and synthetic enterprise, we’ve built ourselves into a pretty artificial world. I mean, there’s a hotel in Las Vegas that has a fake beach. It’s only 4 hours from the actual beach. It’s like we have confused ourselves into thinking that our inventions can even compare to the things the universe created. We are the only species who tries to adapt our environment to our desires.
We are testing the bounds of convenience and greed. We’re just learning the perimeters of our own capabilities. And there’s plenty of good to come of that. The irony is, we make things so easy and automatic that they don’t leave much to the imagination. We’ve imagined ourselves away from our imagination. Turning off and unplugging is the only way we can recharge.
Because our brains are, in a sense, still in the stone age, we sometimes feel anxious in big cities. Our biology hasn’t caught up to our output of production. We are like cavemen living in an industrialized society. So we feel stressed and overwhelmed. We feel like we need a vacation, a break from all the incredible things our brain has designed. So we seek out our natural habitat. We run to the mountains, aching to climb them. We jump in the sea, desperate to ride it’s waves. We climb the trees and wander the deserts. We want to hear silence and be still. The way we were designed to exist is what we now call a vacation.
I wonder if future humans will feel most comfortable in a computerized concrete world; if virtual reality will replace the real world. And is there a ceiling we will hit that will send us plummeting back down to earth? Our simple tools are starting to look meek in the shadow of the more evolved inventions. Someday our airplanes will look clunky and ancient. We will laugh at our gas powered cars and incandescent light bulbs.
I swore I’d never use a GPS, that my Rand McNally road atlas was all I needed. With it’s dogeared and ripped pages, filled with notes I made of where to stop for a good breakfast or a cheap motel. My constant companion, my navigator. And I'll be the first to admit that Google Maps is great. But you can’t hang it on your wall. My home is filled with maps. They are wonderful works of art.
Although now that we’ve charted most every inch of the Earth, some of the mystery is gone. Our maps no longer say ‘here be monsters’ on the all the unexplored seas. But that doesn’t diminish the desire to traverse those places. In some ways, it heightens it. Because it’s even more marvelous than we could have imagined, and far more brilliant than we could ever create.
Even with a map, it’s still possible to get lost. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Personalized World Travel Map available at http://www.spreesy.com/kindredsolcollective