Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Leisure, travel.  ---  .This section is about travel.  Topics include:   ---  1/24/2006

Leisure, travel.  ---  (1) How much or little you take (knowledge and tools).  Sometimes it helps to know vs. going in blank.  (2) How much or little you interact and learn about your environment.  How much or little you interact with and learn about you.  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  (1) One variable is how far you travel from your home.  (A) What if you don't have a home?  Then you are always traveling.  (B) What if your home is everywhere?  Then you are not traveling.  (2) Another variable is how far you travel from your familiar culture.  (A) What if your culture has always seemed strange to you?  Then you are always traveling.  (B) What if your culture has spread everywhere?  Then you are not traveling.  ---  11/12/2005

Leisure, travel.  ---  (1) Physical: where your body goes.  (2) Mental: where your head goes.  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  (1) Traveling poor is not the same thing as traveling rich.  (2) Traveling in a group is not the same thing as traveling alone.  (3) Traveling without knowledge is not the same thing as traveling with knowledge (be it the knowledge of general life experiences, the knowledge of traveling in general, or the knowledge of the specific route and cultures involved).  (4) Traveling without a destination is not the same as traveling with a destination.  ---  6/1/2001

Leisure, travel.  ---  (1) Uncertainty, risk.  (2) Self reliance, independence, freedom (if alone).  (3) Fear/courage, character development.  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  Adventure: risk (actual and perceived).  Exploration and discovery of newness.  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  An argument for travel is that everyday, repetitious, routine life lulls us into inattention.  Travel to new places and cultures puts us into a brain state of heightened awareness and excitement that can help us see more.  (2) Also, the ability to look at your own culture from outside your own culture is productive and valuable.  ---  1/15/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  Argument for travel.  There is an analogy between society and individuals that goes something like this: (1) Individuals tend to be neurotic, and if you grow up and live with just a few individuals then you tend to pick up and replicate their neuroses because that is all you have been exposed to and that is all you know.  However, if you are exposed to a large number and wide variety of individuals, the net effect is that the various neuroses tend to offset each other and cancel each other out, thus increasing the chances of producing a healthy individual.  (2) So it is with cultures.  Cultures tend to be neurotic in one way or another.  If all you know is a single culture then you tend to pickup and replicate the neuroses of that culture.  But if you are exposed to a large number and wide variety of cultures then the cultural neuroses tend to offset and cancel out each other, thus increasing the chances of producing a healthy individual.  This is why traveling through many types of cultures is good.  ---  3/30/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  Arguments for and against travel.  (1) Arguments against travel.  (A) The westernization of the cultures of the world has led to the homogenization of world culture.  Since every place is the same, why travel?  (B) People are basically the same wherever you go.  Human nature is basically the same wherever you go.  The details like food or clothes may differ from culture to culture, but life is basically the same wherever you go.  So why travel?  (C) Life in the USA, especially Manhattan is about as good as it gets.  We are blessed with freedom in this country.  Freedom to pursue our chosen fields to the fullest.  It does not get much better.  So why travel?     (2) Arguments for travel.  (A) Change of scenery can bring new ideas and thus, life-changing revelations.  (B) See yourself and your life from a more objective outside perspective.  ---  1/27/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  Arguments for traveling.  (1) At a certain age people have a healthy urge to see the world.  First-hand experience for metaphysical certainty.  (2) It pays to leave the culture you were raised in.  See the world from outside your native culture.  (3) To travel to the other side of the world is a healthy exercise of will, and leaves one feeling empowered.  (4) The sense of freedom.  The sense of independence and self-reliance.  (5) The sense of exploration and curiosity.  We all need, as individuals, to discover.  (6)(A) Meeting people.  So many.  So beautiful.  (B) See the earth.  The big, vast, fragile, beautiful earth.  Teeming with life.  (C) See what man has wrought.  (7) Decide if you can trust the news.  (8) See the other side of the tracks.  See how the other half lives.  You don't need to travel far to do this.  Usually just across the tracks.  (9) Change of scenery.  Get off the sofa.  Get out of the house.  (10)  The social status of "outsider" or "visitor" is one where people will often be friendly to you and open up to you, telling you things they will not tell their friends.  (11) Reinvent yourself.  Start a new life.  (12) Find yourself.  ---  2/17/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  Epistemology of travel: Are we there yet?  ---  9/25/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  How far a distance do you travel?  How long a time do you travel?  ---  11/12/2005

Leisure, travel.  ---  I think that there are at least two phenomena involved when we talk about travel.  One is a type of "nomadism" which holds that it does not matter where you go as long as you are going.  Movement for movement's sake.  Travel for travel's sake.  It is not the destination, it is the journey that is important.  The other is a type of expatriatism which holds that there is something better about another place which makes it desirable to go live there.  Be that desirable attribute the geography, the people, or even the water.  (Conventional expatriatism holds that there is something bad about where one currently resides which makes it preferable to live anywhere else.)  I think that both of these phenomena, nomadism and expatriatism, are perfectly valid.  I do not think there is anything intrinsically wrong with either of them.  However, there are two points I would like to make.  Firstly, geographic inclinations are subjective.  There is no objectively best place for everyone to go.  Secondly, geographic inclinations are widely considered to be a matter of taste.  That is to say, a matter of aesthetics.  One should go visit or go live wherever one likes.  People generally visit where they like the scenery.  To make travel and place of residence a matter of ethics is to say that there are places that one should go in order to improve one's physical or psychological health.  There is also the fine pointed ethical questions "Where can I do the most good?", which hinges on questions like, "What do I do best?", and "What needs most to be done?"  ---  2/20/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  Its more adventurous to travel poor, alone, without experience and without a destination.  Also more dangerous.  ---  6/1/2001

Leisure, travel.  ---  Many young adults are attracted to the idea of travel to far off destinations.  However, arriving at a destination is not as important as the idea of learning to travel and the idea of leaving your current location (i.e., being anywhere but here).  ---  5/29/2001

Leisure, travel.  ---  More arguments against travel.  (1) Ecological arguments.  Pollution of jet airplane fuel production and consumption.  (2) Tropical diseases.  (3) Transportation accidents.  Plane crashes.  Train and bus crashes.  Car crashes.  (4) The trip we need to make is more internal than external.  More psychological than physical.  ---  2/17/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  People who often travel sometimes have a travel-snob attitude.  It is their defense mechanism.  ---  3/6/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  The reason for physical travel is to spur mental travel.  You don't need the former to do the latter.  You can sit in one spot and your mind can roam the earth.  ---  4/28/1998

Leisure, travel.  ---  The road: types of people you meet there.  Reasons why they go there: subjective, objective.  What they find there.  What they get out of what they find.  What they want to do and why.  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  There are two main travel situations.  (1) You travel from your familiar culture to an unfamiliar culture for a short time and notice how strange the unfamiliar culture seems to you.  (2) You travel from your familiar culture to an unfamiliar culture and stay for a period of time long enough for the unfamiliar to become familiar and for the formerly familiar to become unfamiliar.  Then when you travel back "home" you see it with new eyes.  ---  8/22/2002

Leisure, travel.  ---  Travel = change.  Those who must constantly change and have a constantly changing environment vs. those who need to remain the same in a static environment.  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  Travel often leads to increased interaction, communication, toleration and cosmopolitanism.  Lack of travel often produces isolation.  Modern technology offers increased opportunity for travel.  ---  11/12/2005

Leisure, travel.  ---  Travel.  (1) Tourist, visitor, traveler, dynamic, movement vs. Local, townie, static, tourist trap.  (2) We are all tourists now.  We are all travelers now.  (3) And so nothing is authentic anymore.  Or maybe anything can be authentic and everything is authentic.  (4) We surf the web today.  To surf is to travel.  We travel the web.  The web is a road.  No more stasis.  (5) You can stay at home, but the road starts in your room now.  The web is on your desk.  No more hiding from the world.  (6) Kerouac was right, we are on the road, but its a mental road, a road of ideas.  ---  8/24/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  Travel.  (1) Travel lets you step back and take a look at your self, your life, and your world.  (2) Two types of travel.  Travel to get somewhere.  Travel to get away from somewhere.  ---  05/18/1997

Leisure, travel.  ---  Traveling light.  The ultimate form of traveling light is to take only a credit card and a change of drawers.  ---  8/1/1998

Leisure, travel.  ---  Two types of travel.  (1) Travel and returning home.  (2) Travel and staying there.  Moving.  Changing one's place of residence.  ---  10/5/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  Two types of travel.  (1) Traveling with a destination, a route and a schedule.  (2) Traveling without a destination, without a route, and without a schedule.  Travel for travel's sake.  Wandering.  ---  6/7/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  Ways to travel.  (1) Minimalism, survival, few items, much knowledge.  (2) High tech, money, lightweight, bombproof, multi-functional.  (3) Ecological, natural materials.  (4) Inexpensive gear, a little heavier.  (5) Deluxe, luxury, expensive, big, heavy, bloated, many excess items.  ---  1/20/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  When a modern human goes on a trip and travels to a new place, his or her awareness is heightened.  He or she absorbs more in a day, and remembers it longer, than all the months spent repetitiously commuting to a job.  (2) Explorers and artists are people who like to pursue the new, who bore easily, and who dislike repetition.  Whereas conservatives are people who like tradition, repetition and ritual, because the new makes them anxious and change makes them uncomfortable.  (3) Much of individual personality and society as a whole can be explained by people's feelings about the new.  Brain states of excitement, boredom and awareness play a big part in feelings about the new.  ---  1/15/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  When a nomad settles down permanently in one spot then that is a strange journey.  ---  11/12/2005

Leisure, travel.  ---  When every town looks the same it is like traveling in a circle and returning to the same town.  ---  10/25/2004

Leisure, travel.  ---  When every train station looks the same, and the scenery between the train station looks the same, then that is not what I call traveling.  Its like going back and forth between two identical stations.  Like going to and from work and home every day.     PART TWO.  When every town looks the same, and the scenery between the towns looks the same, you may as well be traveling back and forth between two identical towns.  What is the use of driving when each town looks the same and the scenery on the road is unchanging?  I might as well be driving back and forth between two identical towns.  Like driving back and forth between home and work.  ---  2/24/2002

Leisure, travel.  ---  When it comes to travel, it does not matter anymore whether a person from any nation visits any other nation.  The only two things that matter in travel today are: (1) People from the country visit the city, and people from the city visit the country.  That is, people are looking for a change of  environment.  (2) Poor people pretend to be rich, and rich people pretend to be poor.  That is, people are looking for a change in their self-image.  (This is a separate issue from the country-city issue).  ---  10/12/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  When you become a cosmopolitan.  When the world goes global.  You don't just lose national pride.  You lose regional color.  You lose a sense of place.  It is all blue sky and earthly gravity.  When every place is the same there is no place anymore.  ---  3/29/2001

Leisure, travel.  ---  Where go, how go (psychological, physical), and what do?  ---  12/30/1992

Leisure, travel.  ---  Why do people travel?  People who travel want a change, they want something different.  (Secondarily, people want fun, excitement and relaxation).  (2) But different food, clothes and languages are trivialities and do not constitute a real change.  (3) Its about boredom vs. curiosity.  Its about the new and different.  Its about change vs. no change.  (4) Some people go to the same beach house or winter cabin every year for twenty-five years.  For other people, if they are familiar with a culture they see no need to revisit that culture.  ---  10/12/2000

Leisure, travel.  ---  Why I stopped.  Travel became not fun and not interesting.  It became a pain and a bore.  ---  08/24/1994

Leisure, travel.  ---  You can be running away from something or running toward something.  ---  4/13/2001

Leisure, travel.  ---  Young people (teens) often feel a strong urge to travel.  I think it is a healthy urge.  I felt the urge to travel when I was young, and I traveled widely, enjoyed it and learned a lot.  I don't travel much today.  Don't begrudge me and I won't begrudge you.  I have nothing against other people traveling.  I just ask them to consider the environmental impact of their mode of travel.  ---  4/13/2001

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.