Friday, January 11, 2013

Vagabonding


Passed to me randomly by Kelly and yet I have come to read this book twice because it is thin and because I felt that I have read it too quickly the first time round. 

You can read it as a philosophy book, some beautiful lines: 

Work is how you settle your financial and emotional debts - so that the travels are not an escape from your real life but a discovery of your real life. 

The Freedom to go vagabonding has never been determined by income level; it's found through simplicity - the conscious decision of how to use what income you have. 

Despite several millennia of such warning, however, there is still an overwhelming social compulsion - an sanity of consensus, if you will - to get rich from life rather than live richly, to " do well" in the world instead of living well. 

Money, of course, is still needed to survive, but time is what you need to live. So, save what little money you possess to meet survival requirements, but spend your time lavishly in order to create the life values that makes the fire worth the candle. 

Travel by its very nature demands simplicity.  You can't stuff everything you won into a backpack, you can't match the scaled-down minimalism that travel requires. 

In this way, simplicity - both at home and on the road - affords you the time to seek renewed meaning in an oft- neglected commodity that can't be bought at any price.: Life itself.

"I don't want to hurry it.  That itself is a poisonous twentieth- century attitude,.When you want to hurry something, that means that you no longer care about it and want to get on to other things." Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. 

Dean maccannell in the book "The Tourist"-  "The individual act of sightseeing is probably less important than the ceremonial ratification of authentic attractions as objects of ultimate value... The awful act of common between the tourist and attraction is less important than the image or the idea of society that the collective act generates."

In other words, tourist attractions are defined by their collective popularity, and that very popularity tends to devalue the individual experience of such attractions.

That is why vagabonding is not to be confused with vacation , where the only goal is to escape.  With escape in mind, vacationers tend to approach their holiday with grim resolve, determined to make their experience live up to their expectations; on the vagabonding road, prepare for the long haul knowing that the predictable and unpredictable, the pleasant  and the unpleasant are not separate but part of the same ongoing reality. 

The problem with marijuana , however, is that it's the travel equivalent of watching television: It replaces real sensations with artificially enhanced ones.  Because it does not force you to work for a feeling, it creates passive experiences that are only vaguely connected to the rest of your life. 


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