Alain de Botton, the same philosopher mentioned in part 1, and part 2 of this series, also speaks about the paradox of planes. There are two sets of people on one airplane – both with the same destination. one group is going back home, and another is going to a foreign country. One group has to go back to their old lives, and their old selves, probably experiencing a severe case of post holiday blues, especially on a Monday morning when they’re stuck in traffic on their way to work. Just as tourists should seek to experience the local life of their destination, tourists travelling back home should not stop being curious about the destination they’re going back to – home.
Post holiday blues
How can we feel less sad about coming back home? Probably by keeping the traveller’s mindset on even at home. Xavier de Maistre, a French writer, was furious at the way people ignored their own country. Instead of commenting on Times of Malta articles like the modern-day equivalent would, he wrote a book on how to stay at home instead of travelling. “A journey around my bedroom” is precisely what the name implies it is – a book on how to explore such a familiar place with the curiosity of a traveller. This is ultimately what determines the pleasure we get from journeys – our attitudes, as opposed to the destination. We should be able to find any place interesting, and to be travellers in our everyday lives as well.
This is part three of a series on this same subject. You can find the first part of it if you click here, and the second part if you click here. I’d love to know what you think of these posts – I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. 🙂