There’s a fine, invisible thread (a bit like fishing line but much gentler) connecting each one of us with every other person and every little thing across the world and through time. When we travel, we have a marvellous opportunity to experience these connections, understand how others live, to know what the world is really like and, if we’re lucky, to grok our place in it.
To travel distances along this thread — and then back again — in order to simply see and interact with people and objects in other places is a “first world” privilege.
Contrary to Mark Twain, however, I believe that many of the insights garnered through a physical journey can be acquired by almost anyone who so chooses. It seems smug and unfair to presume that only travellers have access to a particular kind of broadmindedness.
Obviously, many people are never afforded the opportunity to explore outside their own neighbourhoods, while a great number choose not to for good reasons. For some, the discomfort or inconvenience of transporting themselves elsewhere is a major disincentive, while others may have financial, environmental or other conscientious concerns.
But that invisible thread remains in place, whether we physically pursue it or not. With so much information available now (at our fingertips if we really don’t want to move), we can very easily investigate and explore our links to other things in any number of directions. This might start to open our minds.
And if we regularly remind ourselves about the invisible connections between each of us and everything else, we might feel generous and sensuous and delighted and enquiring and grateful and curious and inspired about where we are right now.
We might adopt the attitude of an explorer and Travel at Home.