Are You Ready For Some ‘Deep Travel’?
It has been a long haul, a very long haul. Two years ago, who knew that we would all experience such incredible feelings of frustration, anxiety, caution, anger and other emotions? So, before I ask you the question in the title, maybe I should explain what I mean by ‘Deep Travel’.
According to Author Tony Hiss, who wrote about it in his book, In Motion: The Experience of Travel, “Deep Travel is an exhilarating state of mind that travel can evoke, when everything seems suddenly fresh, vivid, intensely interesting, and memorable. Because you focus on what you’re looking at and listening to, Deep Travel is like waking up while already awake; things have a way of seeming emphasized, underlined. Travel can sometimes summon this kind of awareness automatically—we can all remember times when the world came alive unexpectedly—but we can also bring it to vibrant life voluntarily.”
I don’t know about you but I, for one, certainly need to ‘wake up while already awake’. I mean, even if you were fortunate like me and didn’t get COVID, somehow I still suffer plenty of ‘brain fog’. I meditate, I stretch every day, and have tried bringing forth ‘Deep Travel’ voluntarily. I walk three miles there and three more back in order to see my physiotherapist, taking different routes each time. I go skating outdoors once or twice a week. I pick up whatever I need to buy, whether from the supermarket or big box stores two miles from my home, by walking there and back and carrying whatever I buy. It still doesn’t quite seem to work. I obviously feel better by doing these walks, but my ‘brain fog’ persists. My local ‘walkabouts’ certainly don’t bring about ‘Deep Travel’.
Another wave of COVID seems to be winding down and country after country is opening up and declaring that it is time to accept this disease and learn to live it. The scientific world has come up with a long list of remedies and many more are on their way. And if our registrations for upcoming tours are any indication, many of us are ready to take the plunge and do what is necessary to move on.
Netflix, Apple TV and the internet are simply no substitute for living your life and travelling the world. Why is that? Well-known writer Paul Theroux, author of such books as The Great Railway Bazaar and Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town – a route we here at TDA know well as do many participants of the Tour d’Afrique trip – has put it this way, “If the internet were everything it is cracked up to be, we would all stay at home and be brilliantly insightful. Yet with so much contradictory information available, there is more reason to travel than ever before: to look closer, to dig deeper, to sort the authentic from the fake; to verify, to smell, to touch, to taste, to hear and sometimes — importantly — to suffer the effects of this curiosity.” What I like about this quote, beside the obvious points about travel, is the final seven words – ‘to suffer the effects of this curiosity’.
We cyclists generally know that no matter how careful you are, no matter how prepared you think you are, inevitably we will fall. We also know that most falls are minor, that we get up, dust ourselves off and move on. To quote Einstein, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Sometimes the consequences are more serious. In late October, while cycling on TDA’s Great American Roadtrip, I had a terrible crash and that is the reason that, four months later, I am still going for physiotherapy. It is a frustrating long haul, yet not for a minute did I consider not cycling again. In fact, I have registered for our company’s upcoming Morocco tour, and hope to even ride some other tours later this year. So, am I ready for some ‘Deep Travel’ and prepared to take some risks? You bet I am! Risks are part of life. Every aspect of life is a calculated risk, whether we acknowledge it or not. We sometimes calculate the risk and benefits of our own life in incredibly silly ways. So, after all this, are you ready for some ‘Deep Travel’?