Hours in transit are mental junk food

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves - that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. p56

Lake in Hyderabad, India

I saw creamsicle orange indicating a sunset in a day dream state, and I realized I had spent an entire day moving but stationary, interacting with the world only enough to coexist but losing myself in the thoughts of life and safari animals.

I traveled from Cape Town to an annex of Kruger National Park, and I realized I was adult enough to be so consumed with my inner state to not need a physical distraction. While my day dreams do center around real world experiences, oddly I can go without that kind of interaction for hours, days, when I have the freedom to explore them mentally…in transit.

My body hates me, both in the mornings and on long trips, but my mind feasts on the time available because we haven’t yet figured out teleportation or time travel. Who would want to, when we have the mental capacity that we do…that we don’t even know how to train to be even more satiated.

My journeys are not regular, but they are long and constant. And when I do sit in motion, I sit with all the mental junk food I can handle: visions of my future life, anticipation of the destination, potential experiences or interactions that will litter my days and be the actual influence on my happiness. If bodies could move at the speed of sound, minds can move at the speed of light. Inception made that foggily clear.

This post is a writing exercise, prompted by a quote from The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. This was done in unison with my students at THINK Global School during a travel writing workshop.