Travel Thinking

Travel broadens the mind they say. For me it has another benefit. It also deepens it.

Living in rural Spain and working mostly in the UK I travel a fair amount and I find that when I travel I escape the insistent, nagging of the to-do list.

Part of this is the drive. After a year in the early 1990’s spent mostly on buses in China and South America, I became convinced that the constant passage of a landscape does something to the eye, the brain and the mind, opening up new spaces and ideas. That still works for me.

And even the sluggish, cumbersome milling around that always accompanies air travel opens up lots of inbetween spaces, like niches in a coral reef of time that can be occupied by little half-formed, half-baked ideas, looking for somewhere to live. It is amazing how many times I come back from a trip with new ideas or something worked out.

For me, this kind of travel isn’t anywhere close to the value of a walk (which I see as a form of thinking not an aid to thinking) because the physical body is essentially passive, but the movement of a journey, even one as dull as an oft repeated journey can be a valuable source of stimulus.