The reason why travel should be regarded as a fundamental human activity

The reason why travel should be regarded as a fundamental human activity

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I've been making the most of my passport recently. I use it as a table leg leveller and a coaster. It's a great toy for cats.


I hope you'll join me in this epidemic of disappointments. Rescheduled vacations, as well as vacations that were never scheduled at all. Vacations at the beach and family get-togethers are a few of the most popular ways to spend time away. Poof. Gone. United States passports are no longer accepted in a long list of countries.



Since March, only a third of Americans say they've travelled overnight for pleasure, and only slightly more, 38%, say they'll do so by the end of the year, according to a survey. Most of us won't be travelling for Thanksgiving, which is traditionally the busiest travel period. It's hard to look at the numbers and not be depressed.



We're not meant to spend so much time sitting around. We've always loved to travel, and it's in our DNA. As Christopher Ryan explains in Civilized to Death, our ancestors "lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers moving about in small bands of 150 and assignment writing service." No, this nomadic lifestyle wasn't an accident. It served its purpose. To avoid a brewing conflict or just for a change in social scenery, Ryan recommends a move to a neighbouring band. "The great affair is to move," wrote Robert Louis Stevenson.



What if we are unable to move? What would happen if we were unable to hunt or gather? When you're on the road, what are you supposed to do? That question can be answered in a variety of ways. That doesn't include "Despair."
We are a species that can adapt. We're fine with a few days of forced slumber. Self-delusion can be a useful tool. We tell ourselves that we're not rooted. As an unemployed salesman looking for work, we're just passing the time until our next opportunity comes along. Through old travel journals and Instagram, we spend our days. We take a look at our relics. All of this is beneficial. To begin with.



Brave faces we put on. In the current issue of Canadian Traveller magazine, the cover proclaims, "Staycation Nation," as if it were a choice rather than a consolation.



"Let's Go There" is the name of a new campaign launched by the U.S. Travel Association, an industry trade organisation, today. Hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines, and other tourism-related businesses have teamed up with the initiative to encourage Americans to turn their wanderlust into actual travel plans.



In the travel industry, things are looking bleak. Travellers are the same. "I dwelled so much on my disappointment that it almost physically hurt," Joelle Diderich, a Paris-based journalist, recently told me after cancelling five trips last spring.





He is a Buddhist living in the Nepalese capital city of Kathmandu. The lockdown, which was supposed to be a mandatory meditation retreat, would seem to benefit him. For a while, he was able to.



James, on the other hand, appeared exhausted and dejected in a recent Skype conversation. He admitted that he was becoming restless and wished for "the old 10-countries-a-year schedule," which he had previously enjoyed. He told me that nothing worked. What happened was that no matter how many candles I lit, or how many incense sticks I burned, and no matter where I lived, I couldn't change my ways."


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