Why We Explore

We became tourists in our own city yesterday. Carly and I did a ~25 mile bike ride on the Raleigh “Greenway” trail.

Not going to lie:

  • We resorted to our (paper) map at least 10 times
  • There were one or two occasions where I thought we might be mugged
  • And at the end, we were completely knackered!

Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad we did it.

Sometimes, it seems, when you live in a city, you forget to explore. At least that’s the case for us.

You just work, eat, socialize, sleep.

Familiarity = Boredom

But when you travel to new city or country, you become an explorer. You’re in the child-like state of mind where everything is new. You look for what’s unique or historic. We’re reborn. We’re no longer anxious.

Ultimately, what you really find is that you’re the same person, but your context has rapidly changed and so has your thinking. We’ve tweaked our perception and essentially our reality.

Have you ever experienced this? 

Some people achieve this state change through acquiring more possessions. We buy that “thing” thinking it’ll change us. That we’ll become that happy person in the ad or in the movies, only to realize that:

A) We won’t
B) Any enjoyment we did get from that purchase wears off quickly (familiarity breeds boredom)

“The things you own end up owning you”
– Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

So if this really is this case and we’re aware we are a part of a culture that perpetuates the idea of accumulating things for happiness, then why do we invest more of our time, money and energy into materials as an end goal?

Why not experiences?

Travel and exploration seem to be just as powerful as anything out there to completely recontextualize our realities and inspire creativity and awe.


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