Welcome to the travel philosophy page which takes a deeper look into the world of travel and ultimately the benefits it can bring us.
What is philosophy exactly?
In Ambrose Bierce’s sardonic 19th Century Devil’s Dictionary, the American writer’s metaphorical interpretation of philosophy is, ‘a route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.’ More literally defined, philosophy is the study of knowledge, thought, and the meaning of life. But Mr Bierce has a point. Philosophy by nature is more equipped at studying questions rather than answering them. To propose a question such as, ‘what is the meaning of life?’ is to look for an answer to something that cannot be definitively explained. We can only make a stab at it, and philosophy is the tool we can use to do that.
So where does travel come into it?
Travel: to go or move from one place to another, or to go on a journey across a land, region or area. It’s an action that in itself attaches to it exposure to the great cross section of people, culture and history that inhabit those lands. By situating ourselves in these places that are foreign to us we gain a wider experience of lives lived by others. Travel, through these observations and experiences, additionally provides us with the opportunity to reflect on our own lives. This gives substance to the oft-used adage, ‘travel broadens the mind’.
Surely then, with enriched thinking we are better equipped at attempting to tackle big questions such as the meaning of life. We become natural philosophers.
We can therefore modify and extend Ambrose Bierce’s analogy by adding travel into the formula, because it’s travel that provides philosophy with many roads that go from somewhere to something.
As a dedicated traveller, I’ve spent most of my life on these roads, and have as a consequence done a lot of thinking! I certainly won’t profess to have the answers, but you will find in these posts a pursuit of them. This page is an exploration into the realm of travel-inspired philosophy, as well as philosophy inspired by travel:
Note: Practical advice (of physical more than mental nature!) can also be found on this website, please go to the Practicalities page for that.