there is something romantic about traveling across a foreign country. when one is suspended in time and space within a vehicle, the landscape beyond the glass windows slowly unfurls itself to the traveler. airplanes and boats impress us with the grandiose beauty of the sky and the sea; cars and trains reveal the vibrant scenes discovered at the ground.
i read once that the journeys we spend traveling from one place to another can in themselves be considered as definitive spaces. this idea intrigued me. we often consider the routes between a certain point A and point B as merely insignificant travel time, a commute towards a destination from an origin that lacks the quality of physical actualization that we attribute to the places to which we are traveling. these places are real. they are concrete entities that we can call a space, populated by the tangible: people, animals, buildings, flora. the process or very act of traveling is too abstract to constitute a space. travel, at its most intrinsic core, is not real.
by conceptualizing travel as a space, however, we can give it significance and an entirely new perspective on our own travel experiences. the hours spent on the subway to work, on a plane to an exotic getaway, or even while walking in transit to meet a friend — all these are spaces, with physical boundaries primarily defined by the fixed path taken to the next place.
travel is perhaps one of the most intimate spaces we can occupy. at the times we travel alone, we have only our own thoughts, and maybe our private interactions with music and the media, to explore in that space.
i’ll be posting more on what i’ve seen and learned while traveling for the past month. 🙂