Parkour Travel: Introduction

(Part 1 of 3 in ~ Parkour Travel)

I’m putting down my thoughts on “Parkour travel” for two reasons: First, I’ve found it immensely fun and rewarding, and so I hope to encourage others to travel. Second, I’ve seen enough things first-hand (as a host and as a guest), and heard enough stories, that make it clear that some bits of helpful knowledge are not universal. In this second area, I can only hope to raise some awareness.

This series will necessarily cover a wide range of ideas which I’ll try to cram into a few broad categories. Eventually, I’ll share my thoughts on all of the following (and more): Why travel at all? What do I mean by ‘Parkour travel’? How to be a good guest? Where to go?

This series is not about the nuts and bolts of traveling lightly and enjoying the experience. Although that’s a closely related topic, it’s an entirely separate series.

Ultralight, by Leo Babauta

(Part 2 of 3 in ~ Parkour Travel)

The freedom that resulted was so incredible. We felt liberated. We could travel faster, farther, happier. Sure, we gave up a handful of comforts, but in return we got the comfort of being unburdened.

Recently, Leo Babauta put together a spectacular book on travel called, Ultralight. I’ve only recently begun reading it, but it covers a great deal of what I wanted to say. And — as with so many things Leo writes — it’s written better than I could hope to do myself. So for now, start with this book (it’s a very affordable Ebook). I expect some of what I add to this series will be commentary and thoughts on what Leo has written, and some will be from the notes I’ve already compiled on my own.

Parkour Travel: Why Travel?

(Part 3 of 3 in ~ Parkour Travel)

What shall I find?

It’s funny, I thought, if you could hear me, I could hang on, somehow. Silly me. Silly old Doctor. When you wake up, you’ll have a mum and dad, and you won’t even remember me. Well, you’ll remember me a little. I’ll be a story in your head. But that’s OK: we’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?

~ Doctor Who

When I travel, I am writing my story.

I am not travelling in search of something.
I am not travelling to escape.
I am not travelling as a search for fulfillment.
I am not lacking some key experience that I can only find by travelling.

What shall I find? …nothing in particular. And then I’m free to find everything.

What shall I experience?

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

~ Mark Twain

I travel because I want to meet new people. I want to learn about their culture, their ideas, their hopes, dreams and passions, their way of thinking, their language, their ancestors, and their philosophy.

I travel because I want to see things. The world — all of it, near and far — is an amazing place. I want to see new vistas, new architecture, new mountains, new valleys, new weather, new plants, new animals, and new art.

I travel because, in the end, I am just a story. There’s no finish line, no definition of “having arrived”, “having suceeded”, or “having it all”. Hearses do not have luggage racks. I am not taking anything with me. I can spend my days sitting at home, collecting and counting and organizing my things, toiling to create a pocket of order in the chaos of the universe. Only, I remain absolutely certain that everything I collect, create, organize, build, and buy will not matter to me in the end.

In the end, I am just a story. And I’d very much like to enjoy the writing of it.