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Traveling isn't an identity - Issue #343

A few weeks ago, the Daily Stoic's email said it all in the subject, "Build a Life You Aren't Trying to Flee." The gist is that if we look to destinations for satisfaction then we'll be perpetually disappointed. External settings don't offer what we're really looking for: happiness, rest, or peace. If we're frustrated with our lives, then a simple a change of scenery will just be a new backdrop for our inner turmoil. The stoic aims for internal peace.

I thought of this when the New Yorker piece below popped up in my reading sources. I've been making similar jokes for a while: the people for whom travel is an identity are a unique sort of conspicuous consumers. There's nothing funnier than listening to two newly acquainted travelers trying to one-up each other's list of destinations and experiences. "Paris?" "I did that." "Rome?" "Yep, before you." etc. It's a pretty thin identity when a plane ticket and a few thousand dollars is all it takes to assume. The piece is pretty funny.

All that to say, I'm on vacation this week, traveling. Enjoy the reading!


The Case Against Travel

It turns us into the worst version of ourselves while convincing us that we’re at our best.