I wanted to use the domain name “theartoftravel.com” but it was already taken. So I settled on the more mundane kirkstravelstories.com. I think all the good domain names are either gone or for sale at a prohibitive price for a simple blogger.
I’ve tried to treat travel like an art although I admit I don’t really know what art is. In college the only art class I took was “The Art of Listening to Music” because I knew it was an easy elective “A” and I certainly needed it for my GPA. But at least I know how to identify the sound of an oboe now.
If I use a definition I found on the internet for art it seems like a good one to me: “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.”
Yeah that’s it. That’s how I try to approach international travel. I want to try new things. Things that require imagination and inspire the imagination. For me travel isn’t always beautiful (contrary to the definition I quoted for art) but it should express important ideas or feelings. Travel should be inspirational even if only after the fact.
(Thai artist I photographed painting a picture of my grandson from a picture I gave him)
Travel should inspire in some form. Perhaps to write and document our unique experiences. Maybe even to write poetry that we never thought was in us. The art of travel often includes pictures. Hopefully unique pictures that capture the emotions of the event. Or maybe the art never even leaves our head, but that would be a shame.
Recently I shared a story with Matthew that he published on his blog “Live and Let Fly”. One of the readers on his blog commented that he didn’t think the story was worth writing. I responded that all stories are worth writing. Maybe they’re not worth reading for many, but they’re worth writing. That’s really what a life is made of, the stories. The stories are what we live and the stories are what we leave behind.
I’ll try to share some of the art in upcoming posts as best I can. Not that I’m a good artist or anything like it. I’m not even sure I know what art is other than an internet definition, but I think I know it when I see it. Because art inspires emotion. Not always the good ones either as it may include fear, anxiety, and sad compassion. But these can be among the most memorable stories and most powerful emotions.
As a traveler I’ve come across a lot of tourists. I’ve been to a beautiful waterfall and watched others walk up to it, snap a selfie and immediately depart. To them the photo was only about the proof they were there. But they didn’t even enjoy the moment! They never experienced the emotion of the art before them.
When I’m at a waterfall sometimes I try to imagine I’m a single drop of water at the top and try to follow its journey through the plunge. Or I try to imagine how the falls came to be created in the first place, how did it start thousands or hundreds of thousands years ago. What was its history? Who has this falls entertained over the years? Why does the power of this great falls inspire awe? What is its story?
When I travel I try to put myself in uncomfortable situations at times. On occasions I try to immerse myself into the actual lives of the people in different cultures to get to know how people react to their environment. This often involves taking a chance, but I’ve learned that most people can be trusted.
The mass media news is full of contrary stories of people being injured by various accounts. They portray a dangerous world that frightens most people from venturing out and trusting people. But the media is all about the ratings. These sensational and exceptional stories are often exaggerated and create a sense that it is the norm. This is so far from the truth! By far most people are good people who are helpful and would never harm. This realization can open up a lot of experiences.
If we can view travel as a form of art, then we will want to create something. Something emotional that has a lasting impression. Something that not only changes us, but others to whom the art speaks.
These are my philosophical ramblings of the day.