How to Have a Traveling Mindset, with Alain de Botton

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit

Alain de Botton does it again — for me at least, with his book The Art of Travel (Shop your local indie bookstore). As a Pisces through and through, the mind is always in another place, city, country or continent far from where the feet are planted. There is a restlessness everyday, and I’m one to daydream all day long until I’ve had my fill of whatever place I want to be in.

But the fill is never enough, with the advent of the internet and all the travel subscriptions and newsletters and travel promos. The more begrudging each day becomes, the more the incessant need to wander.

This book was gifted to me by a friend who knew my wandering ways. After reading the book, I realized that I was actually more grounded than I thought I would.

There is an art to traveling, de Botton explains, something that is intricately tied to our happiness more than we care to think of. To illustrate his points, he observes and parallels the conditions of the soul with writers, poets and thinkers as he himself engages in its art.

From his explorations in Barbados to Denmark, here are four notable things to think of in when it comes to traveling:

Discovering Joseph Campbell

Book Reviews, Soul + Spirit

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

I ended 2015 by finishing The Power of Myth, the lovingly transcribed manuscript of a PBS interview between Bill Moyers and mythologist and writer, Joseph Campbell.

My path to reading Campbell felt like a literary treasure hunt, as I came across his words on several books I’ve been reading throughout the year: Elle Luna’s The Crossroads of Should and Must: Follow Your Passion, Brené Brown’s Rising Strong and Danielle LaPorte’s The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms.

2015 was a year filled with major shifts, most of them internal. I was coming face to face with a lot of past traumas and I was uncertain about my future. I was overcome with fear.

And as I have done in the past, I turned to the only thing that gave me solace: reading.