And take a second to energize you with another beautiful scene.
What I look for when I take a break is more inspiration, more ideas, more examples of what it means to live the good life. To live the best lives we can, we must know how others live their lives, evaluate the options, and cobble together the life that fits us best. We must try it out, practice it, perfect it. And then go find something else to add to the mix. Science taught me to look for data and analyze it. Engineering taught me how to apply theory into practice. Management consulting calls this the study of best practices. In the world of travel, this is called touring. As I groped around for arcane words to describe what it is I do with my time off, I came upon this etymology for the sometimes tarnished act of tourism:
- "the word tour is derived from the Latin, 'tornare' and the Greek, 'tornos', meaning 'a lathe or circle; the movement around a central point or axis'. This meaning changed in modern English to represent 'one's turn'. When the word tour and the suffixes –ism and –ist are combined, they suggest the action of movement around a circle. One can argue that a circle represents a starting point, which ultimately returns back to its beginning. Therefore, like a circle, a tour represents a journey in that it is a round-trip, i.e., the act of leaving and then returning to the original starting point."
We all live our lives centered around our daily routines. We all take our turns constructing these lives and returning to our habits again and again. Sometimes, these daily experiences teach us something and we change. Hopefully for the better. Sometimes we read a book, watch a movie, talk to a friend or stranger, and have our lives changed by others' experience. But sometimes we need to break out of our daily routines to have our circles expanded. If our daily lives are truly building towards something that provides lasting satisfaction, any time that we take off from this task is precious. It should be spent wisely and in ways that enhance or inform either our daily lives or the goals we are striving for with those daily lives. Preferably both. This is why philosophers don't go on vacation or take a holiday. Philosophers go on tour. (Though not exactly like rock stars.)
When I go on tour, I want to see how people have spent their days. What do they do for work? Do they spend all day chopping and stacking wood to feel safe about the coming winter in the Alps?