This blog is about Travel.
About the sense – perceived, searched, realized; or rather missed, avoided, denied – which Travel carries with it. No matter if we are aware of that or not. No matter if we acknowledge it or not.
Do not expect a website full of advice about the best routes, about food curiosities of different places, about the cheapest hotels, campings, b&bs, and so on. I am not going to write about the best ways to reach unmissable places where to clock in as a skilled tourist. This is not a blog where I compare different travel gears telling their pros and cons. Not one where I explain how to collect miles points offered by airlines. Definitely not the place where I pretend to teach how to finance your nomadic life through a stable income just using a pc in the shadow of a palm tree on the beach. There are so many sites around the web where to eventually grab such information. More or less useful sites, more or less foolish. This is not the right place to find them, I am not the guy providing them. So, to each his own.
These bits are dedicated to the experience of Travel, and its narration as an essential part of it. To the sense made up by Travel and the vital urgency from which it comes. This is a place of research, of doubt, of clumsy tries to stutter about how and why Travel calls, takes, changes us. Or about how and why we refrain from letting it do it. About what Travel deconstructs and what it builds up inside us. About the existential debt it poses into us and about how we try to repay it.
About Travel as encounter, encounter as risk, risk as an opportunity – which is always also a possibility of destruction and self-destruction. For very precise reasons I will discuss elsewhere on these pages, this is not a blog about comfortable Travel: about Travel as an existential protuberance of our daily domestic routine. I wouldn’t know what to say about relaxing Travel, Travel as a diversion, hobby, holiday or occasion for collecting shareable pics and inspiring tchotchkes. Actually, I don’t consider that to be a real Travel – in the strict sense of the word for which I write this blog – but rather a mere change of position: a temporary one implying very little personal consequences and bright impact on the economy, society, culture, and environment.
Spacesalmon is an imaginary animal, half salmon and half astronaut, which I have chosen as a personal symbol of this research.
Salmons are born inside the fresh and pristine low waters of river sources. During the first part of their life, juvenile fishes avoid light, grow slowly consuming the egg energy reserve, and descend the river, slowly learning how to feed themselves. When they reach the open sea they become pelagic fishes, truly open and deep-sea creatures. Born in a few inches freshwater, now they swim free and fearless through the oceans. Then they reach sexual maturity, mating time breaks in and together with it the time of the second journey, not less perilous than the first.
Salmons are capable of recognizing the right path leading to their native river, even if they have to swim thousands of miles to reach it. They find the mouth thanks to their sense of smell and to the mental map absorbed during the first descend. Then they swim back up the river, an extraordinary strive which will cost them their life.
Many of them will not succeed. They will be catched by bears, wolves, foxes, and eagles. Stopped by artificial barriers. Fished by humans who will not suspect a fraction of their endeavor. They will never feed during the journey, taken by the thrill of the èpos. They will consume their entire reserve fat and even the muscle fibers to reach their goal.
Their journey is a Return. A Return which witnesses at their transformation, their getting adult. Therefore just an illusory Return. They get to the source – which is also the origin of their biologic machine – in order to complete the vital cycle, to condense their last flashes of energy and deliver them in form of genetic code and first food supply to the successor of their species-project.
They are ready to die for it. Ready to die of Return.As we well know, ποταμῷ γὰρ οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμβῆναι δὶς τῷ αὐτῷ – You cannot step twice into the same river . Therefore even their Return is an illusion. Like déjà-vu is a false impression caused by a brief bug into our memory device when it elaborates an experience, so salmons find again their river in the way of discovery. A familiar discovery, recovering the ancient in the new and the new in the repetition.
Symmetrically, in the Travel I am in the aim to narrate, the research of déjà-vu is of utmost importance. It is meticulously organized, its track will be followed along paths never seen before, in the heartbeats of events never experienced, in the eyes and hands of people never met. In the Travel I am striving to, I don’t long to anything else than to see again, read again, live again “always the one, shapeshifting yet marvelously constant story.”