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traveling is like dreaming
Hello intersectional thinkers 👋
Greetings from rainy Tokyo!
I want to tell you all about Namibia:
But first, shameless plug:
I’m running a workshop with Fei on the Compass of Zettelkasten Thinking: Associative Thinking Made Easy as a part of Nick Milo’s Linking Your Thinking Conference!
It’s tomorrow @ 4pm PT / 7pm ET / 8am JST.
Fei also writes a fantastical Substack:
Now onto the intersection of travelling and dreaming:
Traveling is like dreaming
After coming back from this trip to southern Africa, I said to Michael that it felt like coming back from a parallel world.
The worlds look the same, but the everyday experience in the “travel world” is unreal.
So, I tried to journal why it felt like a dream:
1. Travel & day dreaming:
The anticipation before the journey begins is satisfying. My imagination defies all limits and dreams up all the sights, foods, experiences and more I might indulge in.
The visions aren’t in 4K, but the act of fantasizing itself is enough to get that dopamine flowing.
2. Non-REM (NREM) prepares you for the dream to come:
On the day of departure, transitions take place. The transient airport and the (hopefully) sterile, cold, off-white aircraft facilitate the physical travel. Binging on underwhelming in-flight entertainment with the Rolls Royce engine humming as bgm takes care of the mental shift.
I’m on my way to the unknown!
3. Entering REM sleep aka dream state:
I’ve landed. Perception sharpens while travelling. The fantasies are now rendering in 3D.
I notice small differences. Doors open inward rather than out. People walk slower than back home. The air smells like wild sage.
I don’t understand exactly what’s going on. It’s like being forced to be a child again, trying to figure out what is going on.
Just like a dream, not everything makes sense, but in the moment, you know you have to take what’s in front of you and figure it out.
4. Falling out of the dream:
The trip eventually comes to an end. With the last leg of the plane ride, all the beautiful, estranging, delightful feelings, thoughts, and experiences fade into the background. My mind gets cluttered thinking about all the things put on hold while I was travelling to that dreamy parallel universe…
I’m home. If I close my eyes, I can still see the foreign landscapes that look so temporarily familiar. But I can’t quite smell the wild sage. I can’t quite see the colours of that beautiful sunset. It’s too easy to wake up.
So, I snap back to reality and get back to that real world to do list.
Do you dream when you travel? Let me know in the comments, and have a great week!
P.S. Going back to regular programming next week with 1 unexpected intersection, 1 paradox, and 1 visual Zettelkasten!
P.P.S. Are these intermittent travel thoughts interesting? Reply and let me know what you enjoy reading about!