The world has gotten smaller, and our real world experiences are fewer than ever.
Modern globalization has taken a toll on society in ways we never thought possible. With the click of a button, the black mirrors in our pockets, the Windows and Macs on our desks, they transport us anywhere we want to be. Choose a spot, any spot, and with a few short clicks you are there, visually, intellectually and in every academic, empirical way possible… But, not emotionally. Because it’s experience which makes us who we are. Knowledge is only what helps us get there.
When thinking back to a location, we do not remember the colors. We do not recall the facts, the percentages, or the history. What we conjure, from the deepest places of our neuro-network is… the emotion. The feeling, the undefined substance of being human is what envelopes us. Only traveling to the destinations where society flourished can satisfy our hunger to belong.
Seeing and feeling are not synonyms.
It was 2005, and I distinctly remember walking under The Coliseum, in Rome, Italy. I do not remember if it was completed in 81 A.D. by Titus, or was it Caligula? I do not recall if pieces of it were used to rebuild St. Peters Basilica after a horrible earthquake. What devours my thoughts is the feeling that made my hair stand when I was physically there. Frankly, I hardly remember what I saw or heard, the essence of the experience was emotional. I can feel the steps of hundreds of horses under my skin, as the collective consciousness of the thousands of people that died and lived there ran through me. We understood what it was to be there, as if having a past-life experience.
You can’t search this feeling on Google or Bing. The collective consciousness is a term used in sociology as a set of believes or moral attitudes shared by a large group, unifying the culture. Many more progressive academics believe there is something more than memory that creates these thoughts. They assert that within our DNA, something is creating a hive mind, or a cloud that we possess on a dimension science still can’t understand, generation from generation.
Etch it forever, in your heart.
Did you know, that each of the thousands of mirrors throughout the rooms of Versailles cost the same as building a warship at the time? That is an interesting fact, and looking at these huge pictures from within the grand rooms of those French palaces, one can get a glimpse of the glamour. But when we were standing there… and the sun glimpsed its rays from behind a cloud, a beam hit a mirror within the room, then another, then another… I realized why that French ruler was called The Sun King. We were engulfed with light and an experience was created. It was forever etched into our hearts. The light that flooded the palace seemed to come from the very face of God, or whatever deity you call yours.
Amazon doesn’t deliver experiences.
You can’t buy that experience. You can buy the books, the pictures, the movies… But the solar warmth, dancing around your body in the grand ballroom of one of the world’s greatest kings remains priceless. The empathy for all those people who walked those halls is exactly what the hive-mind of humanity saves within its files. And for that piece of data, you must travel.
“I am what happened to my people.”
For this reason, travel blogs are among the most popular. They take us not only to places, but to through time and space; to our history. These writers are monetizing on their experiences, and people long for them. But again, no matter how much you read, the collective human experience is waiting for you. From destination to destination, memories are the newest currency in the modern digital world. Because honestly, there is no app for that.
by: Armando A. Diaz, Writer