March 24, 2016

Why we wander

Most of us share a desire to travel, explore, and seek out adventures. According to astronomer and author Carl Sagan, that’s a desire that’s been around as long as we have.

In Sagan’s words from his book, Pale Blue Dot:

For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten.

The open road still softly calls, like a nearly forgotten song of childhood.

We invest far-off places with a certain romance. This appeal, I suspect, has been meticulously crafted by natural selection as an essential element in our survival. Long summers, mild winters, rich harvests, plentiful game—none of them lasts forever. It is beyond our powers to predict the future. Catastrophic events have a way of sneaking up on us, of catching us unaware.

Your own life, or your band’s, or even your species’ might be owed to a restless few—drawn, by a craving they can hardly articulate or understand, to undiscovered lands and new worlds.

Where will you wander? Wherever it may be, go with confidence.

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