“We travel in this world not to move around in it, but to be moved…” – Pico Iyer
Pico Iyer is an accomplished author who has spent over 30 years traversing the globe observing culture, stillness and movement. As a fellow wanderluster I was engaged by his talk on the TED stage. In this 15-minute podcast episode, Iyer shares his somewhat counterintuitive insight into how both travelling the world and going nowhere, can equally enrich our lives.
This talk transported me back in time, I was newly married, pursuing my B.S. in Business while travelling to over 50 countries over the span of just a few years. I was in my late twenties, busy building a life, and had yet to stand still long enough to learn the value of it.
It was in this mashup of school, work, a budding marriage and a ridiculous amount of business travel, that I first met stillness. I found it reflecting over particularly long plane rides, choosing to stare out at the clouds, instead of watching a movie. I met stillness again, sitting alone in a bird sanctuary in Foz De Iguacu, Brazil. I repeatedly met stillness as I found myself alone exploring a country where I didn’t understand a word, or during the quiet of a solitary dinner. It was during this time that I met myself.
In stillness, I was able to cultivate a deeper self-awareness. I began to adjust the lens with which I saw the world, resulting in a more vivid and powerful journey as I moved through it. Of course, it is just as wonderful to share travel and I often do nowadays, but I am very grateful for that time in my life.
Iyer, gifts us in this talk with the awareness of how important it is not to merely travel to “see the sights,” but to stand still in them, take mental pictures for ourselves, weave them into lasting memories and take them from plain sight to insight.
Find this podcast on TED.com https://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_the_art_of_stillness?language=en or listen in on your favorite podcast app.