By Brandon Ellis

The map is not the territory

~ Alfred Korzybski

I offer a simple mantra for you to ponder —
one that appears easily digestible,
but in reality may take some time to chew.

A mantra that pervades the mind of an eager traveler
and rationalizes the uncertainty of the road.

Profound for some, yet perplexing for the disinclined.

And for those who have not heard this saying before, here’s how we’ll dissect it:

In many ways, we understand the world by mere abstractions. Our “map” is defined and refined through our interactions in our environment. The things you personally witness, see on the TV, read in books or on the internet, and are told to believe by popular figures — these all influence your perspective.

And perspective, does not always align with reality.

At it’s core, wanderlust is predicated on the pursuit of truth — to see, hear, taste, touch and smell things for yourself. Any traveler worth their salt is more apt to drop their  subjective “map” and  concern them self with experiencing the “territory”. So, often times a passionate traveler will reluctantly heed any word of caution. You cannot be scared of the unknown, nor can you pretend to understand it. Only the act of being present will grant you that.

It seems as though most everyone’s map warrants a make-over at some point in their life. Rather than misconstruing theory with reality, we all must work to reconcile our “map” with the “territory”.

The menu is not the meal”

~ Alan Watts

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