In our hectic lives of constant motion and commotion, going nowhere at all could well be the key to more contentedness, says Pico Iyer, a travel writer with his heart and soul. A contradiction for a man crisscrossing the globe? Nothing is as urgent as sitting still, he says. To take the time to quietly lean back and indulge in a few peaceful moments a day, or to take the liberty of withdrawing for days, months – or years. And to contemplate to digest and organise the billowing mass of impressions inside our heads. An invigorating sabbatical may even provoke an entirely new approach and reveal a completely different meaning of life.
A travel writer, Pico Iyer began his career documenting the sometimes surreal disconnect between local tradition and imported global pop culture. He has written ten books since.
Iyer’s latest focus on travel is how to regain a sense of stillness and focus in our restless world of digital devices and networks. He says: “Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds. Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think. … All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world.”