This post is also available in: Dutch.
Travel magazines are my favorite kind of magazines. Pictures of landscapes from far away places and stories of adventures lived by inspiring travelers, I love it. See, I am a dreamer. Not when I’m asleep I mean, but when I am awake. A daydreamer so to say, although I often daydream when the sun has long gone down. I dream of traveling unknown places, of meeting interesting people on the road, of landscapes as far as the eye can see and of villages the names of which I cannot pronounce. I think about who I am and where I am and dream of who I’d like to be and where I’d like to be. My home in the Netherlands is great, but the pages of my travel magazines are filled with the metaphorical greener grass on the other side, and I dream of taking off my shoes and walking on that grass.
Dreaming of survival
Dreaming of such things is a human quality. We are (as far as we know) the only animal that aspires to go where we haven’t been, that fantasizes about discovering the unseen and that wants to do the undone. Animals don’t seem to dream like humans do. Their lives are made up of one thing; survival. If they dream of anything, it is that, I would imagine. That pragmatic view of life doesn’t combine well with dreaming. When an animal thinks of greener grass that is probably because it saw some grass somewhere that was actually greener, without difficult metaphors involved. When animals travel great distances, they do so for practical reasons, probably because their habitat no longer suffices in the quest for survival. Penguins aren’t curious about the desert, snakes don’t long for the horizon and the Curaçao hummingbird has no interest in the taste of flowers overseas.
It makes sense that animals don’t dream of places far away, because there are no travel magazines for the animal kingdom. No pictures of Africa taken by lions to be admired by polar bears, no adventurous stories about flying written by a bird and read by a crocodile. If there was such a magazine, animals might dream like we do. This line of thought makes me wonder why I am a dreamer. Maybe it is because I always have access to inspiration for more dreams. I always believed that I loved travel magazines the way I do because I am a dreamer, but I now believe it is the other way around. I am a dreamer because I read about what other things there are for me to do, see and be every day. I am a dreamer because I love travel magazines.
An evolutionary gift
Whatever the reason for me being a dreamer, whether it is reading travel magazines or something else, one thing is clear to me. Daydreaming is a human talent, an evolutionary gift to be appreciated. Not to get too cliché, but as the only dreamer among the animals, I believe we have a moral obligation to at least make an attempt to make our dreams come true. Whether you dream of traveling the world, like I do, or of something completely else, pursue your dreams. Pursue them with a positive attitude. Pursue them with conviction. Pursue them because you can. Never forget, we are the only animals with travel magazines.