Why We Travel?

14 Apr

It has long been said that travel “broadens the mind”. Now new evidence proves that jumping on a plane will not only make you smarter, but more open-minded and creative.


   It’s 4.15 in the morning and my alarm clock has just stolen away a lovely dream. My eyes are open but my pupils are still closed, so all I see is gauzy darkness. For a brief moment, I manage to convince myself that my wakefulness is a mistake, and that I can safely go back to sleep. But then I roll over and see my zippered suitcase. I let out a sleepy groan: I’m going to the airport.

The taxi is outside, and then here I am hurtling into the harsh incandescence of South Terminal of Gatwick Airport, running with my suitcase so I can wait in a long security line. And then, after 4 hours stuck in the terminal with a cup of caffeine and Veggie sandwich, the plane took off to Milan, Italy. And then, 2 hours later, I was there.

So why do we travel, dear readers, when we have already passed that pre-modern age of the mind awed by the physics that gets a fat metal bird into the upper troposphere. Well, sometimes we travel because we have to. In this digital age, there’s still something important about face-to-face communication or analogue handshake, or eating your Grandma’s cake on Christmas.

In most cases, however, we travel because we want to. We travel in order to get away from the stressful pressure of work, from the home boredom, etc. We travel because flights are on sale, because Venice is Venice.

But here is my question: Is this desire to travel – to put some distance between ourselves and everythign we know -caused  only by the desire to experience new types of pleasure, to have fun ?


Because if travel is just about having fun, then the new security measures at the airports have killed it.

THE GOOD NEWS  is that pleasure is not only the reason for travelling. New science papers report that getting away – and it doesn’t even matter where you’re going – is an essential habit of effective thinking. It’s not about a holiday, or relaxation: it’s about the act of travelling itself, putting some miles between home and wherever you happen to spend the night.

        In its literal apsect, travelling is a verb of movement. Thanks to modern technology, now we are able to move from place to place at an inhuman speed. For the first time in human history, we can outrun the sun and change climates only in few hours.
The reason such travels are menally useful is that while being away from our ‘natural habitat’, our thoughts are less constricted; they allow us to release our imagination from the limited set of associations which bounds it while being at home. Consider a field of roses for example. When you are standing in the middle of the field, surrounded by roses with spiraling centers and vivid, rich colors, the air smelling faintly, your mind is auctomatically drawn to thoughts that revolve around the primary meaning of rose, which is that it’s a plant, a flower, a symbol of romance and passion.

But now imagine the same field of roses from a different perspective. Instead of standing on a field, you are now in the midst of a crowded city street, dense with taxis and pedestrians, and yet for some reason you are still thinking about roses. The rose will no longer be a rose itself; instead, your vast neutral network will pump out all sorts of associations. You’ll think about rose marmalade, jam or tea.

What does this have to do with travel?Being far away from the place we spend most of our time, makes our mind aware of all those awkard ideas we had suppressed. . As a neural tangle of near-infinite possibility, the brain spends a lot of time and energy choosing what not to notice. As a result, creativity is traded away for efficiency; we think in literal prose, not symbolist poetry. A bit of distance, however, helps loosen the chains of cognition, making it easier to see something new in the old; the mundane is grasped from a slightly more abstract perspective.

As TS Eliot wrote in the Four Quartets:

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”


“Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life With John F. Kennedy” by Caroline Kennedy

12 Apr

Written by Caroline Kennedy, the novel “Jacqueline Kennedy:Historic Conversations on Life with John. F. Kennedy” reveals a sife of Jacqueline Kennedy’s life only friends and family knew. The book is a part of an ongoing celebration of the 50th anniversary of President’s Kennedy first year in office.  In her mid-30s, recently widowed, Jaqueline was determined to set down her thoughts for history.


And so this is how it began..Kennedy met with the former White House aide M. Schelsinger Jr. in her house in the spring and early summer of 1964. At home and at ease, as if welcoming a quest for afternoon  tea, she chatted about her husband and their life at the White House. “Jack so obviously demanded from a woman — a relationship between a man and a woman where a man would be the leader and a woman be his wife and look up to him as a man.With Adlai you could have another relationship where — you know, he’d sort of be sweet and you could talk. … I always thought women who were scared of sex loved Adlai”, Jaqueline says while speaking with the historian.
The conversations were recorded 4 months after the outrage in Dallas. On the accompanying audio disks, you can  hear Jaqueline Kennedy talking not only about politics,  but about her private life. She never wrote a memoire, and this is why the book became so famous;  in part because of telling us what we did not know about her.
“Jaqueline Kennedy accepted that wives were defined by their husbands’ careers and worried about emotional women entering politics. She enjoyed having her husband “proud of her”, and saw no reason to have a policy opinion that was not the same as his, and laughed at the thought of violently liberal women who disliked John Kennedy”, notes the historian Michael Beschloss.
Like any powerful family, the Kennedys had complicated relationships with those who shared their lives at the top. They valued history  describing it as not just a bunch of stories abou t the past, but stories about ones of the most interesting and charming people in the world .Charl de Gol,Nikita Khrushchev, Djavaharlal Neru, are only part of the people mentioned  in Jaqueline Kennedy’s interviews. In addition,  we learn a lot of about the family, the friends, and the people Kennedy’s family worked with. “Jaqueline Kennedy:Historic Conversations on Life with John. F. Kennedy” is not just  a book about the visible to the eye things, but about the “life’s kitchen, itself”

Let Us Be Free

12 Apr

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

The latest book of Set Godin, one of the most popular marketing directors in America, “We Are All Weird”, again attracts with  precisely made observations and  brilliant reasoning , both spoken in his own specific way. Godin is a bestselling author whose books have affected the way people think about marketing or work. If you have already read something written by him, then there is no chance to mistaken his style. . In “We Are All Weird” he states that life is too short to be reconciled to do what is considered to be rightly. The title reflects some of the key ideas in the books and emphasizes on the people’s weirdness nowadays.


“We, as in this is about us, not you, not him, but all of us, and WEIRD, as in we need a word for the opposite of normal, and by accepting a word that normal camp would like to use to shun us, I’m embracing the very notion that the book is about”, writes Godin for Forbes magazine. In addition, he puts a great emphasis on the huge mistake of Capitalism to confer prizes on companies which produce only historical effective products.The book has only 11 000 copies, and this is not fortuitously. When we buy real books, paper books, we are looking for good reasons. Well, Dear Readers, perhaps scarcity can be considered as one of those reasons.

Set Godin provokes the open-minded thinking and encourages a longing for change in the readers. His book influences anyone who wants to be authentic, to dance to the beat of their own music, or make a difference in the world. Are you a inner critic, or the one being told that you are not enough, or your work is not good enough, then buy this book. Let your freak flag fly high.

“Love Is A Dog From Hell”

10 Apr

A month ago while walking down the empty streets of Colchester City, I passed by one of the most beautiful buildings in the town, that of the Post Office – the building of hopes, love, sadness and dreams. It was already dark so I could see from the alighted windows the numerous shelves and the letters on them, all put in order. This view ,so simple but so fascinating, containing numerous people’s wishes, inspired me a lot, to an extent that I started thinking of my literature review on Charles Bukowski’s book “Love Is A Dog From Hell”.



A month later, my inspiration of the building of the Post Office has gone, but I still has that of Bukowski’s poems and the description of a woman, “a six foot goddess” laughing with “the laughter of the mutilated who still need love’; description of a woman” who has saved” him “from everything that is not here”. She was just one more “creature dizzy with love”.



My approach to Bukowski’s poems was of an adventurer. The book was a whole new trip for me; the trip of a loner, of a writer whose poems almost staggers the imagination. Love for this romantic man was when the love of his life has packed her bags and left him for eternity, love was shouting and yelling, and throwing to cause pain. “Love Is A Dog From Hell” reveals the secret of man who experienced tough love better than any of us could.

“you were the world’s greatest invention
until you flushed me away.
now it’s your turn to wait for the touch
of the handle.
somebody will do it o you, bitch,
and if they don’t you will –
mixed with your own
green or yellow or white
or blue or lavender
goodbye.” (Bukowski, 1977)

For Charles Bukowski love came in empty bourbon bottle form or a punch in the face and women who would leave his side and will never return. That was the poet’s reality, that was the “dog from hell” and every last one of us has taken that enigmatic road at least a few times in our lives. Charles Bukowski has been to hell and back in more ways than most of us,  and he’s got the scars to prove it.

Alone With Everybody
the flesh covers the bone and they put a mind
in there and sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too much
and nobody finds the one
but keep looking
crawling in and out of beds.
flesh covers the bone and the
flesh searches for more than

there’s no chance at all:
we are all trapped by a singular
nobody ever finds the one.
the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
nothing else
fills. (Bukowski, 1977)


Soak the Rice and Press ‘PLAY’

9 Apr

‘The Gazpacho slakes the thirst, wipes out the hang over and cheers up the heart”.

Under the burning sun, a cool gazpacho, kept in a thermos flask, turns out to be much healthier alternative than beer and soft drinks. One of the most popular recipes of the Spanish cuisine, the gazpacho, literally mixes with the music presented in the book of Mario Suarez and Ricardo Cavolo, Cocina Indie. The book also includes pictures and albums for various people.

music cook#


The journalist and specialist in fashion, gastro- and art-tendencies, Mario Suarez, and the artist Ricardo Cavolo managed to reconstitute 90 recipes – easy for cooking, illustrated with a sense of humor, and mingled with favorite Spanish and international rock- and hindi- singers, such as Sonic Youth, David Bowie, etc. Between the ingredients and the instructions provided for cooking, the indication of “press play” is included. The book begins with a quote of Keith Richards – “Music is a necessity. After food, air, water and warmth, music is the next necessity of life”.
Sitting at the local cafeteria, the two authors (unfamiliar with each other during that time) came up with the idea to create an extraordinary recipe book. Mario dealt with the trying of the dishes, most of which taken from his mother’s, grandmothers’ and ants’ recipe books, and Ricardo, responsible for creating inspirational illustrations. However, even till today, Ricardo admits that it is not cooking his favorite hobby, but tasting already tested recipes.
For example, while cooking ‘Paella Royale’, you are supposed to listen to the The Caspers: Get in your mind that nothing is what it seems, and when all of the ingredients are already put in the paellera (a special tin used only for this dish), you stir them with a wooden spoon, under the sounds of the 20-years old musicians.


To sum up, dear readers, the truth is that in order to cook “aubergines with ‘love’ and ‘cheese’, or ‘optimistic salmon in sauce’, you only have to press ‘Play’.


Paris: City of Light and Fascination

9 Apr

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast


Breathtaking places, great boulevards stretching on forever as if melting into dusting horizons, golden domes and lively bistros; Paris has everything.   Over centuries many cities have their charm lost, have their glories faded in the course of time. But Paris has preserved its natural beauty, fascinating us with its palaces and parks, with its grand squares and enchanting small streets. Even nowadays, Paris continues to evolve, confidently mixing past, present and future, summoning memories, ghosts and hopes, affirming the city’s voice as a queen and lover for present and future visitors; the city is a generous home to the avant-grade cultural scene, and to the continually flourishing modern one – together with the ancient monuments of Napoleon and Hausmann stand monuments of the modern age.
Considered as one of the most beautiful cities, Paris also has the reputation of one of the most romantic cities in the world and this is not accidentally. No one knows how to enjoy the balance of life- the simple things and the pleasures in life – more fully than Parisians.  It is hard to think of something more romantic than standing on the steps of the Basilica du Sacre- Coeur and looking down at the whole city center with the Eiffel Tower looking back up to you.

paris klighjththt


Guy- Pierre Bennet’s book ‘Paris; Love and Fascination’, is a lovely reminder of this magnificent city – it presents the city in all its variety while evoking suggestions, sentiments, colors and perfumes which emanate from its magical urban scenery. The novel includes five hundred colorful images which bring many neighborhoods of this famous city to life while the oversized format highlights its timeless beauty.  Paris reveals itself in this book, sharing its mysteries and inviting the readers to experience a unique and inimitable adventure.

Slogan T-shirts say it all!

3 Apr

If one piece of clothing epitomizes what fashion means now, it is the slogan T-shirt. Like jeans, little black dresses and miniskirts, the T-shirt is a fashion that goes beyond fashion; it’s a mean of communication, a mean of telling the world what we like or care about.


The first slogan T-shirts were sold in the 60s in a shop of London’s Kings Road set up by Tommy Roberts and Trevor Myles. Later, in the 70s, it was Vivienne Westwood and her partner Malcolm McLaren who made political T-shirts to sell in their shop; they were related to sex and to one of the most popular designs during that time featuring ‘swastika’. The collection was a massive success and was followed up on in subsequent years.


In the 80s, slogan T-shirts reached their saturation point because of Katharine Hamnett. Dressed in a “58% Don’t Want Pershing” – a reference to polls showing public opposition in the United Kingdom against the basing of Pershing missiles in the country- she met with then- Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Hamnett’s designs were copied all over the world and her T-shirts became cultural signposts to the times we lived in.


Nowadays, we can consider T-shirts to be the sartorial representation of how communication has changed. We are no longer interested in listening to received wisdom, but in telling the world what we think. Big brands, of course, utilize a slogan, and many use them on their products and in this case t-shirts such as the slogan ‘Just Do It’ which is a trademark of Nike, or ‘J’adore Dior’.

It was during the first Elizabethan age that Shakespeare said ‘I will wear my heart upon my sleeve for dawns to peck at”. At the end of the second Elizabethan age, the progress culminates in us who wear our brands on our chests instead. Every now and then, we might come across a situation in which the expressions at the T-shirts are giving a real characteristic of ours. So it is imperative to take some time out on deciding the right kind of t-shirt which will go along with your mindset and to give a casual look and also a very comfortable feeling by showing what you are, what you feel, or portray anything you want and bring out your attitude towards life and different perspectives in a stylish and fashionable manner.