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“Przekrój” Magazine brings English-speaking readers some of the best journalism from across Central and Eastern Europe, in the fields of wellbeing, art, literature, science, ecology, philosophy, psychology, and more. Take a break from the speed and intensity of the daily news and join us!

Our in-house ‘coaching guru’ shares his wisdom – this week on how to take the most heedless holiday ...
2019-08-11 00:00:00
The Art of Heedless Travel

Whenever the summer comes around, my students ask: How should we travel? How can we make sure that the holiday does not ruin the entire autumn, winter and spring already spent on the practice of Heedlessness? How can we guarantee that the time spent away does not take us back on the journey along the Path of Vagueness?

This is an important question, and every time I hear it, I am happy to answer it – approaching this matter without the help of one’s Master (that is, me) can have disastrous consequences. Novices who never ask me about this usually try to follow their still-too-strong intuition and decide on a holiday option that can be described, in short, as ‘catch a train’. At random, they choose the means of transportation and the direction of travel, then get off at a randomly chosen station or stop, walk straight ahead, turn right or left depending on the flip of a coin or the colour of a passing car. Finally, they enter a hotel or B&B that evokes neither positive nor negative feelings, pay for a room, lay down on the bed, turn on the TV, and begin to mindlessly flip through the channels. Then, they get up and start their evening by wandering through the streets of the randomly chosen city. They eat something not very good and go back to their room. Rinse and repeat for a fortnight or so.

Such a manner of holidaying may seem to be perfectly aligned with the spirit of Heedlessness. However, I do not recommend it, and in fact advise strongly against it. Why is that? Well, do remember that every journey has two aspects, external and internal. So what if when we wander externally, we – internally – unexpectedly and irrevocably do find something? A sight, a smell or a sound can speak to us, move our internal cogwheels, make us aware of something, strip us of something, or even point us to towards something. Bang, boom. We will understand, we will feel, and before we know it, the many years dedicated to the practice of Heedlessness will go to waste.

Oh, the number of students I have lost in this way! They returned from their holidays completely changed, uninterested in the further practice of Heedlessness, and yet full of enthusiasm for the most trivial plans for the future – for the trite, obvious, discernible, well-rehearsed; far-removed from the challenges of the Path of Vagueness. All this, just because they decided to ‘catch a random train’ without first consulting their Master (that is, me).

This is why I am always glad to hear a student ask: How should I travel? Then I take my guitar, I detune it a little and, by way of introduction, I sing ‘Oh, baby, baby, it’s a wild world’ – of course, in my best pretend-English, achieved by touching my palate with the tip of the tongue and pronouncing various Polish words containing ‘r’.

Then I put down the instrument, or even without putting it down, I slowly explain: only all-inclusive holidays in popular resorts are suitable for novices practising Heedlessness. Everything, absolutely everything, must be perfectly planned, in its place, airtight. Nothing can jolt or surprise us. Only in this way we will be able to eliminate the potentially dangerous internal dimension of holiday travel. We will return the same as we have left, as if we have gone through a shallow puddle wearing wellies. We will return, so that we can resume – with mild enthusiasm – the practice of Heedlessness.


Translated by Joanna Figiel


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