Buzzfeed offers this "Facts That Will Make You Want To Travel." Since questioning traveling is a big theme on this blog, I'm going to embed this before watching it. I'll get back to you on whether it consigns me to the category Buzzfeed considers uninspirable.
UPDATE: Second-by-second reaction.
0:02 I realize I have seen this video before.
0:12 I've seen reports of those "studies" and am skeptical. People misjudge how much buying, say, clothing will make them happy, but they also may misjudge how much happiness they got from a trip. The strains of traveling are over, and they are now nurturing the memory they made. What's really being compared are 1. material objects that you have in your possession and come to view as not such a big deal anymore and 2. past events that are only in memory and can therefore be massaged into a form you enjoy. This is testament to the power of the mind and the value of the intangible possession that is the past.
0:16 That music thinks it can juice me up. Instead it makes me more aware that I am watching propaganda. And this is propaganda for the travel industry. It must convince me to drop money into things that won't last — like the $300 shoes that I'll "eventually forget about." Yeah, but meanwhile, I'm always going to need some shoes. They're not just for the purpose of memory-making. And: 1. Money saved not buying expensive shoes doesn't have to be thrown into travel. 2. For $300, I could buy, instead of expensive shoes, a pair of shoes, a skirt, and 2 tops or some other combination of useful wearable things that will make daily life comfortable and nice. 3. I actually do have some happy memories of specific shoes, in fact, only yesterday I was contemplating a particular kind of shoe that we wore circa 1960 that I'd love to find today.
0:21 I don't need to spend $300 to gaze at a sunset over a beautiful landscape. I can walk or bike to many beautiful vantage points, and I can drive an hour or less and get to really scenic places. If I'd spent money and time getting to somewhere farther away, would I be more likely or less likely to arrive at the elated expression seen on that woman's face? I think a less planned and more subtle experience might produce greater joy. But the contrast made in the video is to $300 sneakers. That's not the relevant comparison.
0:31 "A short trip will make you feel just as happy." Yeah, that's the argument against travel! Go for a walk in your own town or to the nearby state parks. You don't have to make a big deal about it.
0:33 Those people look like they could be enjoying sitting out on Union Terrace, having a drink while the sun sets over Lake Mendota. We love to walk there.
0:39 This shows that what is important are relationships with other people. Travel is presented as a means to that end, but there are obviously many other means. And there's a correlation-is-not-causation problem with "Regular travellers get along with people better." Maybe people who avoid travel do so because they don't get along with other people. Those who love interacting with other people may go in for travel because one of the stresses of travel isn't so stressful for them. You can't necessarily infer that traveling will improve your ability to get along with other people. I'm picturing a crowded plane with the usual annoyances.
0:46 Here we see how nice it is to have an intimate partner in life. What's the connection to travel? I see they are in a car. Meade and I are often in a car together. It's always nice, around town or off on some longer trip. But the surtitle is trying to nudge us to think couples have sex more if they go on a trip. Sex — or some other "intimacy" — is the end. Travel is offered as the means. That strikes me as a bit pathetic.
0:51 Another argument in favor of having someone to love. This is classic advertising propaganda. Put the product with something else that's good.
1:05 Oh, great. Che Guevara. I should travel because Che Guevara. Blech. He "found himself." Do you seriously think your self is out there somewhere you need to travel to find?
1:11 Monet didn't travel to Argenteuil. He lived there. Relocating your home isn't travel.
1:16 "The ticket is usually the only big cost." Oh! The money we have spent in hotels and restaurants. That's where you hemorrhage money.
1:19 "A massage in Bali is $6." Why the hell would you spent all that money and time going to Bali and then lie around with your eyes closed and have a passive experience that you can get at home? Yeah, it's more than $6 at home, but why'd you go to Bali? And do you really want to extract the pleasure of a massage from someone you are exploiting economically? The argument the video is making here is that you should give a lot of your money to the airlines because they can take you to places where the people will sell themselves super-cheap. How about avoiding the (terrible) airlines and spending the money in your hometown, on people who are your neighbors, who contribute to your community, and are asking a fair price for their work?
1:32 Eh. I'm smart enough.
1:37 "It's time to plan a trip." Planning. I don't like planning. I like spontaneous. Make an equivalent video about living spontaneously in the present. Won't that bring more happiness and intimacy, and won't you be more likely to find yourself and to get along without spending too much money? I think so.