In Motion: The Experience of Travel

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9781611900118: In Motion: The Experience of Travel

In this extraordinarily wide-ranging, insightful, and revelatory book, Tony Hiss is the much-praised author of The Experience of Places delves into a unique and instantly recognizable (though previously undescribed) experience that can happen to us when we travel, a special understanding and ability that can leave us feeling exhilarated. He illustrates how throughout human history - from our ancestors walking upright for the first time to astronauts walking on the moon - we have repeatedly availed ourselves of this seemingly elusive quality, which he calls 'Deep Travel.'

The sensation of Deep Travel can overtake us, Hiss says, whenever we tap into a sophisticated, wide-awake awareness we all possess. With a wealth of examples - from evocative accounts of his own journeys to celebrated travel writing across the centuries - Hiss identifies and rescues this powerful capacity and sets out simple techniques for accessing it no matter where we are.

And this is only a jumping-off point for an original and penetrating explanation of how Deep Travel radically alters our perception of not only where we are but also when we are, by placing us in an 'extended present,' and how it acts as an open-sesame to enlarge and enrich the world around us. Going even further, he investigates how we can remain absolutely still but travel in time itself, as our horizons move backward to include layers of nature and human culture that have gone before, or project us forward to consider what our actions will mean to those who will inhabit our spot on earth a few generations from now.

Whether travel takes you around the corner or around the world, once you've read In Motion, no journey will ever feel the same.

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Review:

In In Motion: The Experience of Travel, Tony Hiss argues that motion--so often a form of distraction and annoyance in our forward-flung lives--can, if approached in the right spirit, lead to heightened perception of both our surroundings and our own thoughts, whether traveling far abroad or just walking around our neighborhood. With that idea of travel (what he calls "Deep Travel") in mind, we asked him to think of some books that share the same sort of perception. The result is an expansive list of travel books in which the movement takes place as much in the brain as on a map:

Tony Hiss on Ten Books and a Movie That Evoke "Deep Travel"

Each of the following were valuable and enriching guides for me while I was writing In Motion and exploring Deep Travel--my expression for that revelatory sense of wonder and amazement that lets you discover something altogether new even in an old familiar place.

  • A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor: Thought by many to be the greatest travel writer of our time and by others to be the greatest travel writer of all times, Fermor’s story of his walk as a teenager across the peaceful Europe that was about to be consumed by the Second World War is a haunting and poetic narrative of great power.
  • Mani by Patrick Leigh Fermor: A post-war book by the same wonderful author, who this time seeks out the most inaccessible landscapes and villages of southernmost Greece. Beautifully observed and felt; among many treasures is Fermor’s page-long, single-sentence description of the air in Greece.
  • The Head Trip by Jeff Warren: An exciting, entertaining and authoritative look at the modern science of consciousness, with an insightful chapter on the "SMR"--the sensorimotor rhythm of the brain, which is the physical manifestation of our wider awareness.
  • My Khyber Marriage by Morag Murray Abdullah: An unknown classic. Morag Murray was a conventional young Scottish woman who married an Afghan prince during the First World War and left her sheltered life behind forever. A fascinating look at the transformative power of unexpected circumstances.
  • The Dance of Life by Edward T. Hall: A favorite author of mine, who spent a lifetime closely observing human behavior. In this book, this brilliant sociologist shows how time can extend indefinitely, bringing us into a longer "now."
  • The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann: One of the most celebrated novels of the 20th century. Although his subject is the disappearance of pre-First World War Europe, Mann, the Nobel Prize winner, pleads with his readers to keep "our sense of time" awake so that none of us will not have to live through "paltry, bare, featherweight years."
  • Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Tahir Shah: Rollicking and exuberant and full of insight, Shah recounts his year as a student to an Indian magician, a mysterious and forbidding man who believed in always keeping one eye on the detail, and the other on "the entire picture."
  • Ceremonial Time by John Hanson Mitchell: Without leaving his small town outside of Boston, Mitchell is able to resurrect the 15,000-year-old reality of the place, as it emerged from glacial times and became a beloved home to Native Americans. Mitchell moves through only a single square mile of space but glides back and forth through the millennia--and it's a magical journey.
  • Adventures in Afghanistan by Louis Palmer: Sixty years after Morag Murray, Palmer visits war-torn Afghanistan with the freedom fighters, and visits remote monasteries, hidden palaces, healing springs, and other startling treasures that seem like real-life continuations of the Arabian Nights.
  • Encountering the World by Edward S. Reed: A totally original synthesis of modern psychology and philosophy. Reed, who died much too young at age 42, convincingly places awareness at the center of all mental and cognitive ability. A masterpiece.
  • I Know Where I’m Going!, directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger: A lovely movie about a headstrong young woman (a marvelous Wendy Hiller) on her way to marry the wrong man. Suddenly stranded on a Scottish island, she awakens to everything she’s been missing and finds her true love and, more importantly, her true self.

About the Author:

Tony Hiss (New York, NY) was a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than 30 years. He has lectured around the world, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In Motion marks his 13th book, following the award-winning The Experience of Place. His books have explored subjects as varied as train travel, the landscape of the Chicago region, and both the landscape and the future of New York City. The National Recreation and Park Association's National Literary Award praised Hiss for a lifetime of "spellbinding and poignant" writing about "how our environments, modes of travel, and other aspects of the American landscape affect our lives."

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Book Description Planners Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In Motion is a brilliant, mind-opening book that will change how you see your world. Tony Hiss takes you to places that are both out there and inside your own mind, and offers a strikingly new perspective on such basic questions as `What makes us human? and `Why do we explore? I recommend that you read it before you take another step. ---Andrew WeilIN MOTION The Experience of TravelWith a new foreword by Robert D. YaroTravel gives us open-sesame moments when we suddenly see even familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. The experience---Hiss calls it Deep Travel---can happen whether we re on a trek through the Khyber Pass or a trip to the mailbox. With stories of his own journeys and passages from celebrated travel writers, he makes the transcendental experience come aliveSimple techniques can unlock this hidden dimension, and planners can use these heightened perceptions to shape the built and natural environments. In Hiss s mind-opening account, ordinary landscapes---highways, train tracks, intersections---become as extraordinary as the first human settlements or the most dazzling and renowned streetscapesIn Motion opens new paths of understanding for urban and regional planners, architects and landscape architects, and everyone else involved in creating transportation systems and public spaces. It s a journey worth taking. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781611900118

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