What’s out there on the road anymore? A world of degradation, fear and anger, through which tourists move in a kind of pre-French Revolutionary trance of ignorance and arrogance. The world as it is now is a horror for the real traveler. It’s only pure departure one wants any more: the plane wheels lifting off the ground, the train wheels gathering speed, the bus pulling out of the station, the boat whistle sounding as the port drops behind. Arrival is much more problematic. That’s when loneliness, culture clash, irritation, fatigue, boredom or fear set in. But departure is pure bliss, the closest thing to freedom any human can know.

The only way to travel truly is to travel endlessly, perhaps settling somewhere for a time and then moving on, paths, roads “back” erasing themselves for good, moving onward always, the world flattening out like a plane or plain somewhere on whose surface (functionally infinite in a human lifetime) the heart of the mystery waits. And it isn’t sex or drugs or crime or religion or revolution or love or cruelty or beauty or anything you’ve already experienced—or else it’s all those things and wild nature too, and the incomprehensible age of the human world which emerged from it. Somewhere on that vast plain—anywhere—is the one place where everything intersects, but you have to keep moving, and life may not give you enough time to find it.