On page 9 of The Art of Travel Alain de Botton explains the centrality of travel to the human experience and what the Greeks termed eudaimonia, “human flourishing.” Do you find that the travel experience enhances your sense of eudaimonia?
Directions: Revisit Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel. Reread section V, “Return.” Review the essays that you wrote prior to departure as well as any personal journaling you completed during the tour.
After considering your month-long experience abroad—the buildings, the cities, the trains, the food, the shopping, the literature, the theory, the photographs, the painting, the sketching, the misadventures,—write an essay that addresses the value of travel to you, both personally and professionally.
Have you discovered, or taken part in, the “art” of travel? What have you learned—not just about specific buildings alone, but considering the broad cultural experience we hope you have enjoyed—that will be of use, or pleasure, to you, both immediately and long-term, both personally and professionally? How have your expectations about travel changed as a result of this trip? In the future, how will you travel? For what? To where? Do you better understand the enduring allure of a place like Rome, which architects have seen as an important destination for millennia, or are you more attracted to those places which lie off the beaten path, like Girona? Which destinations were the most enjoyable/pleasurable/interesting/valuable to you, and why? As an architect or interior designer, do you think you will travel differently than if you had followed another career path? In the future, will you travel differently as a result of your experiences on this study tour?
You are not expected to answer each of these questions; they are provided to prompt your thinking in general about travel.
Final essays must be received (via email attachment or mail) to Profs. Amundson, Hodge & Kaiser by 5 PM on Monday, June 12. Please send PDFs with any pertinent illustrations embedded within the text.