I had heard of Pico Iyer, knew the name, but hadn’t ever read anything by him or seen him speak. This morning I got this TED Talk in my inbox and I sat spellbound for nearly 15 minutes, just pausing occasionally to quickly scribble down a few quotes that resonated in my heart. I think those of you who know what it’s like to travel, to live in foreign countries, to visit new places, to truly embrace the world in whatever form that takes for you, as well as those of you who, like so many of us, find it difficult to know when it’s time to stop moving and find stillness, will find that this talk resonates with you as well. Iyer refers to the over 220 million people living in countries that are not their own as “this great floating tribe.” Some of his other poetic and insightful observations:
“For more and more of us, home has really less to do with a piece of soil, than, you could say, with a piece of soul.”
“Where you come from now is much less important than where you’re going.”
“Home is not just the place where you are born—it’s the place where you become yourself.”
“It’s only by stopping movement that you can see where to go.”
“Movement ultimately only has a meaning if you have a home to go back to.”
I was born in Virginia, and by the age of five I had already lived in Connecticut, Michigan, and Washington. Next came Arizona, Delaware, and then finally, Rome.
Rome is where I found my soul, and the place I go back to. The United States is where I derive the basis for most of the cultural and moral values that sustain me. But ultimately aren’t so many of us now simply children of the world at large? When we step back to reflect on these questions, it’s clear that despite all the chaos, strain, and stress that technology has brought into our daily lives, it is truly a divine time to be alive, especially for those of us curious enough to step off the cliff for the next adventure.
Click here to visit Pico Iyer’s website, Pico Iyer Journeys.