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  • Writer's pictureThe Travelling Shoe

Travelling in 4D : A simple science

Updated: Feb 22, 2021

When was the last time you remembered a place, which you visited, totally, just by closing your eyes? How many times have you felt, after looking at the photos, that you don’t remember being at that spot? Or do you always have to take out your phone and take pics of a place because you are not going to recall it later? If it happens to you, then keep reading on 🙂

We have entered the 21st century with a bang and the technological revolution has changed the travel  industry totally. We are tourists, and not travelers anymore. We go to a place and Check-in on Facebook first. We see the world through the lenses of our mobile phones. Before we see the whole place our story gets uploaded on Instagram. We travel to get likes on social media, and even if we don’t want to accept, to get approvals of our fellow comrades. The blame could be ours, but equally it is on the technology too, we are just too used to it!

Next time you go to a tourist spot, observe any random person there. Just try to count how many times he actually looks at the view in front of him without a mobile/camera between them (could be a girl too!). If you notice, your back is actually towards the view most of the time as you are trying to capture the view as your background in the selfie. You actually don’t see the view from your naked eyes for more than a minute max without having something going on in back of your head, and mostly that is the urge to get on social media, take pictures, or maybe just some random thoughts. Of course it won’t be the case for all (not generalizing!), but for some people it can be really frustrating!

Traveling is supposed to change the way we live our lives, even though it is to a park in the same town. If a travel doesn’t fill every cell in your body with total joy and contentment, then it is not a travel experience. What is the reason that we don’t feel like it anymore? The answer is in the question itself. We DON’T FEEL IT anymore!

If you remember any calculus from high school, we traverse in 3D, i.e. XYZ directions. From any spot on ground to any point in the skies, you can travel or locate your position in these directions. And we also use senses like Listening from Ears, Watching with Eyes, Smelling from Nose, to just live our normal daily lives, and which usually gets distracted when we travel due to the ‘issues’ we discussed above. But we also usually ignore a sense totally and that is the sense of Touch! Maybe we are too used to all these senses (like we See all the time, duh!), the real power of their ‘experienced feel’ is lost on us!

Traveling in 4D is just traveling in XYZ directions using the most prominent sense that you have, Touch! Yes, it may sound funny or inappropriate, but just touch stuff to remember the place! Now instead of me giving you another lecture, let’s try an activity now!

For the next 20 seconds keep your phone aside or avert your eyes from your PC/laptop. Take a deep breath and touch anything next to you (maybe not a stranger?). It could be a pillar, wall, table, lamp post, or anything (What is it? Some metal, wood, or stone?). While feeling that thing just look around and try to see the horizontal and vertical lines in that location, which could be the edges of the buildings, windows, trees etc (it’s fine if you skip some of the lines). Keep doing it until you have covered the whole panoramic view in front of you.

Do it now!

Done? Ok, seriously try it! Surely done? Ok, now close your eyes (first read this all!) and try to remember that feel of the thing you touched. The scene that you just observed will automatically come in front of your eyes! You can move your head in any direction to see the panoramic view you just observed. The more lines you have observed the more detailed would be the view!  And the beauty of this technique is that the scene is etched in your memory forever! Now you can take out your phone and take a selfie, it won’t matter! 🙂

Why does this work? I personally think that since we don’t use our sense of Touch cognizantly every time, this kind of feeling is seemingly new and fresh for the body. It feels good and the brain likes to remember the ‘feeling’ attached with the view, instead of just another image to store. Also, this technique has always existed in our world, and is not just a figment of my mind! Artists recognize shapes in front of them to paint a picture, blind people depend on their sense of touch to walk around and remember their routes, lot of animals feel the vibration of the ground to hunt/escape, and for some the world look fuzzy and colorless, and they depend on their other senses like touch, smell, sound, etc.

I just took this scientific technique and applied it to the traveling stream. For me, personally, it has worked wonders! I remember a whole night-street, full of lights, in Miami from the feel of flowers on the side of the road.  I remember how the Pacific Ocean looks, from the feel of the sand at a Los Angeles beach, or how the inside of Hotel Venetian in Las Vegas looks like from the feel of one of the metal bars on the gondolas inside, or when I laid my head on a warm wall (I never said you only need to use your palms!) after a sunny afternoon, I remember how I felt looking at the great Fort of Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan, India. Do you know that the Washington Monument feels the same as the walls of Hogwarts in Harry Potter World, Orlando? Or the bench next to Tower Bridge, London, feels the same as a bench in Catedral Metropolitana de Mexico, the most beautiful church in Mexico City?

The point is that you won’t just remember the view, but you will remember the feeling of the place when you travel in 4D! Isn’t that simply beautiful? Isn’t that what we would like to take away from a place, instead of a picture that we may not even see again! Now I have nothing against social media as I am a big social bird, and also a freelance photographer, so going anywhere without a camera is a big No for me. But I am a passionate traveler too! And the only thing I want is that when we go for travels, we don’t get distracted by other elements and miss out on the most important part: The Travel.

Do you use some technique to remember your travels? Did this technique work for you? Let me know in the comments and share it with your travel freak friends!


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