The Overview Effect of Travel

We reside inside our own worlds, full of boundaries. Some of those boundaries are real. Most are constructed.

Stepping out of that world is one of the healthiest activities you can practice.

There is a phenomenon experienced by astronauts called the “Overview Effect.” It is a shift in awareness when one leaves the Earth’s atmosphere and looks back at the Earth from a distance. Those who have experienced it say national boundaries disappear, human conflicts seem pointless, and the need to set aside our differences and create a healthy, sustainable future for all becomes paramount.

Go Beyond Boundaries

What can we do before space tourism hits its stride? Practice letting go of the differences we use to define us. I have found travel to aid that immensely.

Break out of your boundaries.

Travel to a new country.

Stay with a people who see the world differently than you.

Let go of your preconceptions and deeply connect with someone you have always seen as “other.” It will change the way you see your world and the divisions we have made between us.

“Humanity must rise above the earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond. For only then will we understand the world in which we live.” Socrates

For more on the overview effect, check out this short documentary.