No Passport Needed

I really wish I could travel more. That'd make me happy.

No Passport Needed
I'd love nothing more than to just travel the world and take in all of life's festivities. 

Reflecting back, I feel like I have a tendency to ramble through my thoughts. Using too niche metaphors to connect the dots of larger, more abstract, concepts such as the sense of self and how that relates to interacting with others. Most of the time, these metaphors are for myself. A way to assemble a small piece of the larger puzzle. But also, they need to be relatable to the reader as well. Ideas rarely do much unless they are able to take root in foreign soil.

I've been dancing around a much larger topic. Trying to fill in a few pieces so that this topic has space to take root. Something that connects this all together. And that topic is travel.

One of the key concepts I'm exploring for the world I'm building is the concept of open travel. The ability to pick up your things (as much as you're willing to travel with) and just go globetrotting. See what's out there. Connect yourself to the larger world and hopefully expand your world view (both inner and outer) in the process. It's a fantastic concept (in my head at least) as it is something that I've always wanted to do. Something was able to do briefly while touring as a musician. And something that could be beneficial to the world as well. The ability to share and experience culture so easily, something we try to emulate with social media, but that is only akin to looking through a window. Open travel allows all of the senses to participate. Making yourself fully present in the moment.

So, what does that world look like? What needs will we need to meet? And how will those needs be met? Lets start with the basics:

Shelter: the need to protect oneself from the elements. If the world is open to travel as one wishes, then how can shelter be guaranteed for all? The truth is that it can't be guaranteed for all, but that shouldn't stop anyone from trying. One of the trickier aspects of this need is demand planning, not knowing how much room to plan for at any given time. So, the solution should likely be modular. Quick to setup and/or store. Initial solutions for this problem lead me to capsule style sleeping pods. Something thermally efficient, secure, and with enough room for a person and few belongings. Accommodations can always be handled via a community center (with amenities such as shared kitchens, showers, etc.). The capsules are mostly for sleeping only as travelers will not likely stay in one area without a need to.

Should travelers wish to integrate with a community, then they will need to work out more permanent arrangements for shelter with that community. Also, there is a chance that there will be no capsule availability while travelling. This is a risk one must assume and pack proper precautions or have other arrangements ready should that be the case.

Food: if you are not aware already, the world produces enough food to feed the world's population. However, it is between Capitalism and a mismanagement of logistics that we find ourselves with a problem. To further complicate things, our current method of obtaining that food supply isn't very sustainable and has reached its limits of scalability. That being said, there are more efficient methods of production (such as vertical farming) that could help shift us away from a global food distribution system. Only reason food is exported/imported around the world is due to money being involved. If money is removed from the equation, better systems can begin to emerge and take shape. Vertical farms producing regionally & seasonally appropriate food can help establish a baseline of supply to nearby communities. Members of those communities can take it upon themselves to grow more exotic items, or house livestock, if that is what they wish to invest their time and energy in. Establishing a base supply of nourishment is key to creating a stable system that allows open travel.

Water: One of the biggest issues to tackle with water is making sure that the water we use is either conserved, recycled, or otherwise able to make its way back to the source (such as filtered into an aquifer or as precipitation). Here we can leverage a few technologies to prevent water scarcity and to supply water where needed. First is to ensure that pipelines are monitored for leakage (this can be an automatic process) so that water loss is minimized. Another is through desalination of salt water (as needed) to replenish reservoirs to a minimum level that meets the community's needs. Where and how water is transported/stored is topic for another time, but most, if not all, communities will have access to fresh water. Although water filters will likely be needed for any long-distance treks. Travelers will need to plan water usage and storage accordingly depending on where they will be travelling.

Communication/Access to Information: Is it possible for the entire world to be able to instantly communicate and share information as needed? Perhaps not currently, but it is a realistic goal that is achievable. Having access to an entire world of information allows travelers to be more prepared and plan routes more efficiently. Having information that is easily sorted and organized for quick research allows travelers to learn and adapt on the fly. Being able to communicate with emergency services while in any location within the world will allow travelers to feel safer during their travels. Communication and information devices, much like our smartphones today, can be fantastic tools if you allow them to be. Whether to carry and the type of device one carries is entirely optional, but it is another useful tool that will be of great aid in an open travel society.

What are some issues to this approach?

First is that invasive species are invasive. There will still need to be a level of protection in place to encourage healthy biodiversity.

Second is that not everywhere can just be traveled. As much as we like to think it, the world doesn't just belong to humans. There will have to be zones that are left to be wild. How much we share of the planet and what regulations will be in place is a very large topic that will be tackled in due time.

Third, not all communities are just going to be welcoming of travelers. Being respectful of the boundaries of others and having the freedom to chart your own course in life is a balancing act we all engage in. Free and open communication will help, but all with a healthy dose of respect.

This certainly is not a comprehensive list regarding the subject, but it is a place to start. There is a lot more to explore and I intend to do just that in future blogs. But for now, that = that. Would love to hear any questions, feedback, encouragement, etc. that you may have, so feel free to reach out! Also, please subscribe to the mailing list if you haven't already. It's the best way to stay up to date with the latest posts.

Thanks for reading! :)