Travelling as Another Form of Dreaming

Travelling shares too many similarities with dreaming. It is easy to become lost in a new city and it is easy to become lost in your head (travelling allows for both with gentle ease). The large change in timezone also plays a role in the dreaminess of everything because sleep deprivation takes an interesting toll on your mind. After only just arriving I have gotten a chance to be very lost in both London and my head (soon I will be lost in the French countryside as well).

I went straight away after my flight landed to drop my bags off at the hostel and then it was a short walk down Queen’s to the natural history museum. This entire museum only fed on my sleep exhaustion because it is a very surreal place to be– which I feel only emphasises the strange reality that we usually accept so easily without second thought. There were many interesting areas of the museum that catalogued and showcased different facets of our natural world, but there are a few nooks and crannies that I found particularly interesting (especially in my partially dreaming state). The museum has one exhibit that follows human biology and growth. It is very dated and worn– the paint is chipping off and there is a nice layer of dirt and grime that has grown on top of everything– but instead of detracting from the exhibit the obvious state of decay only adds to the experience. At the very beginning you find yourself standing in an egg shaped room that is dark and created with the intention to simulate what it is like in the womb. There is a giant fetus glowing red against one wall and you can hear the heartbeat of the supposed baby booming throughout the entire tiny room. From this point on the exhibit explores all of the other facets of being human– including asking obvious but philosophical questions, such as “can we trust our senses?” The exhibit even finds a way to make us feel as a baby does when first discovering the world and how unusual (or magical) everything is when we experience it for the first time. I was put in such an altered state of mind by both the wandering and the sleep deprivation that at one point when I turned around I saw a girl and we exchanged looks and shared postures. I thought that we were each other, but when she began to move away I became confused as to how she was able to leave if I had not left as well. I went to get coffee shortly after.

I have not gotten an impressive amount of sleep just yet, but I think I have enough sleep in me to keep the dreaming down to a minimum today (it is just a little past five am right now on the 19th of July). I expect that I will still be in a nice daze today whilst walking around London however because this world truly is a fascinating little pocket of the universe. Later today we leave for Canterbury and god knows what dreams I will have whilst awake there (I am sure they will be just as fascinating).

Before I leave I just want to inform everyone that you must try the avo soup that they have at this vegan restaurant in London– 222 Veggie Vegan. It was green and delicious– I am still dreaming about it.

Be well, we will talk soon.

J.

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