a person who travels from place to place.
an Aristotelian philosopher.
While I’m away on family business, I’ve invited the peripatetic Kassandra Lamb to host today’s blog. I could say it’s because I love her mystery series, or because her posts are always entertaining.
Or maybe… I’ve just always wanted to use peripatetic in a blog post.
Have Suitcase, Will Travel
by Kassandra Lamb
Thanks, Barb, for letting me once again steal borrow your blog. Since you like to travel so much and I happen to be a psychologist, I thought I’d talk about the psychology behind travel.
My husband and I just got back from a big Bucket List trip to Hawaii. It was fabulous! Everywhere we turned there was gorgeous scenery–majestic volcanoes, lush foliage, swaying palm trees, pristine beaches.
But being the psychology nerd that I am, I kept thinking: Why do we human beings willingly travel? And even find it enjoyable?
Why do we pay good money for the privilege of stuffing our most necessary belongings into two suitcases (one of them a way-too-small carry-on), partially disrobing in security lines, sitting in sardine cans called airplanes for hours, pushing through crowded airports to reclaim said suitcases, and then living in a sight-unseen, much smaller living space than the one we left behind (for which we are already paying a hefty mortgage)?
The answer to this pressing question (in my pea brain, at least) became evident a couple days before we were scheduled to leave from our final stop, the Big Island of Hawaii. I asked my husband if he wanted to go see a picturesque waterfall I’d read about in one of the guide books. He’s an avid photographer and usually eats that kind of stuff up. But this time he said, “Nah, I’m waterfalled out.”
And there was the answer. We travel for novelty. We human beings get bored with the same old, same old everyday and we need to change things up a bit at times to get ourselves revved up again.
My colleagues who are into researching this stuff would say that humans need “an optimal level of arousal.” Psychobabble for the periodic urge to stir things up by trading in what is nearby, familiar and routine for what is far away and exotic.
But if we stay too long, the exotic becomes familiar and loses some of its appeal. First half dozen waterfalls….Oh, wow!! How spectacular! Next few waterfalls…Oh, that’s pretty. Fifteenth waterfall…yawn.
The flip side of all that exotic stuff that stimulates us is the need to balance it with the sense of security and relaxation that comes from the familiar routines of our lives. Remember it’s “optimal arousal” we’re aiming for, not too little (boredom) nor too much (overstimulation).
So, at the end of the day, Dorothy was right. There’s no place like home!
None of this has a thing to do with the book I’m pushing right now, my new release, Suicidal Suspicions (although while we were in Hawaii, I was researching the next book in the series, which is set on Maui).
But now that I’ve gotten you in a good mood with all the pretty pictures, please take a look at my book! Thanks so much!!
KASSANDRA LAMB: Writing and psychology have always vied for first place on Kassandra Lamb’s Greatest Passions list. In her youth, she had to decide between writing and paying the bills. Partial to electricity and food, she studied psychology. Now retired from a career as a psychotherapist and college professor, she spends most of her time in an alternate universe with her protagonist and alter ego, Kate Huntington. The magic portal to this universe (i.e., her computer) is located in Florida, where Kassandra’s husband and dog catch occasional glimpses of her.
NOTE from Barb: Please see my review here of Kassandra’s newest release, Suicidal Suspicions
SUICIDAL SUSPICIONS, A Kate Huntington Mystery, #8Psychotherapist Kate Huntington is rocked to the core when one of her clients commits suicide. How can this be? The woman, who suffered from bipolar disorder, had been swinging toward a manic state. The client’s family blames Kate and they’re threatening to sue for malpractice. She can’t fault them since she blames herself. How could she have missed the signs? Searching for answers for herself and the grieving parents, Kate discovers some details that don’t quite fit. Is it possible the client didn’t take her own life, or is that just wishful thinking? Questioning her professional judgement, and at times her own sanity, she feels compelled to investigate. What she finds stirs up her old ambivalence about the Catholic Church. Is her client’s death somehow related to her childhood parish? When she senses that someone is following her, she wonders if she is truly losing it. Or is she getting dangerously close to someone’s secrets?
- Book Title: Suicidal Suspicions
- Author: Kassandra Lamb
- Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 267 pages
Publisher: Misterio Press LLC (October 27, 2015)