who we are is what we do
If the adventures of Huck and Jim, and Sal and Dean, seem impossible under this new mode of travel, it is not just because they would be blocked from encountering places, but more fundamentally because they would be blocked from encountering themselves in those places. Just as our dogma about how to “really see a place” supposes that a place is some vital essence independent of us, the modern task of “finding yourself” supposes that we are some vital essence independent of the world. It directs us to seek after this essence in itself, obscuring from us the truth that who we are is mostly a matter of what we do — not so much the work or entertainment we choose, but how we act and what we make of ourselves from what we are given.
Ari N. Schulman on how technology is changing the nature of travel in America.