Why we make art?
Why we enjoy it?
Is travel a form of art?
The beloved Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, answered the question with unparalleled eloquence and elegance in his essay “Childhood and poetry.”
Neruda relays an anecdote from his childhood that helped him understand art and its power on all humanity:
“One time, investigating in the backyard of our house in Temuco [Chile] the tiny objects and minuscule beings of my world, I came upon a hole in one of the boards of the fence. I looked through the hole and saw a landscape like that behind our house, uncared for and wild. I moved back a few steps, because I sensed vaguely that something was about to happen. All of a sudden a hand appeared—a tiny hand of a boy about my own age. By the time I came close again, the hand was gone, and in its place there was a marvelous white sheep.
The sheep’s wool was faded. Its wheels had escaped. All of this only made it more authentic. I had never seen such a wonderful sheep. I looked back through the hole but the boy had disappeared. I went into the house and brought out a treasure of my own: a pinecone, opened, full of odor and resin, which I adored. I set it down in the same spot and went off with the sheep.”
He never saw the hand or the boy again. The toy perished in a fire. But the encounter helped him understand a deep truth about the longing for mutuality that drives us towards art.
“I have been a lucky man. To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep
and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses—that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.
That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all of humanity is somehow together. That experience came to me again much later; this time it stood out strikingly against a background of trouble and persecution.
It won’t surprise you then that I attempted to give something resiny, earthlike, and fragrant in exchange for human brotherhood. Just as I once left the pinecone by the fence, I have since left my words on the door of so many people who were unknown to me, people in prison, or hunted, or alone.
That is the great lesson I learned in my childhood, in the backyard of a lonely house.”
Follow on Neruda’s footsteps and join us on a luxury trip around Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
If you’ve been feeling stuck, perhaps you could use some inspiration.
While not technically a form of art, travel is conducive to creativity. Simply moving from place to place, embracing the unknown and the beauty that surrounds us, rebrings joy, passion and purpose.
As Alain de Botton nicely puts it in The Art of Travel:
“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.”
Come and discover Chile’s Patagonia, where thousand-year-old ice fields meet native forests and the Andes Mountains disappear into the Pacific. Stay at the amazingly beautiful Hotel Las Torres and explore the rugged Torres del Paine National Park. Cruise to the astonishing Grey Glacier and for a few hours, become a Patagonian gaucho.
Admire the Perito Moreno Glacier, hearing it crack and roar like an incredible living mass.
Explore up close the unforgettable Iguazu Falls and say hello to the South American coati.
Immerse in Rio’s samba beat and toast the sunset as you drink in the amazing views atop the majestic statue of Christ the Redeemer.
Curl up in soft blankets and spend a night under the stars in the Atacama Desert. Because of its high altitude, nearly non-existent cloud cover, dry air, and lack of light pollution, this desert is one of the best places in the world to stargaze.
Combine adventure with a touch of luxury. Rediscover the art of travel.
At the end of all our trips, we want you to say:
“I was here, I saw this and it mattered to me.”