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The existentialist quest and long term travelers

This project includes:

Image taken from:   food and travel fun

Key words:  Identity, society, ideas.

This project aims to use the writer's personal life experience as an inspiration to explore existentialism. Existentialism refers to the question of what "To Be" means. Adopting authenticity as an ethical choice to live one’s own human experience might be the ultimate objective of those questioning the meaning of Being. More precisely, this piece aims to assess the extent to which opting for a nomadic lifestyle that diverts from standard living patterns is related to existentialist quests. In addition to interviews with a number of long term travelers, the video also includes insights given by philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre and Heidegger.

 

The realization that one’s identity is almost completely devoid of one's own intentions and agency may cause a sense of alienation. The manner in which one becomes himself in the world is pre-determined by the roles available within a specific culture. Activities and meanings which had previously filled one’s ideas of self are still recognizable but no longer have leverage. This entails acknowledging a certain absurdity about existence because reason and value do not have any ultimate foundation, thus revealing a sort of nothingness in everyone’s life.

 

As a consequence, it cannot be said that one becomes self on his own in an authentic way. People speak as they should speak; people study as they should study; people fight as they should fight. With the latter in mind, becoming self, to a certain degree, involves becoming “anonymous,” aligning oneself to others. In this sense, people's lives are made up of purely public opinion, herd existence, the ordinary way of doing things which enables avoiding the burden of becoming self authentically.

 

To be conscious of the pre-determined patterns of one’s existence means being conscious you are not those patterns, a negation by means of which one's consciousness can grasp the redundancy of these patterns without losing oneself in them. Morals, values and so forth are not intrinsic to being. Underpinning this logic is the idea that one’s existence is not determined by a human’s supposed essence. For some individuals nihilism presents a liberating opportunity to recover oneself from loss within the mass. It is here that the need for authenticity comes into focus, fueled by the desire for self-definition through freedom, choice, and commitment.

 

Nietzsche’s "Übermensch" is he who understands that nihilism is the way out towards morality. His life-denying essence reconfigures the moral idea of autonomy, ignoring what other individuals might think about his choices. Committing oneself to act in accordance with one's own sense of duty is equivalent to behaving morally. However, this does not apply when social pressure is a factor. Indeed, morality is inauthentic if, on the other hand, one does something because it is what one "should" do. In both cases, the resulting actions may be similar, but only in the first case the person is authentically himself.

 

Although being authentic implies being autonomous, no lifestyle has precedence over another. Truth does not acquire meaning only if defined objectively. Rather, truth acquires meaning to the extent to which existence is pursued “passionately”…

 

Waiting to meet a significant number of interviewees in order to start writing the story.