Self Knowledge

Psychogeography explains why we love beautiful places

Aug 21, 2020
collage of a man walking in between taj mahal and a boring city

Take a moment to reflect the last time you walked around with no agenda. You weren't trying to get anywhere; no appointment no nothing. Just walking and enjoying what surrounds you.

You could say we usually travel to experience that; discovering new horizons and being immersed in beautiful places. But why do we like being immersed in those places? Why do we, as tourists, like to visit temples, cathedrals and castles?

Perhaps there's a reason why we'd rather be at a tropical beach instead of at a boring city made of concrete blocks that look all the same.

Our environment has the power to influence our moods and thoughts - our mental state. In other words, we become a different person depending on where we are. Surrounding ourselves with beauty and paying attention to our environment can be therapeutic.

Popularized by Walter Benjamin in the 20th century, the flâneur was the type of person who "wandered about the streets, with no clear purpose other than to wander."

As the name suggests, the flâneur came from France.

You might argue that it'd be easier to act as a flâneur when Paris is the city you live in, but one might also argue that there's beauty to be found even inside the boring concrete jungles most of us live.