“In Motion is a brilliant, mind-opening book that will change how you see your world. Tony Hiss takes you to places that are both out there and inside your own mind, and offers a strikingly new perspective on such basic questions as ‘What makes us human?’ and ‘Why do we explore?’ I recommend that you read it before you take another step.” —Andrew Weil, M.D.
In this extraordinarily wide-ranging, insightful, and revelatory book, Tony Hiss—the much-praised author of The Experience of Place—delves into a unique and instantly recognizable (though previously undescribed) experience that can happen to us when we travel, a special understanding and ability that can leave us feeling exhilarated. He illustrates how throughout human history—from our ancestors walking upright for the first time to astronauts walking on the moon—we have repeatedly availed ourselves of this seemingly elusive quality, which he calls “Deep Travel.”
The sensation of Deep Travel can overtake us, Hiss says, whenever we tap into a sophisticated, wide-awake awareness we all possess. With a wealth of examples—from evocative accounts of his own journeys to celebrated travel writing across the centuries—Hiss identifies and rescues this powerful capacity and sets out simple techniques for accessing it no matter where we are.
And this is only a jumping-off point for an original and penetrating explanation of how Deep Travel radically alters our perception of not only where we are but also when we are, by placing us in an “extended present,” and how it acts as an open-sesame to enlarge and enrich the world around us. Going even further, he investigates how we can remain absolutely still but travel in time itself, as our horizons move backward to include layers of nature and human culture that have gone before, or project us forward to consider what our actions will mean to those who will inhabit our spot on earth a few generations from now.
Whether travel takes you around the corner or around the world, once you’ve read In Motion, no journey will ever feel the same.
In Motion marks Tony Hiss’s thirteenth book and follows the award-winning The Experience of Place. His books have explored subjects as varied as train travel, Hunanese cooking, giant pandas, the story of his family, and the future of New York City. He was a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years, has lectured around the world, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He lives in New York with his wife, writer Lois Metzger, and their son.