I think that for the well-travelled person, the summer holiday becomes a matter of entitlement; once the horizon has been broadened, it becomes a matter of good circulation to keep various lands awake in the circuit of the mind.
For if I were asked to explain the salubrious effect of travel, I would list: the physical reminder that one truly does walk this earth in all its diversity; the tessera hospitalis one picks up - those Roman friendship symbols that are split in two: half kept by the host, the other by the visitor, in the case that they ever meet again, they will recognize each other. Those are beautiful things. But how necessary is it to travel?
Could one not expand the imagination by watching a good film, or documentary? Is travelling not like Disneyland for the sentient soul, verging on fantasy and desire? And as for the sights that we see,it is prudent to ask whether they make us into better people.
An answer lies in the tesserae; κύβος can either refer to those friendship tokens mentioned above, but it can also refer to dice used in the game of chance. The friendship tokens were made from the same material as dice, and were the same shape: cubed, though sometimes oblong. It is this very same word and shape that is used to make up the mosaic.
Today, not everybody has the opportunity to travel; it may seem that everything is so close, yet so far away. The soul may long to for a panopoly of sights and smells to be used as protection later on, to have the reassuring thought that I went there, breathed in the genius loci of a different place. But that wish may not necessarily be granted - so the element of the die, of chance, reminds one that such things are not always in one's control. That even the mosaic of travel is within a much larger mosaic - that of life, in which the travel so many of us grew up on did not always exist; a life in which the museum may be inferior to spending a day boating with friends.
The nicest kind of travel involves going to visit friends, because the time with the friend in a distant land can become like a leitmotif, framing the quotidian. Once upon a time, travelling salesmen would also sometimes be the bearer of stories. We crave those peeks into life that we bring to each other when we visit, or receive a guest in our home. We crave seeing what is around us everyday as something new, which happens through those experienced stories. Brought through travel or the traveller.
I don't know if the chance of my summer will open up to afford me travel; I hope so, but I do not want to feel enslaved to having to. Is this not like those indoctrinations that slip into our upbringing: a child must play the piano, must be an equestrian, must speak foreign languages. Will these activities necessarily make the child happier, wiser? Could it not develop intelligence through other means, like Rousseau's Emile? By extension, I wonder to myself if I have been taught to think I must travel, when all I need could be right in front of me. So, I end this post with the κύβος: no matter what we do this summer, may it be beautiful, bring character to the mosaic of our lives, and involve good friends and lots of laughs.