Seneca to Lucilius, 28: traveling won’t cure your inner problems

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To travel or not to travel? And why?

“Are you amazed to find that even with such extensive travel, to so many varied locales, you have not managed to shake off gloom and heaviness from your mind? As if that were a new experience! You must change the mind, not the venue.” (XXVIII.1)

“Socrates said to a person who had the same complaint as you: ‘Why are you surprised that traveling does you no good, when you travel in your own company? The thing that weighs on your mind is the same as drove you from home.’ … Do you ask why your flight is of no avail? You take yourself along.” (XXVIII.2)

“Once what is amiss is gotten rid of, then every change of place will become pleasurable. Even if you are exiled to the furthest corners of the earth, you will find that whatever barbaric spot you wind up in is a hospitable retreat for you. Where you go matters less than who you are when you go.” (XXVIII.4)

“We should live with this conviction: ‘I was not born in any one spot; my homeland is this entire world.’” (XXVIII.4)

“The object of your search — namely, to live well — is to be found in every place.” (XXVIII.5)

“‘Awareness of wrongdoing is the starting point for healing.’ Epicurus spoke very well here, I think, for he who does not know that he is doing wrong does not wish to be set right. Before you can reform yourself, you must realize your error.” (XVIII.9)

Stoicism, ethics, and philosophy of science. Complete index, by subject, at

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