Ted Simon is now 75 years old. When he was 41, he went on his first journey round the world – on motorbike. His second motorbike-journey around the world he took on with 70 years. His motivation for the second journey: nostalgia (‚Sehnsucht nach Vergangenem‚). He didn’t try to escape the engagements of the occupational everyday life. He aspired toward personal, immediate perception of places and conditions, which are represented oftentimes so contradictorily in the mass media. Hence cognition, awareness, knowledge about places, locations and the actualities there, but also self-awareness and personal advancement. And, to be sure, curiosity. What has happened to the places, he visited during his first journey, what are the merits or the quality of the personal remembrances. What happens, if you try to update them, to balance them with the ever-changing reality? This seems to be attractive, but furthermore it reminds us on such situations, when you have made an appointment with an good old friend, a friend you met the last time nearly decades ago. Ted Simon’s motivations for his second journey evidence stimulate me to think about place. Regrettably I am not able to reply quickly, rather I feel encouraged to ask questions: Could places be treated as persons by some means or an another? Is it possible to assert, that places share or store memories, that places motivate practices. What about people, when we try to imagine them as placeless? Are there any people without place? It’s possible to be homeless, but is it possible to be placeless?
Finally some statements of Ted about the mode of travelling: To travel by air didn’t caome into question. He has experienced, that you have to be en-route slowly, in order to get to know people and places and to see life. You should obtain a sentiment for the distances you cover. I have learned from the interview with Ted Simon, that there should be a contemporary mode of strolling, that flaneurism is not necessarily independent of motorized modes of coming around
Source: Ted Simon, Interview in DIE Zeit, Nr. 13 vom 22.03.2007, p 83 f.