The Mass-Observation Project
Spring 2000 Directive
Part 1: Travelling
This directive is about travelling.... travelling within Britain as well as travelling abroad. How much of the world you have seen? How much do you want to see? What are your thoughts on travel generally? You can write about your holidays, or the travel you may do for your work or for other reasons. 

Please remember that if you don't travel much, or you don't enjoy travelling, we still would like to have your thoughts and experiences. I know people will differ immensely on this subject both in terms of their experiences and in their views on the appeals of travel. Your views and experiences may have changed over the years. For example, when I was a child living in Yorkshire in the 1950s, a journey to London was a rare and momentous event. Nowadays, I take much longer journeys for granted.

What this directive is NOT about: 
· Regular short journeys you may make (unless you yourself feel that these should be taken into account) 
· Travelling to LIVE in another place. We are planning to do a directive on emigration and immigration soon, so please hold on to that information for then, or just mention it here.

Your travel life story
Begin by writing a "travel life story" with places and dates and descriptions. Here are some of my own thoughts on what this might cover, but please use it only as a prompt to get you writing.

· Childhood: memories of any travel you may have done as a child or very young person, alone, with your parents or family members. Where did you go? Why were these journeys made? Were they holidays? What form of transport? What were your thoughts and feelings about the journeys?

· Youth: can you remember the first time you travelled alone - if you ever did? Again comment on your feelings and describe the occasions, the forms of transport, the purpose and so on.

· As an adult: as much as you can remember…. If it is hard to recall all the details, then an overview would be fine, or a story about one particularly memorable experience.

The value and pleasure of travel
We have all heard the old adage that travel broadens the mind. What are your views on this? Do you feel it has been true in your case, or in the case of people you know who like to travel? 
Do you think that a young person should "see the world"?
See Naples and die? Are there places you would like to visit that you have not yet been to? If so, please explain why. What plans have you got to make this happen?
What do you feel (if indeed you enjoy travel) are the benefits and pleasures? 
What is most important to you when you travel? Meeting new people? Learning about different cultures? Learning a new language? Returning to places you have enjoyed visiting before? Historical or cultural interest? Sporting opportunities like skiing, scuba diving or mountaineering? Interest in wildlife and scenery -trekking in the Himalayas or going on safari? Or getting away from it all and enjoying a change?
The hazards and costs of travel
What are the unpleasant aspects of travel: here you may wish to talk about the discomfort, the costs, the dangers… as experienced at a personal level. Do you prefer travelling by train or by car? By boat or by aeroplane? If you rarely travel is that a positive choice or would you like to travel more? What are the obstacles to travelling?

The practicalities of travel
How do you prepare for journeys? What items do you always take away with you? How do you go about packing? Who does the packing in your household? Do you travel light? What precautions do you take for your journeys to combat problems like car or sea sickness, jet lag, insect bites, sunburn, insomnia, stomach problems? Do you like to take "home comforts" with you? Do you take food with you?
Have you preferred methods for passing time on long journeys? 
What kind of traveller are you? Confident? Anxious? Do you take out travel insurance? Do you like to travel alone or in company?
If you are travelling to another country, do you prepare by, for example, learning the language (or do you only visit countries where you can speak the language already?) Do you buy travel guide books, maps or videos to find out about the places you plan to visit?
How has your travel changed over the years?

The wider implications of travel
A good deal has been said in recent years about the damage done by tourism to many parts of the world. What are your views on this? Have you yourself witnessed such damage? What about the environmental impact of different kinds of transport?

Part 2: Collecting things
This subject has been suggested by a Mass-Observer who himself is a collector and was interested to know whether other people collected things as a hobby or interest. 

At first I assumed that this might be a minority interest and would not be a suitable theme for a directive, and then I started to talk to people around me and discovered that lots of people I know DO collect things. 

Tom Harrisson, founder of Mass-Observation, collected ornaments and other objects in the shape of turtles because he was passionate about turtle conservation. 

What do you think about people who collect things? Can you understand the appeal?

If you are NOT a collector, do you have friends and relatives who are? For example, if you have young children, do they collect things? And swap things?

If you are a collector, or were once, what do/did you collect?
How did you get started? Do you remember collecting things as a child?
Are your friends or other members of your family involved in your collecting?
Describe how you go about your collections covering issues like where you collect from, how much you spend in terms of money, how much time you invest.
How do you store or display your collection? Do you make written records of what you have? Do you have categories or groups?
Do you belong to societies or clubs of like-minded people? 

Do you buy magazines, books, videos or CDs relating to your collections? Do you use the internet to  make contact with other collectors or collections?


DS/March 2000 Dir. No. 59
The Mass-Observation Archive ~FREEPOST~ FP2112 ~ The Library ~ University of Sussex ~Brighton BN1 1ZX
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