The horizon has always been synonymous with the unknown. In the middle ages when people did not have the geographic knowledge of today they even believed that beyond it there was nothing but the border of the Earth as flat as a coin!
Beyond the horizon, however, there were peoples with incomprehensible languages and different habits, climatic conditions completely unknown. Even civilisation as ambition and as invincible in their time as the Roman Empire or the Napoleonic Empire failed to govern for a long time as they conquered by force expanding beyond of their natural environment. Neither the “commercial” expansion granted the British Empire a lasting dominion but a false expectation of being able to control the majority of the countries of the known world until the nineteenth century with the largest colonial system that was the Commonwealth. And then history reduced its ambitions.
Human ambitions to dominate what is beyond their natural horizon have always failed in the long run because their approach has always been to forcibly bend the less developed peoples to their own cultural models.
I do not intend to take any position in favor of or against imperialistic economic policies, because they have also had positive effects from a cultural or civil point of view, but I would simply demonstrate that, also if the world has evolved making distances much shorter and traveling much faster, people is today objectively much more mentally isolated as it’s much more attracted by the routines of life within local communities where rules are known and in general has ensured comfort (at least mental).
The habits consolidated for generations, the comfort of the linguistic habits, the proximity to the original “family cores” are all elements that favor remaining anchored to their communities and live lives as within “mental prisons” boundaries even without realising it how limited these lives can turn into.
The concept of traveling most people have seems to be to “rest” from the stress of everyday life, “exploiting” the natural beauty of remote places that are visited for the sole purpose of escaping from the routine, in order to capture a moment of that feeling of discovering the unknown beyond the “mental horizon” allows.
Something similar as the feeling of spectators going back home after a very engaging movies that took them of the routine for a couple of hours the theatre.
Yet the horizon as a “mental concept” opens up the possibility of having new opportunities for life, work, experience, knowledge, being in contact with new people, routines, realities different from the usual ones and being able to rediscover the pleasure of the almost endless new opportunities the world offers.
Mental horizon can therefore also be only one’s own city or local community, whose limited opportunities are satisfied, but also the circle of people around us, limiting their possibilities to be fully realized as individuals. Or the social rules created by generations of cultural models that have imposed extended families as “clans” almost impermeable to external influences.
The nationalist political movements that are taking root particularly in Europe and in the USA are nothing more than the defensive response of this “looking-backward” scheme that should protect against the fear of the unknown.
But if we really open your minds and hearts to what positive can be beyond the horizon we might really reborn and improve our little world and leave a mark through a life that is so short that it makes no sense to protect our own comfort which is as short as the blink of the eyes in the economy of History.
The best period of my life is the one I have been living since I expanded my mental horizons thanks to a very stimulating job that allows me to test on my skin on a daily basis the benefits of these increased exchanges of experiences with the world, and which I am sure are enriching both myself and the people I meet.
I wish you could also find the strength to break the mental barriers and to open up to discover the surprises that await beyond the horizon.