Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Humans on the Move

I just moved to Philadelphia after 29 years in Ithaca, NY.

I left this:

For this:

In Ithaca before I left, and in Philadelphia after I arrived, any number of people asked me why I was doing this. I had my reasons—boredom of the same scenery and walks, not such a great place for a single woman, tired of the weather and shoveling snow, the ability to give up my car, living in a factory loft apartment on a cobblestone street, and that 12 minute $7 train to the Philadelphia International airport. Not to mention the access to all sorts of culture and great food in a cool city like Philly.

More often than not, people in Ithaca and sometimes in Philadelphia, were completely confused that I would move at all. And yet people move all the time, all over the place. And it seems like being on the move is part of human nature.

I was reminded of this last week when reading the news of a new cache of the undersized human species named Homo florisensis, or the Hobbits.  Although the earlier spectacular and curious finds of these small sized members of our genus where dated between 60,000 to 100,000 years old, the new group appears even older—about 700,000 years old.

In other words, by 700,000 years ago humans had moved out of Africa and across the globe and landed in Indonesia. That's quite a walk.

Animals migrate, and often move quickly, when they're following food, food that is often on the hoofand moving too. Humans migrated out of Africa in waves, again and again over the centuries beginning about a 1000,000 years ago, eventually becoming the most geographically spread mammal.

In recent times people also migrate for jobs, which is sort of like looking for food, and they migrate for social and political reasons, but that's flight under pressure and fear, not looking for a sandwich.

But when one moves voluntarily, we are following a human urge to find something better, more meaty, and a change of view.

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