Incidental Information

A frequent question I get about my trip is, “Which city was your favorite?” To this I always respond that what defines my experience in a place is not so much the place itself, but my mood when I am there. This is influenced by all the things that always influence mood:

  • Amount of sleep
  • Appropriate timing of food
  • Sufficient water
  • The logistical ease of what’s going on
  • The hospitality of my hosts

But this isn’t just true of the experiences one has in cities while traveling, but also experiences of movies, music, first impressions of new acquaintances, and all sorts of other things we form opinions on. So much of it is based on incidental information. We feel like we’re rational and in control, but there are really all these other factors influencing us. Yet another reason why people who are firmly sure of themselves are misguided.

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