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When swept up in travel's romantic haze, we sometime forget to leave a place better—and not worse off—than the way we found it.

In search of travel enlightenment, we often forget about travel karma. When we depart from our sojourns, we take memories and souvenirs with us, but rarely do we think about what we leave behind—an unmade bed at an apartment rental, a broken heart in Europe or a phone on the backseat of a taxi. Traveling can alter the mind, but what we alter doesn’t often cross that same mind.

In modern times, the Boy Scouts tell us to leave the campsite in a better state than how we found it. But mythical wayfarers of the past also show us how to act. For example, the ancient Norse god Odin lived in the city of Asgard. Despite it being lovely, by all accounts, Odin yearned for something more, so he packed some sensible travel essentials (including a widebrimmed hat and a sturdy knapsack) and kissed Asgard goodbye in pursuit

  • Words:
    John Clifford-Burns
  • Photography:
    Frederik Vercruysse

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  • Words:
    John Clifford-Burns
  • Photography:
    Frederik Vercruysse
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