The Traveler is both a character and setting in Destiny 2, serving as the spiritual deity for the guardians. The name “Traveler” comes from its exploratory nature, and the fact that it moves throughout the universe. It also provides the Light through which guardians find and harness their power. As guardians are the playable characters in this game, players have a close connection to the Traveler when they embark on their missions. When the Traveler disappears at the start of the Destiny 2 campaign, the guardian loses their hope, spirit, and magic. The idea that magic originates from a planet-sized celestial that bestows it upon players is fascinating to me, and provides for a thought-provoking story about dependency and spiritual growth. The characters are made to reckon with the idea that they cannot survive without this being.
In reality, traveling is distinctly non-celestial. Yet it bears some of the same magical effects upon us. The act of traveling can cause us to gain hope and strengthen our spirit. There is nothing inherently otherworldly about traveling, and yet it is like discovering and embarking on a journey into another world. When traveling to a foreign country, for example, the differences in cultural norms, proclivities, even geography can be jarring at first if you are not sufficiently educated on the new place you are exploring. Traveling allows you to take on whatever new magic is in the atmosphere of this new place. When I traveled to Paris, I felt a magic in the air that was unlike any other city I’ve been to. Historical, cultural, national pride exuded through every part of the center of the city. And new places have new magic to explore.
This past weekend, I traveled quite a lot, taking four different methods of public transportation to make it to New Jersey to hang out with a few old friends. It was late at night, approaching midnight when we arrived at my friend’s place, and I could still barely contain my exhaustion from all the walking, waiting, and sitting around. The darkness outside added to the somber mood of things. It often does, even without thinking about it much.