Monday, March 18, 2013

The Aja of Travel

In a few weeks, I'll be on a plane again, heading to the Big Island of Hawaii. In college, I read The Art of Travel and it epitomized how I feel about myself as a traveler.

“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train." - Alain de Botton

On the plane, I will be surrounded by people that I probably won't talk to, and (more likely) won't want to talk to. I am an introvert and I like introspection. To travel by flight is to exist in a place existing between worlds. Around masses of people but all alone. In new cities, but never setting foot on the cement.

Airports are homes away from home. Uncomfortable and exhausting homes with plastic seats and not enough electrical sockets. Outside the giant windows, planes park instead of cars.

"At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves - that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us." - Alain de Botton

I like deserted airports in the middle of the night. By nature, I am nosy. Wandering through empty terminals and closed down food shops, I imagine how I could break in if I wanted to. I test doors. I walk the wrong hallway on purpose. I imagine I'm in a post-apocolytpic world and the terminal is my base. I think up settings for a new stories. I mull over what-ifs and run around in my imagination.

But, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking about me in the world; who I am, who I want to be, and who I will be.

And that's always changing, I think.

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