I’m going to post a bunch of travel-related shit over the next few weeks.
Let me make sure one thing is real clear here- I hate flying. I have an absolute, undying phobia of flying. I can’t tell you why- that’s why it’s a phobia. It’s entirely illogical. Maybe part of it is my claustrophobia, maybe more, but no matter how far in advance I book a flight I feel that creeping dread drag a hole down in the pit of my stomach.
Something about air travel just strikes me as entirely insane. The concept of taking hundreds of people and cramming them into a thin, aluminum tube, strapping them in with a seatbelt and hurtling them several miles above the ground at hundreds of miles per hour by taking what basically amounts to dinosaur juice and smashing it together with air is just absurd. All of this while smartly dressed folks serve tiny beverages, while these hundreds of human beings watch tiny televisions, or tweet or something.
As much as I hate to fly, I absolutely love being in different places. I crave it. I want it. I want to see and experience life as somebody else- not because I want to be somebody else, or because I hate my life, but because at my very core, I really want to understand the human condition. Sure, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of the most diverse areas of the country, maybe even the world, but people come here because they want to be a part of this- a part of Silicon Valley, a part of San Francisco. I can easily get an authentic Ethiopian meal, or drink imported beer, but I can’t get the experience.
I haven’t been to hundreds of exotic locales. I haven’t been to all seven continents. I don’t speak many different languages (though I can say at least a few curses in many!). But what I’m going to offer you is my feels about travel, to quote my Millenial co-workers, who will probably be happy to inform me that I used that word entirely wrong.
I’ve been blessed (or cursed, given my fear of flying) to have had to travel quite a bit for work in the past 5 years, and a few times for personal reasons- to date, I’ve been on 57 separate airplanes in 5 years. The most entertaining part for me is all the frequent flier mileage I’ve accrued that I have no desire or motivation to use. I also suffer from terrible insomnia when I travel, no matter where I go, and I’ve never been afraid to wander around alone at night.
Part of me is pretty sure I’ll be writing about places I’ve been mostly so when I go completely fucking nuts in my old age, I’ll be able to look back and see that I did indeed document what I did and where I went, but if you happen to get something out of my stories, then I’m happy to have provided some kind of value to someone other than my future, geriatric self.
So. Here’s to telling the story of where you’ve been, and what you saw, but more importantly, how it impacted you and what you felt.