Josna Rege

248. Air Travel

In 2010s, Inter/Transnational, Music, places, travel, writing on April 1, 2014 at 3:21 am

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

(from scientificamerican.com. Phil Saunders Space Channel Ltd.)

(from scientificamerican.com. Phil Saunders Space Channel Ltd.)

It’s April the First and my journey has begun. At 2 am I’m sitting up in bed in my son’s apartment in Manhattan after a three-hour drive from rural Massachusetts, fuelled by periodic stops along the way for tea, Crackerjacks (my only nod to today’s start of the baseball season), and more tea. (Tip for tea lovers who needs must stop at Dunkin Donuts: ask them to make the tea in their latte cups so that you don’t have to add injury to insult by drinking the stuff out of Styrofoam.) Tomorrow—no, later today—I ramp up to yet another mode of travel, via air/aero/plane.

To me, air travel is closely akin to teleportation. I feel every atom of my body getting scrambled as I am strapped in and transported to an impossibly distant place far more rapidly than can possibly be good for anyone. If I travel by train [see TMA #43, From a Railway Carriage] or ship [TMA # 20, The Bay of Biscay and the Gully-Gully Man] I can watch the landscape and the weather changing, and find myself becoming slowly, gently acclimatized to it. Stepping onto solid ground again, I know that I have come a long way; it has taken time, but that time has allowed my system to adjust. In contrast, with air travel the ground is covered so fast that after stumbling off the ramp at journey’s end it takes a long time to stop my jarred system vibrating like a victim of shaken baby syndrome and to start settling into myself again.

Every time, the arrival is like magic, unreal. Can I really be here, actually touching down in the place I have visited only in my dreams these past so many years? [See TMA # 56, International Arrivals.] As I reassemble, do I do so as the same person, or are parts of me awakened that have long lain dormant, parts of me, perhaps that I didn’t even know were there?

It’s not just the climate that I will find to be different as I step off each successive transporter pad, but also the culture—customs, clothing, language, food, tastes and sensibilities of all sorts. I pray that I may reassemble in a looser, more receptive mode, ready to laugh, readier to learn. But first, I pray that I may come through the teleportation in one piece, stepping out of my old stagnation and leapfrogging forward into Spring. Here’s to traveling light!

Tell Me Another (Contents to Date)

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atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

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  1. yes, travel light – and safely! bine

  2. Travel well Josna. It’s all so exciting. Lets face it, it’s far better and more adventurous then simply – “Beam me up Scotty.” The journey is so much part of the experience 🙂

    • Thank you, Don. You’re right, as soon as I begin, the energy of the journey will take hold, and, tired though I am, I will be awake and alive in a new way. It was such fun following your blog on your last trip; I was inspired by your lovely photographs; hope to take some of my own and have a higher-than-usual image: text ratio during this month. Cheers, J

    • Thank you, Don. Absolutely, it’s all in the journey, the slower the better. Trying to savor it, but air travel is so exhausting.

  3. Where are you going? Gail

  4. You were lucky to have had good weather in Manhattan yesterday. All the best for the air travel. Looking forward to more posts on your travels.

    • Yes, it was perfect in New York yesterday. Spring seemed to have come at last, just as I was leaving! Thank you for your good wishes, and when I’m a little less sleep-deprived I hope to post some more interesting reflections.

  5. I feel the same way about air travel vs. car or plane. I’ve never traveled by boat. Have a wonderful trip!

    • Thank you, Kristin. This air travel is gruelling, but I’m trying hard to find some bright spots in it. Am behind in visiting blogs, but look forward to following yours this month.

  6. Can’t wait to hear about your travels. I will be with you vicariously!

  7. I don’t like air travel of any kind. But I look forward to your posts

    Paula at /Smidgen,Snippets,&Bits

  8. I’m so glad you are finally on your way! Hope you can really let go and enjoy the time there.
    Looking forward to hearing all about it.
    Godspeed dearest friend.
    Love,
    Marianne

    • Thank you, dear Marianne. I’ve arrived safely in Germany. Just getting over jet lag now and settling slowly and with pleasure into my work. Love, J

  9. Oh marvellous, all these thoughts!
    You strike me as a quick wit, whereas I am a slow thinker.
    You like slow travel, whereas I like the fastest travel possible.
    Even allowing for my assumption being incorrect, I wonder if, on a grander scale there is a similar correlation…
    And so mysteriously wonderful is your posing of the question does speed travel change or awaken parts of one, such that they arrive at their destination a different person of sorts.
    Factually, I don’t know,
    Mysteriously, I like to think so,
    Because I do know that prior to my currently stress-filled existence, once in a plane at altitude, I would receive revelations which I would madly jot down in any blank space on the inflight magazines…
    Oh the enlivening thoughts and memories this post provokes!

    • What a great riff on this post–thank you! I love your sense of the mysteries of life and the universe. Actually, I did have an interesting experience with the in-flight magazine on one the Air France plane to Paris (just to catch a connecting flight, unfortunately), in which I came upon an article (in French, no less) that was on the same subject as the blog I’d just posted. I almost revised and re-posted it.
      One thing on which I’d beg to differ with you: you certainly don’t strike me as a slow thinker–not that slow thinking is a bad thing by any means. Slow thinking may be deeper thinking. Cheers, and thanks again for your visit and lively comment.

  10. […] Air Travel The start of a month-long journey and also the A-to-Z April challenge […]

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