Enjoy The Waiting When Travelling
The thing that alarms me about travel is having an end destination in mind. A place that is labelled permanent, an end point to a journey. Now I know we travel to go to new destinations, but to me a destination is more of a base from which to explore. There are people who want to travel, and once they’ve reached a destination, they just want to stay there. Drink cocktails at the pool, or relax at the same spot on the beach every day.
I know some people who travel with only the destination in mind. They don’t like packing, or getting to the airport, or flying, or airplane food, or people next to them on the flight. And yes, when you’re in economy class and you’re face is eating your knees and there is a sick person next to you with a crying baby, you want to D.B. Cooper it and just jump out of that plane. But there’s also beauty in the journey, subtle things that most people won’t even notice.
We were sitting in the slow lounge, and I was watching one of the greatest orchestrated shows in history going down right below me. Planes were pulling in and while I was eating and drinking beer, there were hard working people making sure that the planes were stocked for the next journey. People collecting luggage, delivering food, refuelling the plane, cleaning the inside, doing inspections. When you consider how much time is spent on the journey, you wonder why people choose to not enjoy it?
What’s not to enjoy about the wait?
People hard at work, so we can have a comfortable and safe flight
It really is just a mindset and you need to flick a switch in your own head and make a point to enjoy the journey. The best travellers are those who open their eyes and hearts to new experiences, no matter what that experience may be. The more weird the experience, the better the story you’ll be able to tell one day. Now I don’t recommend sitting next to a vomiting baby so that you can be vomited on to tell a story, but you know, don’t hate every journey.
And you know what the best part of flying is? You’re cheating life to the highest degree. It’s like you have a PHD in life hacking and being awesome. You’re a couple thousand feet in the air in a metal bird. You’re listening to music from a device smaller than your hand. And you’re being attended to by people who will deliver you whatever drink you’d like. Drinking wine and beer while soaring over the earth? You don’t understand how amazing that is! You’re not supposed to be in the air above the birds, but you are. You’re not supposed to be able to carry 10000 songs on something that fits in your pocket, but you are doing it. Your average flight is something that hundreds of years ago, people could have only ever dreamed of.
We’ve gone from walking the land, hunting for our food and drinking water, to flying high with a bar at our disposal. If you don’t find that absolutely mind blowing, then I’m not sure what you want in life.
I get this mixture of fear and excitement when I’m about to board a plane. Fear because, well…falling out of the sky rates pretty highly on my fear list. On the day we were departing, it was quite comforting to watch the news and see a plane going in for an emergency landing in Heathrow. The beer helps that particular fear.
The excitement is naturally due to the fact that a new adventure is about to start. You’ll be seeing new places and things, meeting new people and just seeing something you’ve never seen before. Everything is different every time you travel. New faces, airlines, airline staff, weather…the little things we tend to pass by.
We spend so much of our life waiting for things. Waiting in queues, waiting for people to reply to e-mails and messages, waiting in traffic, waiting for airplanes, waiting in airplanes…imagine if we dreaded every wait? Well, we’d be living a really shitty life.
When next you’re in an airport, step away from your book/Kindle/iPad/phone or whatever device it is you use to block out the ‘boring’ parts of life, and just sit and observe everything around you. There was a disabled girl sitting in front of us, with a smile on her face, waiting for her plane which had been delayed. She wasn’t complaining about the flight delay, and she wasn’t complaining about the fact that she had to navigate the airport in a wheelchair. She was just there, in the moment, living her life.
And if we can’t live in the present moment, well then we can’t really live can we?