"Nowhere was the airport's charm more concentrated than on the screens placed at intervals across the terminal which announced, in deliberately workmanlike fonts, the itineraries of aircraft about to take to the skies. These screens implied a feeling of infinite and immediate possibility: they suggested the ease in which we might impulsively approach a ticket desk and, within a few hours, embark for a country where the call to prayer rang out over shuttered whitewashed houses, where we understood nothing of the language and where no one knew our identities. The lack of detail about the destinations served only to stir unfocused images of nostalgia and longing: Tel Aviv, Tripoli, St Petersburg, Miami, Muscat via Abu Dhabi, Algiers, Grand Cayman via Nassau... all of these promises of alternative lives, to which we might appeal at moments of claustrophobia and stagnation." - Alain de Botton, A Week at the Airport
I don't remember what day we settled on for me to write to you next but the thoughts are coming now so here I am. Currently, I am in my bed in Brooklyn. You are on a plane over the ocean. Tomorrow, you will begin one of the greatest adventures of your young life, I will go to work on the subway (which can sometimes be an adventure). I will eat my lunch and check my email while you will wake up in a land of accents where everything feels different, and yet you'll notice many people taking the tube to work like it's any old day.
I have a hard time vocalizing what it is about travel that fascinates me so much. Because for me, the mere act of physically getting on a plane and flying somewhere new is part of the reason I love to travel. The above quote gets pretty close to nailing my inner thoughts. It is from a book by a person who spent a week in London Heathrow drawing meaning from seemingly meaningless world of air travel. If I had to pull just a few words from the quote I would choose "promises of alternative lives." To me, it's impossible to comprehend how many different lives are going on at the same time, all the places you could be, all the languages you could be speaking. I can be in NY, you in London. Someone is in rural Malawi is farming and someone in Nepal is about to summit the highest peak in the world. Your plane will touch down in London and the refugee in the row in front of you will take a sigh of relief as they finally safe, the exhausted Japanese businessman will wonder how long until he can go to sleep. Travel, to me, is like getting to jump into a movie screen or a time machine and gaining the superpower to trade bodies with other people.
Travel gives you the opportunity to live more than one life in your lifetime.
And so I will wait patiently to hear about your first few days from another part of the planet. What has been your favorite part? Any surprises? Enlightening moments? Can't wait to hear everything! XOXO - L