I’ve been traveling quite a bit this week, and my journeying isn’t even over yet. As of about 9pm tomorrow I will have been on three planes in six days. Flash forward to a few weeks from now and that number will have jumped up to a total of six plane rides in a month. As someone who (much to my chagrin) has neither the time nor the resources to do as much traveling as I would like, that is a lot of time spent up in the air, soaring amongst the clouds.
It is perhaps because of that reason that I have recently been marveling at the sheer miracle that is air travel. Or marveling at it more so than I normally do. Because think about it: you get on board a huge hunk of metal that really has no business at all in even dreaming of flight, and then what does it do? In a mere matter of hours it spirits you away to a completely different spot on the globe. A journey that not so many generations ago would have taken days, weeks, or months to complete (depending on how far you’re going) can now be made in a matter of hours.
It’s easy to forget such an astounding fact when the whole process has become so commonplace – even mundane if you do it regularly enough.
And that’s not even the most extraordinary part of it all. There’s also the whole low-key time-traveling bit. While all of my travels this month are confined to the west coast of the US and I therefore don’t have to change time zones, I always think back to my flights to and from London when I studied abroad there for a semester (and which are the current record-holder for longest flights I’ve ever been on). Flying to the UK from California sent me forward in time. And the return flight to California sent me back in time – to the point where after I had spent 11 hours up in the air, I’d only lost about 3 hours on the ground.
I don’t know about you folks, but that’s amazing to me. It’s certainly the closest I’ll ever get to being a Time Lord, so I’ll take it.
Now if only airplanes could be bigger on the inside, too…