An imagined reality.

13 Dec

Sometimes it’s hard to believe the rest of the world exists, even though it most tangibly and irrevocably does. It is a constant. It is accepted fact. No one is going to sail off the side off the earth, and no, the sun does not revolve around Earth. We see and hear news from all over, every single day of the week, we live in multi-cultural nations, with friends and foods from all over, we visit places we want to go on google maps, and yet somehow…

Nowhere seems to be true, unless you actually go there, and get to know it for a while; really see it, breathe it, live it. Any place that you have not been is merely an imagined reality, based upon iconic photographs, stereotypes, rellies holiday snaps, travel articles from the sunday paper mixed in with the odd doco here and there for good measure. And that’s all it can ever really  be, until you go there yourself.

That old saying, seeing is believing, well, there is something in it. Every city has it’s own sort of personality, a feeling that you can’t pick up from Wikipedia. It truly is another world. It’s kind of overwhelming to think of the number of places there are to visit in the world. All so different, all with so much to offer. Everywhere else seems so much more distinctly cultural, so much older, with so many more stories. I guess a lot of this is just a side effect of being an island nation, that while historically being ancient, was also nomadic, and so has limited solid proof of our heritage up until a bit over two hundred years ago. So, I guess it makes sense that to Australian’s, the rest of the world feels so very different, so exciting, and such a long way away (figuratively and literally). Because believe me, it is.

Flying is an odd phenomenon, but it is so amazingly unique too. It has made international travel accessible to the developed world, and it is the only way to get anywhere anytime soon. But it’s kinda got a love/hate thing going on. I mean, who doesn’t love the feeling of promise and excitement that only going on a holiday can exude, but hate the price tag?  And while some people hate the take off and landing of a plane, I can’t help but marvel with sheer wonder at how it all happens. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea how flying works. (Is it something like floating in water?)

Time spent on a plane is like no other. After all, when else will you be ever confined to such a small space for such a long time? Unless you are a contortionist. And where else would you mix such a time frame and space with 400+ random strangers? Where else would it be acceptable to just wear socks around? Or leggings as pants? Where else can you eat hospital grade food, that’s not hospital? Or essentially live in your own filth? (Don’t pretend that you don’t sweat, or drop food all over yourself, or feel like your skin is greasing over. It happens to all of us.) And where else can you justifying sitting in the dark, wasting so many consecutive hours watching movies and TV shows? That’s not a recovery from some sort of major breakup, that is.

And what about all the cool random things you see when you are up in the air? Like the Grand Canyon, shimmering with snow in the moonlight, the sparse speckles of light indicating life, surviving where seemingly nothing would. Or being able to pick out your house from above, as you take off. Or the moon, sitting just above the horizon, a pitch black disc, adorned with a glowing orange crescent. Flying through clouds that look like whole other kingdoms from fairy tales and childhood imaginations. Seeing the juxtaposed mountains and cityscape of Hong Kong, or flying over France, and then the British Channel, into the glittering lights of London in the early morning. To arrive in sub zero temperatures. Having just left summer behind. Thats awesome.

I will never get bored of flying. It’s a novelty. And I will never get bored of traveling. I think it is magical. And there is a whole world out there to see. Why stay home?

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