My ears perk up, as I dish out the next obvious questions.
“For how long?”
“A week!”, the friend chirps, proceeding to rattle off a list of at least four countries. I lose interest.
That’s like telling someone you are a foodie, only to receive a chain restaurant recommendation. “You should go to Applebee’s!”
Still food, but not really.
Fast travel is like fast food. Not really satisfying, as my palate has been getting more sophisticated. And for someone who loves travel, I hate the actual travelling part.
Take flying. You arrive to the airport – big, tall, airy. Bookstores, coffee, travel. What’s not to like? All the promise of adventure without close proximity to strangers. But then we are herded like sheep on a tiny vessel, and are told to sit still. One of the MAIN perks of being an adult is that I don’t have to sit still, if I don’t want to. Except on an aeroplane.
All of this “sitting still” business makes my butt positively miserable. Quite understandable – if I sat on YOU for four hours, you’d be miserable too. I used to love planes as a child. Mind you, my butt and I, we used to occupy significantly less space back then.
So, perhaps, part of the reason I appreciate slow travel is because the “getting there” part is the part I often find most difficult. With.. everything. This is the part that brings about stories though.
It’s been getting harder to connect with people while travelling. An average flyer is blind, mute and deaf – plugged into two or three devices simultaneously.
As our sad airplane food is served, the airline napkin expresses common sentiments (or perhaps, our deepest desires):
“Connect with us!”, we ask.
“Follow us!”, we plead.
“Like us”, we demand.
Yet, how can I connect with you, if you won’t look up from your phone?
I’d rather not follow you, because I am not sure you know where you are going.
How can I like you, if I know nothing about you past 140 characters?
Create a space, where connection is possible.
Open yourself up to that connection.
Reach out, open up your palms.