Airport living

Everyone loves to travel

Do we though?
Is it the exhilarating feeling of getting away?
Does the destination matter?
Are we just running away from our daily routine?

In light of recent allegations of a blog that I really like and whose opinion I respect, I decided to fire back.

Let me make it clear, I do not belive that my colleague has it wrong. His article was titled “Nobody Likes to Travel” I just feel that he left a lot unsaid. Now, what’s beautiful about this is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, in order to work out my slight rage towards my friend let’s anwser a few questions; I mean what is a blog if it doesnt feel like a 13 year old diary every once in a while.

Everyone loves to travel
I do not think by any means the statement is true, I believe we were wired to be able to change, evolve, and adapt, but lately it feels we have forgotten to thrive under any conditions. I do feel we have gotten too comfortable with the fact that the world is within the reach of our fingerprints, isn’t it?
Do you belive the fact that virtual reality or seeing the world through a screen no matter how thin, comfortable, or how sharp and bright the colors are will replace the real thing? I hope not, and if it ends up happening,
I do pray it happens after I’m long gone. I do not want to see it.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am writing onboard a plane heading to New York after spending a month traveling through the States and Mexico, visiting family and friends. Technology and the connection that we have to the world nowadays is incredible, after spending more than 300 hours on airports, from departures to arrivals I will like to share some of my personal experiences.

I feel we have forgotten that sense of challenge. We have become complacent as a society and we are a bunch of sheeps that obey anything. I mean, take a look at what’s happening in politics; It doesnt matter where you are living, or what language you speak, observe the people making decisions that will affect you on a personal level, are you ok with who is representing you?

People often think that I am running away from responsibilities, from long term relationships, from day to day interactions, and from safe but challenging routines that force you to deal with unresolved feelings and frustrations.

Is this true? Hell yeah it’s true, to a point, people are complicated and have complex feelings, but there is no way you can form a deep and meaningful connection in a world ruled by technology if you haven’t found yourself or have set long term goals. Let me tell you a thing or two about moving often, it’s not a piece of cake, it hurts on a very deep level and transforms the way you think.

Travel forces you to deal with the fact that you are nothing! That no matter what you do, you will die! Are you getting uncomfortable there?
Good.  I hope you are.

The more that you travel you will feel more and more like a dot on lets say Salvador Dhali’s canvas, or Van Gogh, or Picasso, to each their own. You will realize that without you, without your dot on that painting probably nobody would notice your absence but the paiting would be incomplete on a fundamental level. Now you are important, I dont want you to feel depressed after reading this, but so as the other millions and millions out there.

Why the statement “everyone loves to travel” is wrong?… Everyone is in love with the romanticism that traveling brings.
With being away, with forgetting for whatever amount of time about their problems, their own frustrations, and unresolved feelings, however on that clear mind of leaving problems behind we are able to value the importance of being present, that the moment is now, and problems will come and go.

Now why don’t we travel often? Do not tell me it is a money issue if you are spending $100+ on a cell phone bill every month or if you
can’t start your day without the delicious cup of coffee that cost you $5+ that we all know is for your convenience around almost every corner.
Make some quick math and you will realize that probably you are spending too much, but this is not about finances. This is about courage.

For those of you that have to travel to another country or continent, do not let me lie, travel is not about money, travel is about courage.
Traveling forces you to realize a few things that we don’t really want to accept.
From the very beggining, when you start to pack, you realize that you are too vain, that you do not know how to detach from materials
you have never been faced with the fact that you are not as spontaneous or as multi tasker as you believed you were. Once you were able
to get to the airport more often than not you figure out that you are not the best at time managment or to pay attention, because you just held the security line.
Let me guess, did you forget change in your pocket? Is it your phone? What about your belt, I mean they told you very clear that it was a metal detector.

Moving to the airplane, What about sitting with a starnger? Or in the middle seat, god it is so uncomfortable, believe me, I know!
I mean I am writing this sitting  in the middle seat. Lets say you did it, you survived up to now and you are in a foreign city. Now what do you do, taxi? metro? bus? Have you ever been on a bus? I mean probably not, so how do you go about things? lets say you did it now what do you eat? If you are in another country most likely they speak another language and even if they dont they probably eat differently and have other politically correct ways of going about pretty much anything. Did you do your homework? Or are you expecting to be able to hit a translate button on the screen
or hoping the menus will have pictures?

Again people more often than not think that traveling its easy, its really not, is it fun to get away, yes, but its not easy to really be challenged by everything you thought you knew.

Now if you are young and able to do so,  get away, do it. Go ahead and feel vunerable, mess up the security line because you forgot the change in your pocket you can be sure that I will probably be looking at you judgementally in the back and being impatient with the fact that you have never travel but it will be ok, say forget that guy! I get a newbie pass!

However, learn and learn quick how to be efficient. How to do your part to run things smoothly. Trust me, everything that you learn about yourself while you challenge everything you thought you knew will translate to your life. You will be able to see your goals a lot more clearly and will learn to be a better citizen, and all around a better human being.

Stop running from your true self by being comfortable, by choosing the safe career or job. Stop buying into the fact that you must have everything. You do not need everything you need whatever you choose, perhaps a more decently priced cup of coffee in the mornings or if you cut down on your collection of clothes.
You probably can survive without upgrading your phone every six months, but I mean this is just what I think. It’s your world, I Just live in it.

Please stop being a sheep and admit that more often than you want to admit, you are not as happy as your media post show you. Now, dont tell the whole world, on a social media post, more often than not people will look away and pretend they didn’t see it, it’s called the bystander effect, instead seek a good friend.

Please do not buy into the system of this or that makes me happy. Create your own sense of success and embrace it. Learn to set goals and to accomplish them. More than anything, learn that we as humans have made it this far in history, because we were wired to change, evolve and adapt, so do so. Change the way you see yourself, evolve by interacting with the real world and soon enough you will adapt to an uncomformative human being. The one that questions and demands answers, knowing you might not like the response half of the time.

Does the destination matters? I do not think so, the excitement of the new places and the joy of new locations will be minimal side joys, since the travel will generate the real journey within yourself, traveling is not about getting away is about gathering the courage to face your inner self.

Cristian Hernández Pérez

May 11, 2018

Onboard my 90th flight IAH – LGA

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