The Excitement of Flying
Barcelona, Early September 2016, Late Night Kitchen Talk With A Friend
“Where were you traveling again?”
“So I´m flying to Slovenia, then London, then Lithuania or Paris and then back to Barcelona. But I don´t know man. I have mixed feelings. I kinda like staying at the one spot at the moment, so I don´t know how to feel about it.”
“Oh yeah, you´re right, poor you. You have a really tough life at the moment, so much flying around, must be really tiring…”
Obviously, he was making fun out of me. And I quickly realized how right he was. I am in no position to complain. I get to fly out to cool countries every month. It used to be every week, but, man, am I glad that´s over. Even once a month seems like a lot, it feels a little stressful. Let me explain.
At this point and at this time, I really like routine – I like going to the same shop, I like to hit the same gym bars on the beach, I like to hang out on my terrace. I like to drink my coffee in the morning at the same spot, and then set up my little mobile office right after, and start working on my projects. I like more constant relationships.
Obviously, I´m not an old man and I do like to mix things up. For example, yesterday I witnessed the projection of HD porn out of our kitchen window on the neighboring supreme court building. My flatmate is Catalan, and it was the Catalan independence celebration after all. Just to give you an idea, haha.
However, despite being in a period when I like constant things a bit more, and even though I try to keep traveling to a minimum, I still travel way more than a lot of people. Oh, and btw, I´m not trying to brag here. I fly on shitty low-cost airlines and usually only with hang luggage – cheaper and faster.
So I´d like to write about one thing that hooks many people – the excitement of flying.
See flying is quite a thing. Let´s look at it from afar. You take a bunch of metal, twist it in a shape of a bird, put jet fuel in it, load it with human passengers, light it up and send it flying over oceans. Quite a mindfuck.
And being that human passenger, well it´s quite exciting too. Nowadays, I´m mostly sleeping on the planes. Sometimes I work. On rare occasions I look out the window and wonder at the beauty of the sky, a blood-red sunset or the lit up cities down below.
But mostly I just forget that I´m flying. And then we land, and some people start clapping. And I usually think it´s stupid. But I fail to experience what they´ve just experienced. The fully grasped they were put into the bent metal and flown over the sea. And they clap because they survived the mindfuck. When they clap next time, I´ll smile and won´t think they´re stupid, I promise.
There´s one super cool thing about flying too, airports. Airports have this… well, airport energy around them, it´s hard to describe, but I´ll do my best.
On one hand they are very emotional, you see people meeting and departing, you see people´s faces tell stories, you see people laughing and crying. I´ve done all of that too, so I understand. Oh btw, a hint – if you have the option to go wait for someone at the airport, do it. It´s a nice experience – for both of you.
On the other hand, airports are extremely business oriented and fast paced. Busy people with blank looks on their face walking fast, phoning and being busy. Suited up people, and nowadays more and more entrepreneurs, firing up their laptops and trying to work on the shitty airport wifi.
And then there´s the whole happy/fake vibe of the whole duty free shopping. Super bright lights, it smells so nice, pop music blasting. No bad feelings that would prevent you to buy something allowed. Airports really are an experience in and of themselves.
And the last but not least important thing about flying. The cities. The vibe of a city you´re visiting for the first time, or of an city that you know well and are there again after a while. It´s magic, really, it´s crazy. Every city has it´s own energy.
Let´s just take the cities I will fly to in the next 2 weeks or so. Ljubljana is way different than Barcelona. It´s smaller. People are more organized and party less. It´s cheaper too. However, people are not as friendly, or as open. It´s an university city too, you can feel that. It breathes together with the academic calendar.
Fly to London and it is like another universe compared to Ljubljana. It´s huge. It´s mixed, it´s busy. There´s people making millions and people busting their asses off just to pay the crazy rent prices. It´s beautiful on the outside, a rich cultural history, sophisticated accent and fake welcoming smiles everywhere. The dedicated can benefit a lot from it. But it drains the life out of you if you´re not ready for it – just have a look at the people on the tube during the rush hour.
Jump to Kaunas, from where a lot of Lithuanians actually escape to London, and there´s a whole new vibe. There are beautiful girls everywhere. But being a beautiful girl where beauty is the only measuring scale as a woman sucks. There´s a saying on the bridge there that goes something along the lines of: “Don´t jump, they will miss you.” So much for the beauty.
People are even more closed. They actually need alcohol to socialize with new people. God forbid you are black, gay, or in some way different than the norm there. They do not accept that lightly there. However, they are extremely loyal too, great friends and family members. Very strong people too, much respect. No wonder, because there´s a lot of shit you need to eat if you live there.
And then back to Barcelona. The city, especially in summer, full of French, British and Dutch tourists. Locals who work in tourism (which is a lot) love them, everybody else hates them. Breath taking architecture on every step, and fiesta in the air. Walk by La Barcelonetta in the night and you will feel the magic in the air. Hardly a week goes by when there is no official party anywhere, and people really do know how to take it easy – great for people who tend to overwork.
On the other hand, you walk around during the night, and you see people sleeping on the corners, and there´s a lot of them too. I saw a young, apparently healthy guy, begging for money the other day, how dares he? His whole life ahead of him… You see a lot of people turn to cheap alcohol, weed and unhealthy food to escape from their problems.
There´s more to flying than that. But there´s that too. And if you haven´t experienced any of that yet, or for a long time, well, it´s about time you do.
It has never been so easy or so cheap – go and explore.
And then let me know what you think. What excites you about flying? Do you like it or are you afraid of it? How did you like the article? Were my examples too extreme, or was it nice that I was so direct?
As always, much peace & love,