I just came back from a travel to Nice, France – my home town. I went there with somebody who has never seen the ocean before, yet alone sat in a plane. I had the honour to show him a literal new world. For him, an unknown one. For me, one which feels like home.
We checked in, made our way to the gate and boarded. Then, the plane took off. It set itself in motion, lifted itself off the ground and spread its wings to soar into the direction of heaven.
I felt a sweet relief of stress and unhappiness and was completely fulfilled in that gigantic machine made out of steel, heading towards a new adventure.
And next to me, he was taken aback. Seeing the world from above for the first time, being struck by the beauty of the snow covered Alps as we flew by, leaving nose prints on the window from gazing. This first time in a world which is so familiar to me is something special. He was on cloud nine. And whilst watching this scenario, I was as nervous as it were my first flight somehow. – But not the kind of nervous as I described it in my post Traveling Solo. The kind of nervous of going to a special place with a special person, a travel experience I want to keep upright and repeat many more times.
Suddenly, he turned towards me and said: “I think I can understand some of them. For them, the journey is the reward. They are addicted to this particular feeling.”
And that is when it struck me. Of course, many people use the time in a plane whilst bridging large distances to plan presentations. My high school thesis for example was written for the most part only on planes. But even though time on the ground continues and the sun rises and sets – which we can blissfully encounter closer than ever – time stops above the clouds. Everything freezes and one can leave the anxiety, the sorrow, the grief on the floor. I for one, rarely encounter the exact feelings again. Because above the clouds, I find enough space to lay everything out and find paths around a problem, work things out and come to conclusions. “Flying is therapy”, I can come to ease up there. And be more joyful than ever when landing in a foreign place. But the most beautiful thing is, that traveling just keeps getting better. Because you just keep learning from your experiences and the wild world out there, and you just keep growing.
In conclusion, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. The journey is one of the biggest rewards a traveler can get.