I’m on a plane. Right now. Typing into a tab-ridden Google Chrome browser as I bask in the wonder that is in-flight Wi-Fi. I can’t help but grin at this exceptional capability to connect with fellow human beings. On the other side of the world my sister takes a video of her surroundings, attaches it to a message and sends it to my screen. A band plays. Stereos vibrate. A crowd of cool haircuts and fresh tattoos sway under the flash of green and white lights. I turn to my left. Across the plane aisle a woman coughs into her blanket. I turn back to my screen. My sister is smiling.
In four hours the man in the fancy uniform will park this magical sky bus in the city that never sleeps. I’ve never been to New York. The phrase “you’ll love it” bounces around my head in the voices of a dozen friends. The moment my feet touch the ground they will be heading towards a cab to take me to a stand-up gig. Somewhere downtown. I need to check the text message that booked me.
There’s something about this altitude that puts me in a pensive state. The old quote that says life’s about the journey seems strange when you are sitting in a sky chair waiting for the destination. Over the past two months I’ve driven over 11 000 km (I’m told this is a billion miles or something) across the United States with no plan other than to experience things unknown to me. At times I can say with a high chin that I lived in the moment. I went off the map, ventured into places that made me uncomfortable, ate things I didn’t know the name of, kissed women I just met, spoke to people who have never heard my accent before and made friendships I want to keep until death.
These events took place because I gave them a chance to. I sense complacency creep up behind me every day. Once I believed that travel kept me a step ahead of it. Now I feel that letting experiences affect me is what keeps me growing. Even at a physical destination there are still journeys taking place. Social. Emotional. Intellectual. And through those journeys I plan to remain open to however I may react. I might grimace. I might cry. I might sigh out load. But if I smile… I will take out my phone, capture it on video and send it straight to my sister.