From my airplane window I’m looking down upon Waiheke Island, that island I visited a little over a week ago. It looks pretty amazing from up here, but then as Leonardo da Vinci once said, “When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
Long to return? I’m not so sure. I don’t like flying much these days. I used to, but it’s lost its appeal to me over the years. Perhaps my familiarity with the process has taken away from the excitement of climbing into the clouds and being whisked away to some far-off place. Or maybe it’s the tiresome routine of having to play a part in the largely pointless security theatre that we’re all subjected to in order to provide the illusion of safety and security. Oh, how I despise being snarled at by those charmless security people who obsess over the trivialities of terror.
That said, I still like peering out of the window and looking out onto the world below. Toy cars, patchwork mountains, and plastic oceans stretch to the end of the shrunken world I’m flying above. In many ways, it’s a minor miracle that I, and everyone else on this planet, can hop distances that not long ago were insurmountable. We’ve reduced great voyages to a mere byline in our travel stories, too little more than a one-word answer to that inevitable question, “How was your flight?”
So I’ve applied expensive cologne that I had no intention of buying at the duty-free shop in the airport, and now I’m flying back to Australia. I’ll be there in the time it takes to watch a movie and have a drink.