Air Travel is Magical

Waves on rocky beach
“Zuma Beach” by TransCam (2008) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr

While I find air travel (okay, any travel) stressful and tiring, there are few things more magical than getting onto an airplane in one city and disembarking a few hours later hundreds or thousands of miles away. I’m not sure if the magic is proportionate to the distance traveled, or the snacks consumed, or the quality of literature read during the trip. Maybe the sense of translocation is greater when I fall asleep at the beginning of a flight and wake up upon landing. (Hey, at least the Langoliers won’t get me!)*

Two days ago, I walked in the surf of the Pacific Ocean. Today, I am landlocked, on the dry bed of an ocean that existed 85 million years ago .  I’d wonder if it was a dream, except for the sand in my suitcase. Other souvenirs: A map of the Los Angeles Getty Center. A receipt from a Burmese restaurant in San Francisco. A wrapper from some Delta-branded cookies that ended up in my pocket. It’s a good thing other people take pictures, because when I’m participating in an adventure, I almost always forget to document it.

As I try to overcome the grogginess of returning to my normal time zone and life-as-regularly scheduled, I wonder what can possibly make me feel this tired after a mere jump from Pacific to Central Time. The internet abounds with suggestions for travel fatigue: Jethead suggests a combination of altitude changes, dehydration and noise/vibration. It could also be monotony, muscle fiber exertion from sitting still or changes in blood sugar.

As I regain some alertness, I hope to continue to regale the blogosphere with tales of my brief California adventure. But first, I think I’m going to take a nap.

* In Stephen King’s novella “The Langoliers” and its mini-series adaptation, most passengers on a flight that gets sucked through a time vortex mysteriously disappear. The only passengers that remain on the plane are the ones who were fast asleep at the time of the incident.


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