Trip Note 1, IAD – SYD

I already feel opened up to ‘deep travel‘ in the sense that aggravating situations are transformed into experiences of something different. Instead of being angry that I was next to a screaming toddler on the last flight, it was more of an opportunity to observe, “oh, this is what a screaming toddler looks like up close. I don’t see that often. Cool.”

Travel takes situations that everyday would be nuisances and makes them vibrate with a less hazardous nature.

Because it can be expensive, and because its away from the regular responsibilities of daily life, and because not everyone is fortunate enough to have the means to do it, I suppose a traveler might feel some guilt when preparing for a trip, since they are so lucky to undertake it. But really, the object of travel is to be humbled by the place you’re going, to be reminded that your way isn’t the only way and that things are done differently elsewhere, no worse. Travel might be a luxury but its simultaneously a catalyst for humbling oneself.


The flight to Sydney is long but I have been sleeping thru most of it. I looked out the window and saw a dark, black earth under me, but a full moon high above and reflecting from the wing of the plane.

Watched ‘Darjeeling Limited’ on the flight from DC to LA, a fun film. Wes Anderson movies have a way of taking the ordinary and bland and making it exuberant, without resorting to high drama. Or by at least keeping the high drama in a state of stoicism. It’s nice to watch a travel film as I get ready for this trip and be reminded that if you set out on journey for some enlightening experience, it will probably come, but most likely not in the form you expect it to. Or at least that’s how it plays out in the movie.

When I first arrived at Dulles, the line to pass thru security was extremely long, much more so than any other time I’ve passsd though it. People were getting frustrated, and I found myself on the precipice, at a tipping point where I could start looking around at other people becoming agitated and use their behavior as a mirror to nudge myself into my own state of frustration, but I recognized the choice I had and opted to instead look at what else was happening in that particular ‘now’ – I was seeing interesting people, going somewhere I’d never been, the wait gave me a chance to make an extra phone call, I was pleased with how I lightly packed my luggage – and feeling all those extra parts of ‘the now’, while standing in that unmercifully long line, I ended up feeling actual bliss, momentarily. Pure bliss.


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