I’m flying to Phoenix this weekend for a quick getaway with my girlfriends. Well, Arizona is not something you plan for summer, but it was the only place that’d work for all of us, so here we are!
My work week has been pretty chill, that is, until today. I was slammed with meetings that continued through my ride to the airport until I boarded my flight. I’m mid-air now, and it’s a long flight from Atlanta. (Well, it’s only 4 hours, but 4 hours without internet isn’t pretty!)
I’m reading both Don Quixote and Songs of Fire and Ice and have been switching between the two books for 2 hours restlessly. Why wouldn’t the plot move along! I tried to get some shut-eye, but repetitive announcements make it quite impossible. So here I’m writing my thoughts down.
All I can think of is how when I was a little girl, my family would board these overnight trains to New Delhi, and I would be voraciously reading Tinkle and Champak! Good old days- the internet wasn’t invented yet or wasn’t a part of our lives. And we’d talk to the fellow passengers and even share food – can you imagine sharing food with strangers in this day and age? What has become of us, and what are the next 20 years going to look like?
I remember the first time I’d boarded a plane, I had promptly taken the window seat and counted every cloud that passed by. After a while, you just stop noticing. I recently read a fun fact that your eyes can always see your nose, but they just ignore it over time. The “been there done that” attitude; things, encounters, and experiences just stop thrilling you after a while. Your brain asks you- What’s next? We have been taught lessons in letting go and moving on. And that’s a lesson some of us have learned way too well!
Have you ever revisited things you loved as a kid after adulting only to be massively disappointed? As a 90’s kid, Ninja Turtles is one such show that comes to mind. Boy, it did not age well! But a part of me is still fond of it- that little part frozen in time. How many things are just good memories now, things you’d never go back to again, but things that make you, you?
I have a huge bucket list of places I want to see and things I want to experience. And a part of me is always scared if I’ll get to do all of these before I die. There are 195 countries, and I got maybe another 25-30 good years to travel without health and other considerations. And the things I want to do in my youth extensively outnumber those that I’d do in my grey years. Right now, I cannot imagine diving off a plane at 60. I would like to do it today though or before 30! Maybe as I grow old, my afflictions will shift too, and this hunt for adrenaline would seem meaningless. But, at 55, I am pretty damn sure I would love to have these well-preserved memories of me skinny dipping in Antarctic waters at 33, or trekking a volcano at 29, or hollering from Mt. Everest at 40!
That’s how it comes full circle, I suppose. So, get out while you can and explore this beautiful planet and soak in everything it has to offer. You don’t want to say, “I wanted to, but life got in the way…” Build a life that gives you everything, so that when you’re dying, and you see this ad from Expedia about a Mars trek, you don’t care anymore, and you just say, “Meh…been there, done that!”