On the culture of travel

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by PTravel, Apr 7, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. PTravel
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    PTravel Silver Member

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    In recent years, the amount of flying I do has dropped fairly significantly, and qualifying for even mid-level status takes a bit of pushing (I don't do mileage runs as a rule). Nonetheless, I find myself spending as much time on FT, and, of course, now MP, as ever. I'm sitting here in the Red Carpet Club at SNA pondering exactly what it is about travel that appeals to me. I think part of it is the modernity -- a mere 75 years ago, in the time of my grandparents, the world-hopping I do routinely was unimaginable (yet they undertook the long journey from Belorus to New York City in the very early 1900s. Part of it, too, is the sense of freedom -- I don't feel bound to any place I am, knowing that, it a matter of hours, I can be virtually anywhere else in the world. Part of it, too, is the feeling of membership in an exclusive club -- the same club that used to be the exclusive province of the explorers, the adventurers, those who always had an inherent curiosity about what was just over the next hill.

    I'm now of an age where retirement, though a ways off, is in sight. And I know, absolutely, that, regardless of my financial status, I will spend my "golden years" traveling -- sitting in airports, sweating out tight connections, and savoring that magic moment when I walk out of the terminal and breathe the exotic air of somewhere that I've never been before.

    How about you?
     
  2. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Loved it! We're probably near the same age and I feel much the same way you do.

    That said, my first true moment like you described was not walking out of any terminal but going to a Dodger game in Brooklyn with my father, going thru the tunnel and beholding the field for the first time. I still get chills!

    The difference between many on FT and MP and the rest of the world is that we not only look forward to the destination but, often, also the flight. As programs keep giving miles away, we need to sit down and plan out a few years at a time of long-haul trips. I love the game but, as you pointed out so well, it is more about the destination, the experience, the understanding and the personal growth that travel allows us. And when I do retire and the points stop coming in, I'll still savor the destination, even if I get there in the back of the plane!
     
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