The nowhereness of air travel

I was sitting in a hard, spine-crumpling seat in an airport somewhere, one of the seven I’d pass through during a four-day journey from my current residence in Bulgaria to the East Coast of the U.S., and eventually on to my hometown in southwestern Colorado, thinking about the insipid quote I’d seen on a poster in a dentist’s office: “It’s the journey, not the destination, that counts.”

I think it was the Charlotte airport, but I don’t really know. It just as easily could have been Hartford, or Newark, or Dallas-Fort Worth. They all are populated by the same categories of humans: Dudes in suits striding purposefully along gleaming floors, coffee in one hand, roller bag in the other; families in flip-flops staring at the flight monitor, trying to remember whether they’re going to Cozumel or Cancun. Bleary-eyed trans-Atlantic travelers wearing neck pillows, disheveled hair and drool on their cheeks, stumbling into steely faced folks at the bar who throw back vodkas regardless of the time of day.

“Hey!” I wanted to yell. “It doesn’t matter where you’re going. All that matters is this — The Journey.” But I kept my mouth shut, because terrifying people in an airport is a federal offense. …. Read the rest of my latest essay for High Country News… 


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