The longer I go without flying, the more people talking about flying sounds like they’re talking about heroin, part 2.

May 24, 2019 by Joshua
in Blog

I wrote before about how the longer I go without flying, the more people talking about flying sounds like they’re talking about heroin.

They sound like they’re craving. They don’t care how much they’ll allow their life to fall apart to make it happen. They don’t care whom their habits hurt. They sound entitled, often whiny.

My friend who works with addicts described the squalor they allow themselves to live in. Hotel rooms scattered with syringes, bodily fluids, garbage, and so on. It sounded like how many tourist places have become with plastic, trash, poverty, and so on.

I found a site with pictures of tourist destinations as people envision them, which is like the beautiful water the addict in Trainspotting envisions while reaching for his drugs in the most disgusting toilet in Scotland. The site pairs those pictures showing how the place commonly looks, which is often like the Scottish toilet.

Here’s one, for example: the pyramids of Giza:

Lovely!

I imagine that’s the world of an addict: stunning beauty shrouded in garbage.

Here’s the site: several of the world’s highest ranked tourist spots as they appear outside the guidebook. Visit it, then enjoy re-watching the Trainspotting “worst toilet in Scotland” scene while thinking of how the more a tourist wreck a place is, the more beautiful it was before we overran it.

And if you find a place off the beaten path, enjoy how you’re contributing to it becoming overrun one day.

Here’s Mount Everest today:

There’s a way out

I wouldn’t write all this just to bring people down. I also see a way out.

You know how if someone who eats too much salt avoids it for a few weeks, their taste buds recover from the onslaught and require less salt. Trying the amount of salt they used to use will taste too salty.

If you realize that no matter how many places you visit, you can never visit them all. If you’re in one place, you’re not in another.

I eventually learned that if I can’t see everything, my best strategy would be to enjoy what I could experience as much as possible — including here and now, with you.

Learning to enjoy here and now maximally, I didn’t have to go other places. It’s like learning to read, exercise, and spend time with friends instead of taking heroin. The highs aren’t nearly as high, but the rewards are deeper and more enduring.

When you do travel, you’ll enjoy it more. But you can also enjoy staycations, camping, or exploring where you live, sampling food from local farmers.

While it’s possible I’m missing out by never trying heroin, I’m pretty confident I’ll like a life of exercise, homemade food, and working for a living more than I would a life of heroin.

With flying, I know what I’m rejecting. I’ll choose living as I do now over all that craving.

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