As a plane lifts off from Brisbane, Australia, and makes for Auckland, New Zealand, a man gazes out the window, and begins to weep. The woman sitting next to him stiffens and then, when his distress becomes impossible to ignore, puts her arms around him. Introductions are made. The man shares his secrets. The woman is a good listener. She has made this trip many times before, but never as profitably as this.

Author’s note:

Ah, travel. We select our bits and pieces – trappings of the person we plan, briefly, to be – and pack them, together with our expectations, as luggage. We set off. In transit – a time when we are no longer one thing, not yet another – we leave our obligations and habits and impossibilities behind for a while. In the hours before our arrival we can still be anything – become anyone.

Trains, boats and planes are places for little adventures. We can converse, or not. Reveal ourselves, or not. Respond, or not. Look, or sleep, as we feel. Unshackled, we can dream. Different to home, with all its conventions and anticipations. Not as it will be, after we’ve arrived and our intended destinations remind us who we are.

Travel – the business of getting from here to there – offers us the ultimate escape from the everyday. Relief. Reinvention. A space in time to discover what we think.

We are not quite ourselves on planes and boats and trains.

Where can I read it?

Perilous Adventures. Find it here>