For the past few months I’ve been working in an office adjacent to the airport. And every time I see a plane take off, a small thrill of excitement tingles down my spine and I can’t help but wish I were on it, even if it were headed for Harare. Why is this? What is this longing for unknown and faraway destinations? Why does my pulse start to race when I think about cherry blossom trees in Japan, or the way the sun sparkles on the Louvre’s glass pyramid, or the sense of history hanging over the Forum in Rome? If I could, I would pack my bags this instant and jump on a plane headed anywhere but here for the sheer pleasure of getting a new stamp in my passport. It sounds a little crazy.
Kevin Costner’s character in the movie Rumor Has It said something very profound: “Life has to be a little nuts sometimes. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together.” My daily routine involves getting up at 6 am, sitting in traffic for at least an hour on my way to work, then frantically programming business processes that, let’s face it, make someone else’s admin easier, for eight hours straight, after which another hour or so in traffic sees me home at about 6 pm. Then I have roughly four hours to myself before it’s time for bed, and rinse and repeat.
Is it really worth it, I often ask myself. And the answer is always a resounding: “YES!” Why? Because it allows me to take two or three weeks in the year where I can get on that plane and whisk off to Paris, or Rome, or wherever fancy takes me. And when I’m old one day, I won’t be looking back on a collection of Thursdays, but on memories made in faraway places.