I have a never-ending love, craving even, of travel. I just got back from a trip and am looking forward to the next. I think of Willie Nelson’s song “On the road again” with great fondness not only because my mother loved it but also because I’m always on the lookout for a new adventure.
As I get older these trips and adventures become even more important to embark upon. Bruce Springsteen had it right when he noted we were born to run. I have come to love road trip travels as they can be quite a delight. I love being on the open road and seeing the countryside with its random artworks and monuments. There is such a grand sense of exhiliration when you just drive and drive. Well, I don’t drive. But that is another matter.
I am always going to be keen on road trips. However, air travel is another matter entirely. I love traveling to other countries and considering the geography of the United States, air travel is an evil necessity. And it is becoming worse and worse and more and more obnoxious, uncomfortable and demeaning.
We recently saw what happened to a passenger on an overbooked flight. Just a month ago, while I was in DC airport, I kept hearing airline personnel offer vouchers for people to give up their seats on overbooked flights. I just kept thinking this process was just crazy. Are there that many people who can easily get on a later flight? Then this past week, American Airlines announced that it will make the space between seats even smaller so that they can add more seats to the flights. How can we sit still with even less wiggle room? It seems inhumane.
Further, this past week, a new study predicted that there will be a huge increase in severe air turbulence. The researchers specifically predicted a spike in severe air turbulence by 2050 by 149 percent. So, we will be in tighter spaces and rocking back and forth horrifically. This just does not bode well for travel overall and not well at all for those of us with wanderlust. This is supposed to happen because of an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Hmm. Can we do something about this now before we all end up as ragdolls easily bumped around on planes? Did you see what happened on Aeroflot plane this past week where close to 30 people were injured due to turbulence? It seems like that was a scene out of a bad science fiction, horror film.
If we need to be in a science fiction scene, what about we develop teleportation at large? Back in 2014, there had been a major news headline that screamed teleportation would be possible in the far future. How far? Is 2017 far enough? We are, as a society, in desperate need to get teleportation going on a large scale. Our limbs, morale, and overall sense of humanity depends on it. Just two days ago, two passengers got on a random fist fight on a flight our of Japan. No one understood why the one passenger started hitting the other. Where is our humanity?
Air travel is stressful these days. You may be dragged off an overbooked flight. You may not board early enough to have overhead luggage space. Your knees may be right up against the seat in front of you. And you may tear a knee muscle as a result. You may not be fed or you may be given really crappy, pretzels to keep you happy. Teleportation would end all this craziness. Yes, teleportation may allow us to be human again as we satisfy our travel desires even if our body gets broken down molecule by molecule in the teleportation process. The irony.