The Pursuit of Travel and The Ecstasy of the In Between


There’s something about being in transit, a particular kind of en-route ecstasy I’ve grown very fond of. Be it a car or a train, a plane or a ship, there’s something magical to be found in the in between. Going somewhere, getting closer to someplace new while progressively growing farther from a place of familiarity, can come to have a very powerful effect. If you let it.

Now, I not only let it, I beg for it. I can’t wait to spend seven hours on a train or three hours waiting in an airport. I’ve become an addict of transit. A lover of going somewhere. A fiend for that irreplaceable high and ecstasy of the in between.

I’ve felt my heart more profoundly broken in airports during the day than in bedrooms at night. I’ve captured the ability to reflect on my life with much greater clarity at 30,000 feet than I’ve ever managed to with my feet planted firmly on the ground.

Creativity, perhaps slight delusions, have met me in the form of rolling waves during travel on cruise ships, bringing with them the apparent presence and togetherness of the loved ones I miss most. Riding a bus around the curves and turns perched high on cliffs, memories I’d long forgotten revisit me, spawning tears of pure gratitude.

In transit, my life becomes a magical fairytale. A story of faraway, fantastical beauty, rather than down-to-earth realism with equal part glory and pain. Being en-route gives me the ability, I believe, to see my life from a vantage point of the future, giving me the detachment I need to extract myself from the inner workings and routine-ways of thinking.

The people that surround me, my fellow transiters, travelers, stragglers, and meanderers, become characters in my story – not really people in their own story – but objects of mine. They don’t stand as strangers in the opposing sense, but rather come to form an audience encouraging me to travel forth. The extraction of myself and my life – which often results in tears – are displayed without shame or need to hide. In many ways, these strangers get to see me in my rawest, truest form. The strangers who accompany me in my enroute journeying perhaps know me best.

Who do I love? What do I love? Who am I? What do I want? What are my dreams? What does my future hold? How has my past affected my present? Who will I be in my future? How grateful and fortunate am I to have experienced all my many blessings?

These are the questions that encompass my en-route, faraway, out-of-body ecstasy. These are the questions, perhaps, that I’m simply too distracted to ask myself under other circumstances, when the activities of daily life manage to become the focus of my mind and thoughts.

But these are the questions that matter most, the ones that we should all ask ourselves on a daily basis. These questions, perhaps, to which answers flow freely while experiencing the in between is why I love the pursuit of travel so much.

The more I learn about life and the pursuit of happiness, the more I immerse myself in the prospect of grasping and maintaining that elusive thing we call happiness, the more I realize the truth in the common saying. In this context the saying couldn’t be anymore true: happiness is not a destination.

Happiness is a journey, and in my case, a literal mode of transportation.