Why Flying Isn't Always The Fastest Way To Travel

You may wonder about today's headline. But I swear it makes sense. Read on….

Have you been following Ming the Mechanic? Just over a month ago he pulled his roots out of the Los Angeles soil and traffic and embarked on a journey to a new country and new land. He moved to France.

This is not new for Ming. He did the same thing in 1985 when he left his native Europe for the wonders of the United States and Los Angeles. Check his weblog. His journey, his experiences and his passion and fearless (some might call reckless) approach to starting anew and chalking up new experiences for both Ming and his family.

I got to meet and know Ming briefly a couple months before he headed to France. His weblog is interesting and insightful. And I've been digging his travel stories.

But one thing really stood out and struck me; reminded me of my passion for travel and adventure. Instead of flying from his homeland in Denmark (where he originally left from for Los Angeles) to Southern France, he drove. His comment here is remarkably true:

[…] There's something nice about tracking the road over land from our new home in Toulouse back to our roots and our home till 20 years ago in Copenhagen. It gives a more tangible sense of where things actually are, compared with jumping around in planes […]

What's important to me here is how much one can experience by taking the slow road. The scenic route. The overland journey. Too often we're pressed for time and need to find the fastest way from point A to point B. But fast isn't always best. Cruising at warp speed we tend to lose touch. And lose sense of where we're going, where we're from and everything in between. To truly understand the difference in climate, culture, people and terrain, is to experience it. That's why I love driving. Overland. To truly get a sense of the changes from point A to point B. Only then can you really have a true feel for where you've traveled to.

Most time we hop on a plane. Snooze, snore, sleep, watch movies on terribly small screens, pound our fingers on laptops, read books, push attendant call buttons and otherwise cramp up in small seats in a tiny fuselage. Then we deplane after a half a day or so and walk onto new turf. A new land. A different place. Language and currency have changed. The people may have changed, too. But how did you get there? And do you really have a sense of where you are? Sure. You've been staring out the plane window for hours. But do you really have a sense of where you are?

I'm enjoying Ming's journey. I'm sure he has such a sense. And a great sensibility. Good luck Ming. Despite your challenges, things always seem to work out.

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