Sunday, February 17, 2013

Time... Travel

While typing this, in another window on my computer, I'm also "stalking" the flight that Christopher is on right now. 

There's something oddly comforting about knowing what's going on in his travels while I'm sitting on the couch with the dog sleeping next to me. Of course, even after he gets off the plane, he'll still have 2 or 3 hours of travel ahead of him. Travel which includes a possible taxi, to a bus, to friends picking him up at the other end of the line. 

I don't envy him his trek, today, although I'm sure it will be fine (albeit in a possibly stressful sort of way). After all, he's going from a major airport to a major tourist destination. And he's much more travel savvy than a lot of people who probably make the same journey every day. And - even better - the temp where he's going is in the 80s, instead of in the teens/20s, which is what we'll be having here. 

But, still, from the time the website tells me that his plane has landed, to the time he lets me know he's arrived at his destination... well... I'm going to be wondering what's going on. 

It's strange how much the perceptions of things like distance and time apart have changed over the years. 

The first time I went overseas - in the summer of 1988 - no one had cell phones. No one was texting. No one was emailing. I was in France for 6 weeks - starting and ending in Paris - and to let our parents know we were okay, we had to go to a shop and buy a phone credit card, then go to a phonebooth on the sidewalk about half a block from our hotel, and call home. I seem to remember that most calls had about a second-long delay, so the conversation was always stilted and frustrating. But it was contact on the other end of the line. After all, our postcards wouldn't arrive for at least another week. 

And, of course, it wasn't long before that when telephone calls were too expensive, so you could either splurge on a telegram, or just send letters and postcards and hope that the people back home didn't worry too much in the meantime. 

I still love to send - and receive - postcards, but I also like the immediate contacts. The photos friends post online. The email from a traveller saying it's fun, or rough, or silly, or lonely. The "We made it" and "Wish you were here" text messages and phonecalls. 

So, you'll forgive me as I hover around my various electronic devices, today. I'll start hovering around the mailbox for a postcard sometime in a week or so. (Oh, heck, I'll just hope he brings one home with him - it'd probably be faster.)

No comments: