Firstly I want to explain the above shot. I took it as I was about to hop onto this Bolivian Airways plane for a flight from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz. The smoke is not from the aircraft but you can imagine the thoughts that ran through my mind as I snapped it. But it’s Bolivia — you either make it to your destination or not. Get on with it.
I don’t know how to spell it but Stuart Wilde frequently used the verb “Aairpooort” in his lectures — the action of heading off to the airport to escape. It was quite hilarious and he hammed it up a lot. Stuart often joked that he lived at airports. The idea of going somewhere other than being where he was was most appealing.
Some of us are addicted to travelling so we love to go “Aairpooort” whenever things get a bit dull or hard to bear in our native environment. And why not? It’s terribly exciting if you have wanderlust swimming through your veins.
But alas the “Aairpooort” incantation these days is very quiet as we wait out government and business restrictions. But our spiritual leanings suggests we are all professional waiters. We aim to make the most of our quiet times now.
Just last week I was speaking on the blower to a friend who is locked down in Sydney. He loves nothing more than getting on a plane to escape to far off lands. Like most of us travel addicts he is feeling the imposition. To his own surprise he got the jab in preparation for getting a vaccine passport to quicken his getaway once it opens up for international travel.
Our last trip abroad was for a few months in Thailand, 2019. It was brilliant to hang out on an island and then travel up into the north of the country near the Burmese border. We settled in the charming little town of Pai; rented a bungalow, motorbike and explored. Freedom. It was pretty easy to organise really. I really miss the travelling but am quite happy to potter about for a while in our rainforest sanctuary.
As the world adapts to Covid-19, travel is coming back. Things are and will be different however. In this hyper-rationalised society, freedoms will be curtailed in most places. So one can ask the question: How much fun is travelling going to be with all the jabbing, mask wearing, checks, tracking apps, please bend over etc?
And who would go on a mind-numbing, floating petri dish cruise?
I am sure there will still be many places in the world where one, who wants to escape the techo-modernity, can travel to and live simply. We crave that simplicity do we not when things get overly complicated? When the mind is constantly being engaged and swamped by signs, notices, beeps, reminders, turn left, stop, eat this – not that, shuffle here, shuffle there.
Bollox to all that. Escape. Aairpoort!!