I flew a two-seat airplane when I was 23. Not by myself, mind you, that would have been disastrous, but I did fly an airplane. Nothing quite comes close to the feeling of flying. When the world slowly but surely becomes smaller and in a way you start feeling smaller too, insignificant even. You’re not alone up in the air, although you might feel like it, but someone is constantly talking to you. There is static noise from the radio, the engine roaring, the propeller moving so fast, you can barely see the blades moving. And then there are voices. Red wing. 212. Roger. Out. Flying Pig. 398. West… It’s just words, they don’t mean anything, not to me anyways, but strangely, they’re comforting. They remind you that even if you don’t see anyone, that someone is there. Somewhere.
When you’re up in the air, you can’t hear your co-pilot, well, not really anyways because the engine is much louder than your vocal cords. You could use the headset, but more times than not, your voice gets crowded out with all the incoming voices. But when you’re up there in the blue skies there is no need for words. There is just one rule: don’t crash the plane. It’s a bird-eyes view on everything, yet, no birds close by. You could call it magical, but it’s not. It’s human’s magnificent ability to have a dream and make it come true.
I feel the same way about boats. If I could I would live on one, but I have a severe case of motion-sickness, which hasn’t held me back much, but let me tell you, the first 48 hours on a boat with me are everything but fun. Regardless of my personal discomfort, I love nothing more than boats, also because there is nothing I’d rather see that the deep blue and if I’m lucky, every now and then, its inhabitants.
In my mind, there is absolutely nothing that comes close to the feeling of salt drying on your skin, sun shining brightly and the reflection of the deep blue almost blinding you. It’s picturesque beautiful and the feeling is beyond words.
I’d say I’m equally (un-)comfortable in air and in water, yet there is nothing holding me back on getting on a plane every chance I get and being on a boat, if I could pretty much year-round. Yet, it is on land that I spend most of my time, like the majority of the world’s people.
Humans are magnificent, unique in a way, not superior – mind you, but beautifully unique. We have this inner drive to conquer, to explore, to understand and sadly also to dominate, to destroy and to disregard what we have learnt. We are torn between so many choices that are available to us, and we are ripped apart by what we want now and what we want for our future that sometimes we forget the smaller picture. The feeling we get witnessing the world from afar, when we realize how small we are and how big this world actually is. That inner content, when we witness something insanely wonderful, while the sun dries the salt on our skin. This world is stunning beyond words, and if you allow it to wow you, believe me, you’ll be wowed. But in order to do that, we need to act responsibly.
I am sure, that you have access to various environmental reports, and I’m sure you have been exposed to enough media that you might be sick of hearing it and that’s okay. I feel you, I’m there with you. Constantly being reminded, that all hell breaks lose and feeling like there is nothing you can do, is simply terrible. But let me paint you one last picture:
A bird may love a fish, but where will they live? – That’s the inspiration of this blog and it started as a documentation of the journey between my partner in crime and me, living an ocean apart, but eventually we ended up in a place, far removed from what either of us called home, that now is exactly that: Our home. One of us loves the ocean, the other one travels so much for work that the skies could be his home, but yet the land is where we both built a home for us and our hamster.
If air pollution increases and sea levels rise, it won’t matter where we live, eventually everyone will be doomed. And if you don’t care about the immediate environmental effects, you may care about the one you love. Be it your spouse, your parents, your neighbor or someone you haven’t even met yet. You may think you’re small and your actions may be insignificant, but they’re not and you can and should act and if you ever start to wonder, why you are doing this, remind yourself that you do it for love, for a future, for yourself. At the end of the day, we’re all faced with the same decision, with the same after-thought, with the same issue that keeps us laying awake at night: ...where will we live?