Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Carbon Sinner

I have sinned in many ways in my life, and to be clear I mean things I regret, rather than having sinned in others eyes. The one I most regret is also perversely the one I regret least. I’ve done a lot of airtime, so much I couldn’t honestly tell you how many flights I’ve been on. At best guess I’d hover one or the other side of five hundred. My first flight was age two and I’ve been at it regularly every since.

Here’s the thing. I love travelling. I love the process of getting yourself there, love being there, love the pure joy of getting back home. It is one of my deep joys to pack up and go somewhere, especially enhanced if I’ve never been there before. I am quite unashamed of craning my neck to check the sites out, generally loose my natural introversion so I can talk to people, and just get into the swing of where ever I am.

So, despite probably going to hell, or consigning my great grandchildren to an ecological nightmare I don’t think I’ll be able to give it up. Its just too important a part of my life.

That is, until I have days like yesterday. A lot of this travel has been for work. I can’t really complain about that too much. It’s a privilege to have been able to see what I’ve seen, stayed in fantastic hotels, and have locals take me to the really really good restaurants. There are trips that have been bloody fantastic.

But its not all that way. One of my worst nightmares was a journey that started in London, took me to Stockholm for a day, then to rural Illinois via Paris and Chicago, then on to Tokyo via LA, around the other way to Milan via Singapore, then finally, only 6 days later, back to London. I honestly didn’t know which way was up, and slept for 20 hours flat.

Probably worse are the days like yesterday. Up at “oh my god it can’t be that time” o’clock. So early even the birds aren’t chirping yet. Off on a jolly jaunt to the airport with a poor taxi driver who had to get up an hour before me. A long wait to get through security (and just why do I have to take off my belt and shoes, let alone get my laptop out, and empty my pockets), then a very bad cup of tea (and just why can’t airport lounges provide good tea, its all the same stuff, but I just can’t get it to taste right). A boring (if on time flight), then a god awful long drive to get to a remote factory site. The meeting was good, productive even, but was in a windowless room with bad open sandwiches. Then back in the cab, back to the airport, back on the plane, back into another taxi and finally home even later than is the usual late I get home.

On days like that I am convinced I should just stay at home and play with my kids. But the siren’s will sing eventually and I’ll be lured away to yet another far off local. Just hopefully not like yesterday.


<< Home