Us as the population of this planet, is flying a big deal?
I can’t remember the first time I boarded an airplane. I can’t remember how old I was. Where I was going and how I felt about it at the time. There was probably a lot of screaming and crying. Going by any other baby I’ve had the pleasure of sitting next to. I was most likely in the same pissed off mood that they all seem to have whilst flying.
Before starting this post, I wanted to try and get some figures. Even though I don’t like to base my thinking wholly on statistics, I thought it might help with what I have been thinking about the past few hours.
I’ve flown a lot. So many times I can’t count. So many times I’ve had to replace my passport because it’s full! Granted not every page has been a flight but it does shock me thinking about the miles I’ve clocked up on an airplane. Who else has had this privilege?
Mayu and I are less than a month away from starting our trip. The cost of getting here vs the cost of getting back is something that is intriguing me. We got here on the methods more familiar to me. Flying. However choosing to go back by land doesn’t make complete economical sense, but in our case its not about the money.
Although Interestingly we haven’t spent much more preparing for this than what it would cost to fly back. Mayu and I have been busy contacting different suppliers of equipment for sponsorship. It’s been a huge help on the cost front, almost halving our budget. A big thanks goes out to those people that have help and we will certainly mention them more in upcoming posts. As a rough total spend so far for the bikes. The cost of the pannier racks. Paying for some of our panniers. All the spares we needed and parts that needed replacing on the bikes. New tires and wheels. Tools for putting together a bike and all sorts of straps, bottle holders and anything I’ve forgotten. We’ve spent roughly £1250 between us. Still well out of reach for many people, but the difference for us, is we get to keep our mode of transport for future
So why is travel still so far out of reach for so many of us. Is it for cultural reasons? Fear? I guess money is the biggest factor. Who knows, there are a countless number of reasons why more of us don’t travel. And for those of us that fly by airplane, over land. Are we not missing out on so much? Browsing the internet I can’t really find any decent figures. Some people have written that as little as 5% of the population has been on an airplane. It’s not really the figure that shocks me. Numbers on poverty are a lot more shocking. It’s more the thought of being that person, looking up at the plane high in the sky, thinking what it must be like to be on that airplane. Having never been on one.
I’m sure many of us also haven’t put that much thought into it. Reading that paragraph back, I am pleased to see that I have included the word us a few times. I won’t go as far as putting us in bold, but for those that would like to read it back, it can be like a where’s wally picture. The point being, us includes the haves and the have nots. Because it’s mind, not money that separates us.
From what I have seen so far, travelling by land on trains and buses. There is very little that separates us. We share many of the same values. However its the years of culture creating strange sights, sounds and smells that differ from home. It’s these things that I love about travel, I laugh endlessly at how each of us can do the same thing in so many different ways. A depth far beyond my imagination, is the combination of mixing culture with personality. These combinations seem infinite. Yet you still find someone on the other side of the world that looks and acts just like someone you already know!
So for those of us that can and choose to fly. I ask you to think of what is going on beneath you. The richness of culture and personalities of the people you could be sharing a moment with. Pleasant or unpleasant. Mayu and I both feel we can’t come all this way not to see some of whats in between.