The difficulty is not being in an empty space so much as getting to it. Public spaces, public transport – particularly airports and aeroplanes – each come with their own hells and traumas. Often, the mere threat of reaching a space I feel safe and comfortable, in far outstrips and crushes the ability to make the journey. Travel writing, therefore, seems like a very contrary and ridiculous path to go down, but here I am. Writing about travel and the geographical and marginal spaces that fascinate me.
I’ve never really been all that fond of the physical process of traveling. The actual getting form A-B. I find this odd as 99% of the time, I’d rather be in B. Perhaps it’s because I feel slightly removed from the world; contained in an artificial environment and unable to leave it on my own terms. However temporary, the rapid transit of self in an artificial reality bubble – trains, cars, aeroplanes and so on – makes me feel existentially compromised.
I like to feel the ground; I like the solidity of a space; the feel of it; to commune with the landscape, be it urban, rural, edgeland or wilderness. I need that connexion. Transporting myself from one space to another leads to an unreality, a disconnect of location in space/time. Everything is too fast, too overwhelming, too unreal. This feeling reaches its peak with air travel. With cars, buses, trains there is still a physical connexion to the land – a feeling of solidity. Air travel removes that connexion entirely. You could be anywhere or nowhere.
Unconnected, untethered, helpless.