Would Ya Look at That

Connor Hickle
October 17, 2018

Destination: wherever. The point is the whole process, not just the destination. I guess I’m weird like that though, I have always enjoyed every part of air travel. The airports, the flying, the packing and unpacking with the souvenirs you come home with, the trying to sneak an overweight bag onboard disguised as a regular book bag, all of it is fun for me. I even enjoy turbulence on flights, every now and then - it breaks up some of the lull when you’re just sitting there cruising through the air. Plus, there is a little blip of excitement you get when you find the flight that’s just the right time for just the right price. Without having to actually strap yourself to the wing of the plane and throw on some goggles, of course.

There are definitely some mixed experiences to be had when it comes to cheap travel in Europe, especially when it comes to flying. Some low-cost airlines have updated planes with a polite staff and a habit of adhering to a strict schedule. With some airlines that I won’t specifically name (may or may not be based out of an island in the Irish sea), you could probably get away with taking a piece of the plane with you upon arrival and they’d thank you for making it a little lighter. An important thing to remember is that you will always get what you paid for. If you pay more, you might be impressed; if you pay less, you’ll be grateful to see mother Earth again. For me, just toss me a bungee cord and some goggles and catch me on the wing reading the inflight magazines.

Now I have to contradict myself, because sometimes it really is all about the destination. Sometimes the bus to airport doesn’t show up, and then your flight is delayed, and then the tram at the next airport is broken, and then the bus on the other end is late too. There are times where even I am sick of the travel and just want to get to the end of it. There are times where walking home seems more time efficient than waiting for all the delays to stop. But, you’re getting to travel Europe, so even when the travel sucks, it still isn’t the end of the world.

Every now and then though, the destination seems to fade away. Sometimes when the destination fades away, all the delays and strife of traveling for cheap fade away too. That moment is when something actually amazing happens. Gazing out the window, lost in thought, a multicolored sunset over a quilt of clouds captures your mind. A blanket that looks so soft and welcoming, it seems like if the plane were to suddenly stumble and forget its job, the clouds would actually catch it and hold it upright. The most brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow, seemingly the most honest sunset I’ve ever encountered. Nothing obscuring the view, nothing blocking the magnificence, and everything laid bare in front of any traveler with an attention span short enough to wander out the window during the short hop.

I try to follow the color-splattered cotton layer all the way to the horizon, only to be intermittently interrupted by the jagged peaks of a long-great range of goliaths. They are an amalgamation of sharp points of varying heights jutting up from the Earth that have long defined the organization and way of life for much of southern Europe. Their shadows create the only voids of color in this magnificent masterpiece of Mother Nature, the sky ever her canvas. Yet these small outlines and pockets of gray and black only add to the beauty in contrast of the vivid sunset. It’s as if two worlds are working in harmony to create a breathtaking scene, one that is impossible to forget.

When I reach the end of the beauty I find that is not actually an end but rather just a part where the sky hasn’t finished. There is no distinct line, no black 2 pt span stretching across the horizon to tell you where everything ends. This is where the sky just seems to fall off, as if the continuing image is only generated as necessary, almost like a computer game, as you fly through the sky. Here I am riding in a metal tube that has become a crucial part of global everyday life, and the world takes a moment to remind me just how magnificent things can really be.

A heavily French-accented pilot tone of voice crackles over the cabin speakers, “Crew, prepare the cabin for landing.” I snap back to reality, and return to whatever game I was playing, book I was reading, or nap I was taking.

Yes, this whole article kind of took a left turn, but that’s how it happens. You glance out the window and by chance get lost in the wonder of the creation. For a few moments, where you are coming from, where you are going, and everything in between the two fades away. I’m not a deep person, but even I can appreciate the wonder of the world when it catches my eye. So take a minute, look out the window, and see what you can see.


Until next time,


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Connor Hickle

<p>I am 21 years old, a rising senior at Wofford College, and I am pursuing a B.A. in Finance. My interests include cars, motorcycles (pretty much anything with wheels), and sports. I pass my free time by hanging out with family and friends, going to the movies, working out, and watching Netflix. A weird fact about me is that I enjoy philosophical discussions.</p>

2018 Fall
Home University:
Wofford College
Simpsonville, SC
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