I romanticize air travel far too much. When I'm slogging through school and work, I fantasize about the departure and arrival screens listing countless distant cities I may never get to see, the microscopic white waves breaking in slow motion from miles above the ocean's surface, the allure of going somewhere far enough that you have to hurtle through the atmosphere in a vaguely bird-shaped metal capsule to get there.
In reality, of course, flights are rituals of discomfort and humiliation, from the heartlessness of security and customs lines to the chilly, dry air that seems to make everyone uglier the moment they set foot on the plane. Waiting to board a delayed early morning flight back to Providence last week, I deliriously ordered a double-stacked cheeseburger and 24-ounce cold brew for breakfast, both of which I forced myself to consume to the point of nausea in the terminal—I'd spent too much money on them both to let them go to waste.
This week, I'm happy to stay within the bounds of where my feet can take me.