So there I was last week, reading a sci fi book about some space traveling cowboys (ok they weren’t really cowboys, it’s what I use instead of space traveling people). One of them was lamenting about how bored he was. They’d been cooped up in the space ship, going faster than the speed of light, for 450 days . His buddy responded, “Isn’t it strange that the faster you are traveling, the more boring the trip is?
I actually stopped and reread this a few times, cuz it got me thinking….
First I want to fill you in on my parameters for this discussion. I LOVE going fast. Bombing down a miles long downhill, never touching the brakes and feeling the wind whip passed me is one of my favorite things! Coming down from Sunrise in Mt Rainier
is 20 miles of downhill! With speeds in excess of 35 mph! The steeper the down hill, the more fun it is.
Today, showed that slower is NOT always better! Once again, with the rain, the commute stunk big time heading to work. To add insult to injury, the carpool lane we were in was blocked by a disabled Metro Bus. Normally this woulda been big news on the traffic reports, but I guess 2 separate jack knifed semis in the south end were more important.
But that is getting too specific.
Let’s look in MUCH broader terms. Let’s take a 6 hour trip traveling by foot, bike, car and air… Why 6? Why not?
And just in case anyone is curious: Yep, many times I have traveled 6 hours or more via all of these.
Now to be fair, the 6 hour trip on foot has an unfair advantage. It is about 12 miles for me, and it is, of course, the slowest of them all. But really, the only time I plan to be on foot power that long is when I hike. This means I see things like this
Here in the Northwest, there is just so much to see, and often only feet will get you there. But hell, even around town, being on foot means you can stop anywhere and check stuff out, sit on a bench and watch the world, go in and get a snack or a beer, and not worry about parking, traffic or even your bike being stolen.
Nope you won’t get as far, but you will see everything there is to see and rarely have I been bored!
OK, moving on, the bike. 6 hour rides are usually between 70 and 85 miles for me. I am traveling much faster and farther than walking, but I am still slow enough NOT to miss anything. Add to it, I can stop almost anywhere I want for photos or a better look. These photos were all of places I’d driven past many times, but never noticed what was there while going 60+.
It’s always easy to find a place to park, I can bypass traffic, or have a quick chat with other cyclists. I might get wet or sunburnt, but I enjoy it and get my exercise at the same time. I honestly can’t say which is the more interesting of the two (walking or cycling). If either is an option, I will take it every time!
We all know though, sometimes where we have to go necessitates speeds over 15 MPH. Trips to the Oregon Coast or Pullman, can take that long. When in the car this long, I MUCH prefer to be the driver. Then I am doing stuff! Being a passenger for that long is hard on me.
Driving CAN be tedious, but it depends on where you are going. Traveling down interstate for that long, yep it can suck. But if you have a great destination at the end:
It worth it. Plus, smart people stop along the way to stretch and check out fun stuff!
Yes driving can be tedious and you can miss stuff along the way, but if you get there and THEN get out, you can see things you never have before.
Finally, the fastest mode of travel most of us will ever take is a plane, 6 hours is the time needed to get from Seattle to the east coast. Folks I will tell you now, in my humble opinion, there is NO more boring way to travel than a plane. Why? Cuz you are trapped in a sardine can, and have no control at all!
Yes you are traveling 100s mph, but it feels like you are going nowhere fast! I never get on a plane anywhere without both a fully charged iPad and a real paper book. (Shoot this even applies when I fly for 45 minutes between Seattle and Spokane for work!) When traveling to the East coast, I have even been known to take the red-eye, just so I can sleep through the flight itself. (This doesn’t take into account the waiting for the plane.)
Without the option of a plane, though, I’d never had seen this
So, to recap, each have their advantages, but after considering it, I think the guy in the book was right. The faster your mode of travel, the more boring the trip itself can be. However, that being said, many times its worth it in the end.
Which means, if I had the option, HELL YES I’da signed up and traveled into space.
Maybe the trip itself would be boring (though I like to think not) but since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to go to another planet. It would be worth the boredom!
Thanks for visiting!