I’m sitting here listening do Dark Folk music, sipping black coffee, and enjoying a crisp cool afternoon in Yokosuka. The jet lag from my trip to California seems to have resolved itself.
Last week I took one of my necessary work trips to San Diego. I always luck out and get to fly on JAL, hands down my favorite airline with great attentive service. I always find traveling exciting. I love airports. Love the fact that I can walk around Tokyo Narita and listen to people speaking dozens of different languages. I like to wonder where everybody is going. Is the guy with the briefcase coming home to his family or is he going to hit the local bar and spend the night drinking by himself. Airports have so many possibilities.
I also enjoy the flight itself. 11 hours of relaxing and reading. I managed to finish 3 novels between napping on my flights. I don’t often have 11 hours of uninterrupted reading time anymore.
Between work responsibilities, I got to visit old haunts in San Diego, catch up with my brothers, and have dinner with my mother. I really tried to eat all the food that is hard or lackluster in Japan. Mexican food, Pizza, and of course In-N-Out. Going to California without eating at In-N-Out at least once is a capital offense.
On my way back home I looked out the window and marveled at how massive the Pacific Ocean truly is and how far we travel. Tokyo to San Diego is about 5,557m(8,979km) and takes 11 hours on a plane. This year I crossed the Pacific 5 times covering 27,785m(44,895km). For perspective, the circumference of the Earth at the Equator is 24,901m. This year I flew enough miles to circle the Earth and some. I’m not even a frequent traveler. A lot of people fly almost weekly for work and pleasure.
The fact that I can leave Tokyo on a sunny afternoon and find myself eating a fresh burrito in San Diego in less than 12 hours is amazing. In the 19th century the fastest sailing ships, the China Opium Clippers would race across the Pacific attaining world records of 33 days from Hong Kong to San Francisco. In 1521 it took Magellan about 99 days to travel from the straights to the Philippines.
In future centuries we might be able to travel instantaneously across the planet using wormhole technology like the Farcasters in Hyperion or Nigels tunneling wormholes in Hamiltons Commonwealth. Or our energy grids and ability to depend on fossil fuels might collapse forcing us back into a new age of sail. A new age of wind power on Oceans with new unpredictable currents and weather fueled by climate change.
All in all, I’m glad to be back home. I’m ready to celebrate Christmas and New Years with my wife. I have plenty of story ideas to write down and lots of blog posts planned for the years end.