The direct flight would have been quicker, but then you would have missed the scenery.
Watching the alien landscapes roll by is a traveller’s paradise. When did we get so caught up in the efficiency of travel that we forgot to enjoy the luxury of the travelling itself?
I’m seeing the most gorgeous sights, which I otherwise would have completely missed. Whilst no traveller has a full picture of any one destination, this journey sure is helping to fill in my photograph just a little bit more.
A variety of accents babble in my sensory peripheral. I hear local dialects and see unfamiliar gestures: the complex languages of communication. This feels like an adventure in and of itself. Yes, I stick out like a sore thumb, but I was always going to. Anyway, it feels nice that my curious stares are returned. I feel oddly known, but I think I’m okay with that.
An orange light turns on in the ceiling of the carriage. Across the transport a lady picks her dog up off of the floor, probably to keep its paws from getting too hot. A bit unnecessary considering the safety standards of these things, but touching nevertheless.
The orange light flashes off, then on again quickly. A melodic chime sweeps through the carriage. I direct my gaze back to the window, soaking in the sunshine for just a moment longer before my view dims. The blackout curtains come down. A precautionary mechanism for the travellers among me whose eyes could not withstand a direct look at a solar flare.
Considering a majority of the passengers at least appear to be human, the mechanism is largely appreciated by my fellow travellers. A polite round of applause breaks out as the curtains are pulled up to reveal the Solar System pretty much identical to how it looked a minute ago. Although the now-scrutinising eyes are eager to test this theory, everyone seems magnetically drawn to the windows, all of our breathing a little rugged. We’re on edge. Looking, waiting, trying to see if anything is wrong.
What could have possibly occurred for the moment when we weren’t looking? Is that star new? No, not that one, over to starboard side a little more. Yes, that one, is that new? I never noticed it before.
A few minutes pass, and most passengers feel at ease. If something major has changed, they would have spotted it by now.
We all settle back into our seats, keeping our attention lazily attuned to the window. Just in case.
I feel some of my eyes start to droop. I know that I’ll drift off soon. Perhaps when I wake, we’ll be just about to land. I’ve always wanted to see Earth.
We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and emerging. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.