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The vagabond


At the pirate party, I spoke to a person who was a crew member for an airline. Although he does not make much money, he travels incessantly for pleasure when he is not traveling for work. He attended the party on a whim, flying in from far away because there was space available on existing flights. As an airline employee, he can fly anywhere in the country for free, or anywhere internationally if he pays the taxes and fees for the ticket, as long as there is space available on the aircraft.

This means he travels a lot. He went to Paris for a weekend recently, and to Las Vegas for an overnight. He takes his family with him when he can, because as family, they enjoy the same airline perks that he does. Even with the family along, it rarely costs him more than a few hundred dollars to travel around the planet.

It sounded interesting, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a rootless, vagabond lifestyle. Initially it would be fun to go someplace far away on the spur of the moment. But after awhile, you start to take into account the “hassle factor” of travel, of airport security, of checked (and lost) luggage, of taxis and hotels and rental cars, and of the sheer amount of time that it takes to get somewhere and back with current human technology. Not to mention the dangers of terrorism, mechanical failures, crashes, and of course the fact that you’re riding a flying bomb filled with kerosene. Every time you get on an airplane, you are taunting Fate. And eventually, if given enough chances, Fate will respond.

He is young. He hasn’t gotten sick of travel yet. But he will.

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