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Life on an airplane

September 23, 2009

“You wake up at Seatac,  SFO,  LAX. You wake up at O’Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? ” (From “Fight Club”)

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What is it that switches in your head when the wheels of the airplane touch the ground of your homeland? Do you enjoy the portent, letting its sweet anxiety drip-drop into your mind with every other covered mile? How does it feel walking down the same old-new streets, involuntarily noticing every stone and every turn, recognizing the cacophony of the familiar sounds around you?

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Even the most successful trip is a stressful experience, whether you like it or not. But who said that stress is always bad? Once you learn to control and transfer it into useful energy, it should very well become your vital and unlimited source of power. It is all about acknowledging and being aware of what is running inside your head. Not an easy task, but who said thriving is easy? If you don’t take care of your post-trip stress, no one else will. Frankly, even if you do take care of it, no one else will, take my word on it.

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Major changes on a continual basis undoubtedly leave their trace in our subconsciousness for the good and for the bad. Fresh memories are paradoxically vague for the first few days or weeks, overshadowed by more urgent worries of the day. But be sure they lay there, waiting for their time to strike. Now what, on earth, does that mean? How can a good thing like a trip memory cause any sort of mischief? I’m not talking of white-collars with their traditional post-vacation office depression. The topic here is about a prolonged journey, which allows you to live different lifestyles under your skin, see different cultures and experience the most miscellaneous events.

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A long journey is similar to a litmus paper. Sooner or later, it makes your real “self” pop up . You can no longer hide or pretend to be someone else as you might have done in familiar circumstances. The field conditions just won’t give it a hand. I can surely say, that I’ve learned a whole bunch of new things about myself: the weaker sides alongside the great capacities.

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Our perception of the world picture, for those who bother to have one, is a case sensitive. It’s subject to influences and changes even when we lead our routine life, let alone global shakes. Therefore, there is no wonder, that on returning from a long trip you realize you’re quite a stranger to yourself. Scary enough, there is no way back. I say, take advantage of the situation by asking yourself the right questions: what do these changes mean to me? How can I apply this renovation to my daily life and make it a whole lot better?

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Have you been on a long trip lately?  What were the most surprising things you discovered about yourself? What hidden capacities came up to the surface? What major decisions were dictated by it? Don’t be afraid to analyze, dig in!

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