I hate travelling. I loathe waiting, and travelling is the worse form of waiting. There’s the lengthy check-in process, the interminable boarding procedures, the mind-numbing journey itself, and a lot of rinsing and repeating. So, given in the last nine days I have been through Brisbane, Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Riga, Helsinki, Turku, and Stockholm, I guess you could say I’m tired of the tiredness of waiting around.
Yet griping about my growing enmity towards travelling would be to miss the point. I was flown by the organisers of the Baltic PR Awards to go to Riga and give a keynote. I went to Turku because I was invited to give a talk. Stockholm was a similar case, and now I am on a train to Lund to preach the gospel of rational conspiracy theorising.
I was discussing this with a colleague whilst we weathered the still seas between Turku and Stockholm; we are both very privileged to be able to travel to places abroad and spread the word of our work on conspiracy theories. The fact I don’t like the process of travelling should not weigh heavily on me; indeed, I should shuck the feeling, and embrace the fact I get to do something I enjoy doing all over the world.
Human psychology is an interesting thing, because telling oneself ‘Appreciate what you’ve got’ doesn’t necessarily get you the results you desire. Indeed, sometimes this is a good way to make yourself more annoyed, more grumpy with the world. ‘I’m trying’, I keep telling myself.
Why bring this up? Well, because if I have been silent these last few days, both here and on Twitter, it is because the moments between talks, and walks, and lengthy philosophical discussions, my moments to myself have been spent on planes, on trains, and on auto… ferries. Whilst there are exciting things to say, for the time being these moments to myself are proving to be moments of self-reflection.
More soon, once the life of a travelling academic becomes the relaxed face of a holiday-er abroad.