Wheels Up

Before the in-flight beverage, before the seat belt sign is turned off, before you can lean your chair back, it's wheels up. And for thirty seconds I'm reminded of my own mortality. From the time taxiing ends until the wheels are tucked safely inside the belly, I wonder if I've lived the life I've wanted.

If I died right now, what would I regret? What parts of my life have I neglected? It's in these Heideggarian moments of lucidity that I'm able to wrench myself from the day to day. It only lasts thirty seconds and I quickly return to noodling on my laptop and checking my phone for Facebook messages. But for those thirty seconds, my life isn't something I watch from the outside. It bubbles to the surface and politely insists on examination.

It's my favorite part of traveling.

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