Americans by nature like to travel. Although it’s still a young country we’ve always been that way. Complaining about traffic, air travel, or traveling in general seems to be the norm rather than the exception. I thought about that while I drove nearly 12 hours this past Sunday (alone). When I finally reached home everyone was so concerned that I must be tired. I had just driven more than 750 miles after all however I reminded everyone that the car did most of the work.
Driving long distances can be boring but should not be all that tiring. Flying 16 hours to Asia through 13 time zones is also boring and can cause jet lag that does not really kick in until a few days after one’s arrival. But in and of itself it’s not all that arduous to sit in a seat, eat, read, watch movies and get up to go to bathroom every once in a while.
Traveling by covered wagon – now there’s something that I imagine would make you tired. I don’t know much about covered wagons. Sure I’ve seen paintings, some old photos, and movies depicting the lives of American settlers traveling west (did covered wagons ever travel east?), and it looks completely non-glamorous, uncomfortable, unsafe, dangerous AND boring.
I don’t like flight delays or traffic any more than anyone else. I do try to keep in mind that not even 150 years ago traveling around the United States was much more tiring and dangerous than it is today. Traveling outside the United States to Europe or Asia required taking a ship which also was often dangerous and nearly always boring.
In the entirety of human history the main method of transportation for mankind has been…walking. Sure there were horses for those that could ride back in 1862 (think Civil War), but traveling was truly a different experience than what we complain about today. Think about trying to explain a flight cancellation to a Civil War General for a 3000 mile flight that required you to connect through multiple cities in order to get to your destination – the same day. I would not expect any sympathy to say the least.
How quickly mankind has forgotten the way it used to be.