Sunday, October 30, 2016
Despite considerable international travelling I still feel a sense of wonder when a mere eight or ten hours transports me to the other side of the world . . . and then back home again. It can even be done on short notice. Just head out to the airport (don't forget your passport) and merely by producing a piece of plastic you can be on your way. Movies like The Martian take this to the next step even though that didn't turn out to be trouble-free. But we fully expect that before too long even that journey will be in the realm of possibility.
Travel to Mars in the movie took about six months, about the same amount of time as a sea voyage to the New World in a sailing ship like the one pictured above. No pleasure cruise, your very life might be at risk from disease and bad weather. When friends and family left, they were gone for good. Few would venture, or could afford a return journey.
Would you embark on that for pleasure or only in desperation?