A friend of mine says his favorite part of any trip is when the aircraft doors close. That’s the moment he can no longer control what happens and he’s forced to sit back and take what comes. No more planning, no more checking lists or making sure he’s remembered his Swiss army knife or money belt. Now it’s time to give himself up to the travel gods and head into the unknown where new people, cultures, and experiences wait. And that’s when the anticipation begins, the real wonder about what he’ll encounter and how it’ll change him, because travel always changes us. We’re never the same person we were before we left home.
Here at “Cleared for Takeoff” we’re hoping to give you the same sort of anticipation my friend gets when he fastens his seat belt. We’ll talk about the joys and wonders and challenges of travel in today’s world. We’ll point you to the odd and quirky, the exalted and flamboyant, the strange and mysterious and transcendent experiences our planet has to offer, and we hope you’ll tell us about your travels, too. Because as we all know, the stories we live while traveling aren’t nearly as much fun if we can’t tell them to someone. So welcome aboard. Let’s all enjoy the ride.