There’s an empty, weightless feeling to travelling. It’s a certain kind of melancholia that kicks in when you walk onto a plane. Is it the lack of certainty? The fear of insignificance? (Here you are, about to enter the conceptual vacum that is international time zones where you have no anchor, no grounding.)
Why do we do it? Why do I do it? Travel triggers all my Stuff. My anxiety around smells and sounds and the general too-closeness of humanity. It leaves me feeling lonely and anxious that I don’t have close loved ones (husband, kids) who know where I am, who look up at the sky when planes fly over and think about where in the world I might be. Who bear witness to my existence by proxy.
But I travel, I think, precisely to plunge into this particular kind of melancholy. These kind of experiences are rare ones, where we are drawn way, way, way back from our Usual Life and we have to gaze onto it and question it.
I’m in the lounge at LA airport, en route to New York. I’m heading to New York for two reasons:
1. I have an agent convinced she can sell I Quit Sugar to the Americans. I’m meeting with publishers across Manhattan and doing some press interviews.