Following m previous entry’s thoughts of Tromsø’s far-reaching national and international status, I can’t help but face the issue of flying, as it rears its awkward head. The positivity which comes out of everything I have already described is fairly indisputable (maybe with the exception of Ozzy Osborn…) – but where would Tromsø be if it weren’t for its airport? Just here. Perched on top of the world. End of story.
While I relished the fact that I could travel up here from Oslo slowly and pleasantly by train and bus, I am constantly reminded that every day I am benefiting directly from hundreds of flights taken by other people. I am also torn by the fact that there is little more inspiring that being part of a gathering of people from such a variety of places and backgrounds, coming together to be part of the same thing – sharing ideas and inspiring each other on a common cause. But how do we keep such things going without taking to the skies?
I guess one answer is simple… if noone could fly then we would all find other solutions. The fact that we can so easily hop on and off our huge metal ‘friends’ without a thought, for most, blinds us to the other options. Options which frustratingly often aren’t even feasibly there. It is not easy, also, to be the one who is different. To be mobilephone-less in a mobilephone-free society is nothing, to be facebook-less in a place where facebook does not exist is not a problem, to choose not to fly in a world without planes is a peice of cake.
But they are here and they are used and they can bring about so many positive things in so many ways that to always be the one saying “uh…climate change?” can sometimes be difficult.
Having said that, I do my best to raise the topic with people whenever possible and get a discussion going. I often feel like I am in a different ‘head-space’ to many people around me here. I mean this in terms of my decision not to fly without careful consideration about how ‘necessary’ I deem it to be. This, I think, gives me a very different sense of where I really am in the world to those who wouldn’t think twice about it. I am glad of this feeling actually, I think it is something very important and, these days often lost, in travelling to have a deep appreciation of your physical situation on the planet.
Possibly this where-I-really-am sense is even more poignant in a place like Tromsø, so far north and unconnected by train lines.
Anyway. Some food for thought.