“As soon as you decide to do without planes, you realise how they impose their limited way of looking at things on you. Oh, they diminish distances, which is handy enough, but they end up diminishing everything including your understanding of the world. You leave Rome at sunset, have dinner, sleep a while, and at dawn you are in India. But in reality each country has its own special character. We need time if we are to prepare ourselves for the encounter; we must make an effort if we are to enjoy the conquest. Everything has become so easy that we no longer take pleasure in anything. To understand is a joy but only if it comes with effort, and nowhere is this more than in the experience of other countries. Reading a guidebook while hopping from one airport to another is not the same as the slow, laborious absorption- as if by osmosis- of the humours of the earth to which ones remains bound when travelling by train.
Reached by plane, all places become alike- destinations separated from one another by nothing more than a few hours flight. Frontiers, created by nature and history and roots in the consciousness of the people who live within them, lose their meaning & cease to exist for those who travel to and from the air-conditioned bubbles of airports, where the border is a policeman in front of a computer screen where the first encounter with the new place is baggage carousel, where the emotion of leave taking is dissipated in the rush to get to the duty free shop- now the same everywhere”
— A Fortune Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani