Travel Quote Tuesday | Once You Have Tasted Flight

“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Regular readers will know – even though we’re often told that travel is about the journey not the destination – that I’m not a huge fan of long haul flights, especially cooped up in cattle class, jemmied in to a seat that’s cramped and uncomfortable, for what seems like an endless endurance test. Where once upon a time there was a certain romance to flying, the era of price-gauging bums-in-seats mass-transit travel has not just tarnished the experience but rubbed the silver polish right off. While there are still glimmers of joy, it’s mostly an ordeal to get through in order to reach the other side.

And yet… And yet there’s still something magical about boarding a giant metal bird and traipsing out a few hours later half way around the world. There’s still excitement to be had in gazing down over cotton-wool clouds and miniature landscapes far below. There’s still delight about the approach of a much-anticipated trip that’s finally about to happen. (Perhaps that’s why I so often find the homeward flight more exhausting – I look forward to sleeping in my own bed but that can never match the thrill of heading away!)

Ask me when I’m sat waiting to board in the airport, or after the first few hours squeezed into a tiny seat and I’ll be wishing the flight were already over, muttering not-very-complimentary thoughts about the entire experience.

Ask me when I’m walking around at home and look up to see a plane scrawling trails of white across the sky… that’s when, eyes turned skywards, I long to be on-board, wishing I could take the place of those willing cattle, dreaming about the next place I am heading off to see.

(c) Kavita Favelle - Leonardo da Vinci

This image was taken just after take-off on the way home from a wonderful short trip to the Alentejo in portugal. You can just make out the ‘Ponte 25 de Abril’, an incredible suspension bridge across the Tagus River, between Lisbon and Almada.


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22 Comments to "Travel Quote Tuesday | Once You Have Tasted Flight"

  1. Suruchi

    I so much agree with Leonardo;s quote. Exactly once you have tasted the flight, your head always turn up thinking about when you will be sitting next in this crammed jemmied bird and where you will be flying to. That is such a beautiful picture and goes perfectly with the campaign.

    Reply
  2. Anne Slater-Brooks

    I am fortunate in that I enjoy the actual travel experience, although certain airlines do make it somewhat less pleasant. I would often prefer to do a 10 hour long haul on a decent airline than a 3 hour one with the likes of Ryanair. Great quote.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Same here. In fact, I will not book that airline, I’d rather pay more and / or take a less convenient route than give money to them and their owner. I think the only way we can protest against poor service and the rest is with our wallets. It’s no good complaining, like so many do, but then going right ahead and booking them again!

    Reply
  3. Tami

    There’s nothing quite like flying — it IS nearly magical in the views and the delight of being above the clouds. But I also feel that same delight when I watch a dancer do a beautifully choreographed move, or when a trapeze artist soars above the stage. There is something about the movement of flight that is just amazing!

    Reply
  4. Koen

    I’m so glad flying has been so easy now, and also ver accessible to a lot of people around the world. Not just to travel, but also to meet people, to see family far and close.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes, I agree. Not even a century ago, those who left their homes to cross the world for a new life knew it was unlikely they’d see their loved ones left behind ever again. Now, the rest of the world is a flight away!

    Reply
  5. Peter Korchnak

    Indeed, with things like traveling, once you get a taste of it, you will always long for the next trip. Something I’m going through right now, cooped up in a sedentary 9-5 life. It’s comforting to know people have been experiencing this since, well, forever.

    Reply
  6. Megan Jerrard

    I agree – I hate international long haul flights – sadly the romance of international travel has long gone and in its place now is hassle, stress, and god forsaken immigration lines. But for some reason, we get home, and all of that instantly disappears from our memory – we remember the incredible experiences and not the hassle of transit itself.

    I think there’s still an awe around flying because we’re defying what humans should be able to do.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Yes exactly! Apparently, that’s what giving birth is like (I wouldn’t know), where the mother forgets the intensity of pain and discomfort… it’s their child that is the thing, of course. Natural behaviour otherwise no woman would ever have more than one kid intentionally! Heh!

    Reply
  7. Kirstie

    I don’t spend much on tickets. I always look out for the cheapest flights because: 1. I have no problem with leg room (5 ft tall), and 2. You are right, we are so focused with the destination. Just deal with it, endure, and get there. We sometimes fail to appreciate the beauty of being able to “fly”. Back then it was an impossibility.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    You are lucky about the leg room thing, for us that’s a factor as my husband is 6 foot 6 inches tall and his legs are crazy long! But yeah, we try and keep our mind on the destination!!!

    Reply
  8. Tom Bourlet

    I honestly couldn’t tell you why, maybe my ADHD, but I actually really enjoy long haul flights. However I do find it difficult to write blog posts on the plane, not sure why as it seems like a great opportunity, but after about an hour I feel oddly defeated. I 100% agree though, it is not about the destination, it is about the journey

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    I nearly always spend most of the time reading, and if I’ve stumped for an upgrade, then watching a movie or two. I can rarely get work / blogging done either!

    Reply
  9. James

    What you mention in your post is a clear example of “the grass is always greener” or “we always want what we don’t have”. When we fly, we don’t enjoy it, but when we don’t, we we did. I personally love longhaul flights because Incan watch several movies haha! I’m a glass half full kind of guy. 😉

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    Exactly that! I watch movies or read a few books, but I find the seating uncomfortable so whatever I do, for a long flight, it’s not a relaxing experience….

    Reply
  10. Sandy N Vyjay

    Love the enigmatic charm of Leonardo Da Vinci. For me, he is one of the most inspiring of figures in history. The sheer range of his talents is mind-boggling. There was no field that he had not touched, arts, science, engineering, you say it and he was a master. What a wonderful quote from this great master.

    Reply
    kaveyeats

    It’s amazing isn’t it? What a mind he must have had, what a conversationalist he may have been, what a fascinating individual!

    Reply

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