I’m writing this from 11,500 metres above water, above solid, pure dark. Not long after we took off from Sydney at 14.55 local time, it began to get dark and stayed dark until about two hours before landing.
While those who know me well know that I have traveled over a million miles and can be very relaxed about it, getting on a plane in one city and, say, 14 hours later, getting off on the other side of the world, is totally surreal.
The world is smaller than it has ever been – it truly is. The time is right, the time is NOW for the world’s first mobile, global school and that is THINK Global School.
I had two interesting conversations on the plane – one with a woman who normally commutes between Melbourne and San Francisco, another with a man who does the same between Sydney and Washington, DC. And this isn’t the aberration you would think it would be. In 2008, before joining the team at TGS, I commuted between Toronto and Beijing and, honestly, saw nothing odd about that. I would spend three weeks in China, basing myself in my flat in Beijing and traveling within China, to Shanghai, Harbin, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Guangzhou and even Hong Kong. I know many people who commute between such places as New York – Dubai, Los Angeles – Hong Kong, Washington – Rome, Toronto – London and even New York – Singapore.
So how did the world get smaller? Did our minds just expand? Our conception of what was possible, what could be considered as the norm?
Yes, that’s absolutely a part of it. But it’s not all. Planes are bigger. Faster. Stronger. They’re more comfortable as compared with the planes of the previous generation and air travel is widely viewed as accessible to a large mass of people, as opposed to the fairly narrow tranche of old.
And it’s not just the getting there that has been made easier. Once at your destination, for better or worse (I am firmly in the “worse” camp) your can have many of the generic comforts of your home city, including a hotel room from a polyglot hotel chain, with a magnificent bed and an ubiqui-pillow and the same fluffiness in the towel you get in Pittsburgh or Brussels.
But this can’t be all bad if it gets people out, if it makes discoverers of even the least intrepid among us.
At THINK Global School, our kids and teachers will fall into the most intrepid camp. The world will be our sandbox. We’ll being the shovels and buckets and we’re going to build some totally awesome sand castles 🙂
I need to take a nap now…after a million miles, I haven’t found the panacea for jet-lag….