Wanderlust woes

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By Regina May Cajucom

Serendipity Couch

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


IT IS one terrible day for humanity as Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 travelling from Netherlands to Kuala Lumpur crashed somewhere over Eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people, including 15 flight personnel and 80 children. It was bad enough to learn about the unfortunate incident, but to learn about the intentional - and yet seemingly random - missile attack on a commercial plane is not only shocking, it is downright frightening.

As I watch the latest news coverage on the incident not long after Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 vanished into thin air with no wreckage or debris whatsoever, and learn about the people who lost their lives, there is this awful sickening realization that indeed, we will never know when Joe Black will come knocking on our door.

Hearing about the untimely demise of some great people aboard Flight MH17 is heartbreaking: the young doctoral student from Indiana University travelling to Kuala Lumpur on vacation with her boyfriend, a Dutch AIDS researcher on his way to a conference, a family of four travelling to attend a family reunion in the Philippines, a grandfather travelling across the globe to bring his three minor grandchildren home after a European vacation, and another family of six from the Netherlands for a family vacation in Kuala Lumpur, one of the top tourist destinations in Asia.

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The stories of these families travelling together on the way to or from a grand vacation, probably after planning and saving up for years, hit home. Most people dream of grand mansions or uber luxurious cars; I want a simple, minimalist home and a functional car, sure, but my grandest (material) dream is to go on wanderlust adventures with my family in chosen spots all over the world. And this piece of news makes me flight-sick, seasick, all levels and degrees of travel-sick, sick, sick. It reminds me of that Alanis Morissette song, a personal favorite: "Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly/ he packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye/ he waited his whole damn life to take that flight/and as the plane crashed down he thought "Well isn't this nice..."/and isn't it ironic... don't you think."

Despite several plane trips we've taken as a family, there is still that unsettling, queasy feeling that is not always due to a change in altitude. There is always that issue of security and health concerns, now not being helped by the realization that commercial flights at 30,000 feet or so above the ground are not safe.

Oh well, life is a risky journey, every single day. As one favorite quote of mine goes: "A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for".

Keep safe, and say a little prayer for the victims of the MH17 tragedy and their families. And for world peace. (serendipity.couch@gmail.com/ www.serendipitycouch.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 24, 2014.

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