Traveling Superpowers: What Would You Choose?

Comic books and superheroes.

I can’t say I’ve kept up with them much since grade school.

But lately, they have made a reappearance in my life.

I recently read Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay about the comics industry.

Then I heard a radio program on This American Life about superheroes. The program posed a fun question:

If you could have a superpower, would you choose the ability to fly or to become invisible?

The program revealed that most men choose flying and women choose invisibility, and they discussed psychological implications of that. Women and guilt, self-effacement, and you can just imagine what other issues, right? You can listen to that program here.

Incidentally, I’d choose flying. No contest.

I got to thinking about superpowers and utilizing them not as a masked avenger (secondary aim), but as my higher calling, world traveler.

I even had a dream about it one night. I couldn’t get a reasonable airline reservation, so I just flew myself to Paris, Superman style.

Tapping into that power would be great. Who wouldn’t want to avoid long security lines and cramped 18-hour flights? Not to mention cost?

But let’s not stop there. Imagine all the other powers that could be useful in traveling.

How about being able to speak ANY language?

Or even being able to shrink your heavy oversized luggage into something that could fit in your purse?

What about the ability to slow down time or speed it up? Lazy beach day in Tahiti could go on forever.

Oh the possibilities…

I love considering them. However, it also occurs to me that maybe it’s partly the effort and discomfort we often take on to reach the far corners of the world that make travel that much more interesting. Perhaps it’s the mishaps that often make a trip memorable. And it’s our bewilderment with language and culture that really teaches us about the world in the end.

What do you think? Do you sometimes get more out of a difficult trip that doesn’t go as planned? And what would be your ultimate traveler’s superpower?

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10 thoughts on “Traveling Superpowers: What Would You Choose?

  1. I think this is such a fun post. I’ve actually thought about this before. I always say that I want teleportation. That way I don’t even need to wait to fly somewhere. I would just arrive instantly. Although, the effort and waiting that it takes to get to places could make me lose out on things. I’ve met so many interesting people on planes going from one place to another. I would miss that.

    By the way, that Michael Chabon book has been on my reading list for awhile. I’m going to have to check it out soon.

  2. Fun post 🙂 I would fly over invisibility ANY day! That would go for my travel superpower also, aside from having immunity to ANY sickness in the world and being able to heal the sick (okay, so I can’t decide either)…

  3. Ooh – good one. I’d definitely pick flying, hands-down, as well.

    Teleportation is great. Speaking any language for sure.

    But I think for travel, I’d also want the ability to control weather! Don’t you think?

  4. Women are strange. When I read the options, I immediately chose flying, no contest for me either! Teleportation would also be ideal. In my recent post, I actually touched on the idea of travel struggles a bit. They can be good (sometimes) to a certain extent. Perfect trips typically aren’t as interesting as those with even just a little bit of dissonance!

    • I agree that trips that go smoothly are often not as exciting… sometimes I’m up for the drama, and other times not though. The problematic trips always make great travel stories afterwards!

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