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.
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?