Twenty years ago today, on 6th November 1999, I stepped on a plane for the very first time to leave the UK for the very first time.
Was this a long-awaited family holiday? Nope, they never really stretched further than Swansea or — once — Tenby. It was for IETF 46 in Washington D.C..
The BA 777 that I flew on that day is still in service.
Now, the sum total scheduled duration of flights I’ve been on (or plan to be on) during 2019 is one minute shy of five days and 18 hours. I wonder what little me, reading Look and Learn with talk of supersonic planes (in addition to Concorde) and even ballistic travel would have thought?
Travel is disruptive, a lot of it is at weekends and evenings (and if you add a couple of hours at airports for each flight, that’s another four days on top of the 5d18h). I know there are a reasonable number of people reading this for whom that amount of travel would be considered a sabbatical, but I still consider myself lucky to be able to do this interaction with other NRENs, service providers and global Internet governance groups as part of my job, and still enjoy travelling for pleasure, even more so now that after travelling on my own for so long I can get to do it with a wonderful companion (my wife, of course).
It’s very easy to creep into isolationism, which can happen on so many levels, whether it’s the Network Operations part of a very large company, Jisc as opposed to other NRENs, NRENs in general compared to the wider commercial Internet, or even countries thinking they can ’take back control’ and go it alone. However, it’s something we need to constantly fight against. The Internet, like everything else, can only work as a collective effort.
Of course, this rally against isolationism doesn’t detract from “me time.” 🙂