I love traveling. What I don’t like so much is the waiting part. Waiting at the airport, the train station, wait for the taxi, the subway. Waiting before travel is not my thing. That’s why I either get there too late or too early… I could write tons of stories on this part of the travel, but we won’t go there. At least not today.

But when I travel, when the actual boarding in the plane takes place, the settling down in the seat, even with hundred others around me doing the same thing, the “packing out my little treasures” around me, including some snacks, that moment is already exciting and I haven’t even moved yet.

I enjoy the travel time, the farther I travel the more I enjoy it, even though it is tiring. But for me, especially in the last years, it means downtime. Time that I don’t have to work or do anything else other than just be with my thoughts, my dreams, my notebooks and… if it’s along haul flight, a huge movie collection on the little screen in front of me.

Occasionally I will take a nap during the flight or train ride (mostly on trains, I can’t really sleep in a plane, no idea why) and that’s one of the reasons I prefer direct connections. I’ll gladly pay a bit more to avoid changing trains or planes. That part is not enjoyable when it happens (not to mention the part of waiting for the next connection especially if you miss the one you were supposed to take).

Very often I made plans, did reviews (mostly in my head or on my notebooks) of the past, dreamed of a story or how things may go, or what may happen when I get to where I am traveling. I do try to “influence” these “dreams” in a positive way, not so much because of “positive thinking” (something I do subscribe to) bur I’d rather not be in a plane with a bunch of negative thoughts, since… getting out to take a walk is … not possible. And my dog is miles away.

So I’ll make plans, put down notes over big possible endeavours, write some lyrics or a bunch of notes or even draw a little sketch. Actually the first little thing I drew after I left high school (not that I was drawing in high school anyway, just figuratively) was in a British Airways flight to San Francisco in 2007: a glass of water and a glass of wine.

Water and Wine

Where ever I travel to: it is always “new” in a way. If I am returning there for a second, third, 4th etc time, I  see things that didn’t see before (even though they were there) and if it’s my first time, even the asphalt on the streets looks different and “new” to me. Sometimes after a long trip, even when I get back home the area feels “new” too.

Distance doesn’t really matter. It is more the trip in itself, the being away from my daily routine the day to day life and it’s chores, the different environment. Of course I really love it when I have time to go see things, educate myself or enjoy nature but even in a business trip, even if I don’t manage to add some vacation days or a long weekend, then the hours outside the meetings and the computer work are wonderful hours. Driving or walking through the streets, sitting in a coffee-shop “just because” … looking at the locals (trying to avoid touristic places).

And all of it is getting better when I am seeing friends, or meeting new people. When I’m spending quality time over a beer or a glass of wine, because the distance even in today’s hyperconnected world is a beast. Because nothing is better than face to face time, jokes that are laughed out loudly with out any LOLs or ROTFLs, talking with less words and be completely understood. Nothing is better than bonding again, building  a friendship slowly by eating on the same table, sharing a drink, sharing moments, hours, even days.

I’m writing this on the train  back from a short trip to Berlinale. On my way to Berlin, the 2 hours of train ride, I did a sketch on a Piano piece for a new project. It isn’t finished as a piece or anything, it may even be deleted but for now it’s there.

Miniatur 1

When I arrived in Berlin I walked to my first meeting. Granted I had enough time to do so, otherwise i.e. if the train would have had a delay I’d jump in a taxi or I’d curse loud and freak out. Not so today though.

So walking in the beautiful Berlin sunshine, in the freezing cold was a nice “slow down” in this morning’s stressful “get-out-of-the-bed-catch-the-train-after-a-short-night”. I walked along the Spree river, took a photo or two and every time I had to stop at a red light I turned my face to the sun, closed my eyes and let the sun warm my face. Wonderful walk.

Between meetings I spent time with a new friend talking about life, Berlin, society, Europe, politics and of course … music. With a huge piece of cake and espresso in the lounge of one of the most famous hotels in Berlin. Time flew faster than I thought. A couple of meetings more, talking to several people and then back on the train towards home. A wonderful day, a beautiful short travel. I love travels.

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About the author

Panos Kolias is a film, tv and concert music composer and musician.
He regularly produces cues and other commercial music for major television programs like CBS, ABC and others.
He's a part of the electronic duo DubLion Project and works also as a musician, educator, orchestrator, and technical consultant.
Besides composing for TV and film and composing concert music, he holds a lecturer position at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, teaching Music Technology and Film scoring courses.

2 comments on “Travels”

  1. George Leger III Reply

    I agree, traveling is much fun if one has time, money to do it in comfort, or best for me: lots of $$$, a cr in good running condition, and a couple of weeks to point and drive, explore, see what is… over there.
    Hope you like LA when you visit!

    • Panos_Kolias

      Yes George! Give me a couple of weeks to see “what is over there”. That’s fantastic!
      However I’ve been blessed and lucky to get a lot out of my travels even if money and free time is short. There are little moments of pure happiness, little moments of new discoveries, even in the most busy business trip. Yes, sometimes the amount of stress clouds even these little joys, but most of the time it is inspiring and joyful.

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