I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately. What with the big goings on in my country (USA) and out there in the world. I do my thinking via scifi watching and reading especially when I’m in this kind of mood.
We sometimes jokingly say “I want off this planet!” and I’ve said that often here on this blog and the others I’ve had over the years, and I’ve noticed that in more recent times I’m only half joking.
And now after coming off of a Star Trek Voyager kick (on season 5) for the umpteenth time and also just sinking my teach into Poul Anderson’s Starfarers, my brain starts tossing around the very real idea of forsaking this planet for other worlds.
It is Mars One’s goal to establish a human settlement on Mars.
Human settlement of Mars is the next giant leap for humankind. Exploring the solar system as a united humanity will bring us all closer together.
Mars is the stepping stone of the human race on its voyage into the universe. Human settlement on Mars will aid our understanding of the origins of the solar system, the origins of life and our place in the universe. As with the Apollo Moon landings, a human mission to Mars will inspire generations to believe that all things are possible, anything can be achieved.
I have only skimmed that site, but I have perused the video applications and they are very interesting. They are from all types of people from diverse walks of life, from nearly every continent and country on this planet.
I see I am not alone in considering leaving Mother Earth behind – one-way trip or not. There are various reasons given, but I listen mostly to the tone of voice and sometimes I try to look deep into the eyes of the person speaking…
You might think there was a lot of people just giving up on this planet and seeking to do better on another one. Some, yes. Most are taking the good things that they have learned, and become from life here and have a yearning to take that goodness to the stars.
I wax poetic, but really think about it. In other Poul Anderson books the distances between and stars, solar systems, viable planets are taken care of by conveniently having a starship crew that is immortal. Or with working stasis technology. Or a combination of both.
I myself am contemplating a journey of sorts too. Not one that is exactly interstellar, but one that will take me away from the familiar to places with differing cultures from what I am used too, and will have me exercising my adaptability skills to their maximum.
At times I may want off the planet. More close to home, I want out of this country. The country of my birth. The country that I love more than I am able to articulate.
This move is not going to be easy. It has been a long time coming, and I have been preparing for it, for years, with perhaps many more months still yet to go until lift off.
But I know that I cannot stay here. I know that if I simply move to another state, it will not be enough, and the bald reality is that which I seek relief from is endemic in this nation and it is sickening me unto my death and I wish to live.
I am not looking to escape racism, sexism and oppression. I will find that in any country I happen to land in. What I am seeking to get out from under is the particular brand of racism, sexism and oppression that is uniquely American in its nature, scope and DNA.
I may return after some years. I may not. All I know is that I need to heal and I cannot do it here. Goodness knows I’ve tried for nearly a decade now, and I see that – at least for me – the only solution is to expatriate myself.
I won’t be the first Black American to do so, and I certainly won’t be the last. And for pretty much the exact same reasons too, I might add. I have traveled before. I have lived in other countries besides my own. I have that at least. It will help with the transitions and the culture shock that I know are ahead for me on my journey.
My initial country of choice after much thinking and praying and research had originally been France, in or around the city of Rouen. I have found an internet friend, a Black woman expat who has been living in Scotland, and via conversations with her, I’ve decided to stop there first.
I don’t know if it will be just a visit, or a lengthy visit, or if I might decide to stay there instead. The wet weather and greenery might be just what my soul needs for a minnit after all this heat and dryness out here in the desert.
But I have a place to start, a goal to get to, and prospects for further travel and exploration. Who knows? Maybe my karma is to be a nomad, forever traveling, pacing this globe and coming to understand it better.
There was a scifi story I read years ago – I forget the author, sorry – but it was about a young guy who happened to get a job in a diner that was a sort of pit stop between worlds and universes. He wanted to hitch a ride with any world-hopper who would take him, even knowing that there was no way to ever return.
He got advice to take a hop around his current planet – Earth – first and get to see the amazing sights it had to behold. He had never even been outside his small dusty town. There was wisdom in the moral of that story.
So I go to get respite from what is slowly killing me, but I also go with the hope that I’ll learn something new, see something amazing, experience something different about this planet before I decide to settle somewhere on it or sign up for that Mars colony.
Would you go?
Would you travel this planet?
Would you leave the country you love to save your life?
Would you sign up to leave this Earth and go Elsewhere on a one-way trip?
Would you go?