Freedom to Fly

In The Art of Travel Spring 2018, 7. Free topic, Prague by Sean Oh2 Comments

It had been an exhausting day of traveling and my friends and I were just returning home. We often enjoyed Googling “Fun and interesting things to ponder about” to see what would come up and instigate conversation. Some of the topics were heavy and cliché like “what is the meaning of life” while other were more goofy, asking “Would you rather be a duck or a pigeon?”. Our conversations were continued in laughter as we began to reason how being a duck would be preferable to being a pigeon and jumped from topic to topic on our metro ride home.

These silly discussions continued on our ride home until one of my friends, Brian, asked a rather thought provoking question, “if you could have a superpower, what would it be?”, a question often asked and wondered upon during one’s childhood. I had of course thought of this question on my own several times before and always had a “go-to” answer but circumstances had changed and I was no longer twelve years old. It was no longer appealing to me to have superhuman strength to be able to toss any object across the field and show off raw power. I have learned that brute strength can only take one so far.

I begin to ponder my answer as another friend, Chris, added that he wanted the ability to stop time, claiming that the ability would virtually allow him to accomplish what any other superpower could do. I agreed, however this was not what I had wanted. While stopping time would give almost limitless freedom, your timeline and sense of reality would be different from that of others. You would continue to age during the time of the “time freeze” and would therefore be incompatible in progression with the rest of the world.

I’m a firm believer of the notion that “with great power, comes great responsibility”. I am also not one to seek overwhelming power and so decided to settle for something relatively modest. I stated that I wanted nothing more than the simple ability to fly. Nothing too out there, just the capability to soar the skies. The freedom and exhilaration that would come from gliding the skies allowed me genuine happiness. In my mind a became I child again as I began to imagine what it would be like to have that power, to tumble through the night skies while reaching for the stars.

We finally reached home and it was time to sleep. The night was solemn as I was still immersed in my own fantasies of the superpower I had chosen. However childish, I reminisced and regained a part of the innocence of my childhood. The lights went off, but I could still hear the occasional car pass by, which I found rather soothing. My night was coming to a close and it was time to sleep. I finally entered slumber and that night, I dreamt of soaring the skies.

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(Image: The Night Constellations; Source: The Night Sky)


  1. Sean,

    I love this ‘game’ that you and your friends seem to play. I think your post was very interesting, especially in the difference between what your childhood and adult superpowers would be like. Such a fascinating concept, what we dream about and how those dreams change as we get older…


  2. Hi Sean, this is great! I am definitely going to try searching ‘fun and interesting things to ponder about’ with some friends this weekend. I have always chosen flying as a top superpower as well – nice choice.

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