I work as a writer for a luxury, bespoke travel company. Our clients are extremely wealthy and educated, wanting beautiful, but more unusual travel experiences. Our philosophy is, if you can dream it, we can organise it. Not only do I research and write about exotic locations all over the globe, but I have to find them. I’m always on the hunt for somewhere a little bit different, but something that can be turned into pure indulgence for the discerning traveller. It’s not just about finding somewhere exotic— it’s also about how we can turn an unusual location (or any location really) into a vacation that will not only blow your socks off, but will make your friends green with envy.
One of the best parts of being a travel writer is that I’m always learning something new, and my boss, who is extraordinarily well travelled, is full of great ideas and travel destinations, but when she told me she wanted me to write an article on space travel, I thought she’d gone mad!
I really did think she was a bit mad and I was sure it was impossible, but before telling her that, I did some research and discovered that space travel is a real thing! People have actually paid to book their seats to fly into outer space— before the flight is even ready, and that’s mind-boggling. Space travel is not for the faint-of-heart, or those short of a buck. A ticket costs about $250,000 USD. Virgin Galactic, headed by Sir Richard Branson, has the mission of developing and operating space vehicles to make ‘space’ accessible for everyone. Well everyone with a quarter of a million dollars that is. I can understand that pioneering spirit that would make people cough up a lot of money for a flight that may not take off in their lifetime, but I’m not one of them.
The idea of travelling into space fills me with dread. It’s one thing to find yourself stranded in Marrakesh because of a pick-pocket, or to lose your passport in Milan, but the sheer volume of things that could go wrong on a trip to Mars is way too much to comprehend. There’s no getting off if you’re hit by horrific travel sickness or claustrophobia, and what if you’re stuck next to a crying baby for one hundred and fifty light years? Yes, I know, that wouldn’t happen and I don’t even know what light years are, but you get my point. Too much can go wrong.
What I have found interesting is that over the last quarter, four hundred people put down deposits to fly on the future tourist space-plane. Considering the state of the world during the COVID-19 lock-down, people are still putting money on the futuristic flight. Whilst I was initially surprised by it, I came to realise that space travel during the pandemic makes so much sense. All the borders are closed, but not the borders into space! Mars isn’t in lock-down either. Social distancing is covered with those space suits and oxygen tanks so it really is the perfect way to travel. Now if only I had $250,000 to spare …