People often ask my why I like to fly. There's no simple answer other than "because I enjoy it" but that doesn't really answer the question. I like the view. The freedom to go almost anywhere. The art of putting technical knowledge to work in real-time.

But most of all, flying relaxes me. When I'm in the cockpit I am rarely thinking about work or the random complications that life throws me way. It was for that reason that I set off this afternoon on a little sight seeing flight from San Jose to the Monterey Coast.

Citabria N5156X Along The Monterey Coast Behind Monterey Coast Seen From Citabria N5156X Monterey Coast Behind Citabria N5156X

The last few days have been interesting (in the Chinese proverb sort of way) and educational (in a "I learned something about myself the hard way" sort of way), so the 2.2 hour trip was a good way to get out today.

I assume that everyone has a hobby or activity that helps to escape the "real world" for a little while. If you don't, make it your goal to get one.

What's your way of getting away from it all?

Posted by jzawodn at May 06, 2007 05:10 PM

Reader Comments
# Joe Zawodny said:

I like to get behind the lens, either a hand held camera or one on the end of a telescope. I disappear and become part of what I'm shooting. I also spend too much time on flickr. I've been putting the photos from last weeks air show on flickr ( if you're interested).

on May 6, 2007 05:27 PM
# Josh Stack said:

My get away from it all. Nothing like miles and miles of pavement ahead and behind of you to clear your head.

on May 6, 2007 05:29 PM
# Werner said:

For me riding a motorcycle is like a giant mental black hole. Soon after you take off on your trip, it is as if you start to become a spectator to the thoughts in your head, and slowly you will see them disappear one by one until there are none left. You can go for miles without a single thought. No matter how hard you work to concentrate on the issues you wanted to think about, it is just not happening. For me riding is the ultimate Zen, whether I want it or not.

on May 6, 2007 06:12 PM
# Paul Stamatiou said:

Spirited driving is my way of escape everything.

on May 6, 2007 06:15 PM
# Erik Schwartz said:

I sail across the Pacific Ocean by myself to unwind.

If I don't have time to do that I sail out around the Farallone Islands by myself.

on May 6, 2007 06:40 PM
# marc said:

Golf for me clears the mind...impossible to think of anything else but hitting the ball and taking in the beauty around you.

on May 6, 2007 06:46 PM
# Matt said:

I go running, usually without deciding on a path ahead of time.

When some bad things happened to me a couple of years ago, I ran 20 miles in 3 days after not training for months. After that, I decided I needed to find some coping mechanisms that weren't quite so painful..

on May 6, 2007 07:17 PM
# Marc Hedlund said:

Cooking, specifically baking. When things get really stressful I make shrimp stew, which requires a lot of chopping and a lot of stirring the roux over a hot stove. Great for taking the mind away from its troubles.

on May 6, 2007 07:43 PM
# said:

The older I get (and 40 is in the rear-view mirror), the more I'd like to think that developing a Zen-esq hobby is the answer.

My reality is that finding a bimbo or two for a meaningless one night relationship cures a lot of ills.

on May 6, 2007 07:50 PM
# marek said:

WOW Jeremy, these are cool shots. I totally understand your point about relaxing while up in the air. For me it is like that on a sailboat, when the wind fills the sails... just awesome.

Thanks for sharing...

Marek (jazyfko) came here from Twitter

on May 6, 2007 08:08 PM
# Earl said:

I'm with you about flying. When I'm flying I'm so focused on what I'm doing that I forget about other things for a bit. That sense of freedom is very apparent in the photos you took. I love looking around on clear days like that.

on May 6, 2007 08:35 PM
# Joseph Hunkins | Joe Duck said:

Table Tennis - love it, get absorbed in that great way where your thoughts are focused only on the table, the ball, and the opponent.

on May 6, 2007 10:35 PM
# said:

those are the same reasons why i fly - pretty much exactly one for one - the skill, the view and the ability to get my mind off mundane things

on May 6, 2007 11:08 PM
# Bruno Waes said:

I recently started karate, and i found out that while working out at the gym you try to think on all sorts of things to forget you are on that stupid treadmill, while you are doing karate you can not think about anything else, you have to focus on your movements, so it sure is a way for getting away from it all.

on May 7, 2007 12:18 AM
# Aurimas Mikalauskas said:

I leave the world behind by diving deep into the ocean. Underwater feels like a different world - different life, creatures, sounds.. No traffic jams, no talking (, no smoking =) and (it feels like) no gravitation. It really drops me outta here.

on May 7, 2007 12:30 AM
# Thomas Bindl said:

Awesome pics once again!

I'm currently looking for a solution to clear my mind every now and then. Skiing used to be great but due to a lack of snow I started kinda unrelaxed into this year. There again, chocolate helps at times ;)

on May 7, 2007 02:10 AM
# warthog said:

I 12 table 1-2 NL at Full Tilt --- ahhh the bliss of abandoning emotion and embracing statistical probability.

on May 7, 2007 05:15 AM
# Sylvia said:

Hmmm, flying stresses me out. I love it but I certainly don't think of it as relaxing. If I need to clear my head, I cook.

I like having just one tiny little corner of my world where I know, if I do everything right, I'll get an expected result. Bar the very occassional black-out, that's how it works in my kitchen. :)

on May 7, 2007 05:38 AM
# Andreas said:

That'd be cycling. I just get on my bike; one big plus point is that you can argue with yourself or shout or whatever, if you are not in a city ;)

swimming is nice, too ;).

...and it's cheaper...

on May 7, 2007 08:41 AM
# Jeremy Johnstone said:

My two releases are photography and diving. As you can tell by my Flickr set (, I've been doing a lot more photography than diving lately. Hopefully this summer maybe I can do both at the same time. =)

on May 7, 2007 09:32 AM
# Jo Stockley said:

When I want/need to get away and clear my head I pick up my bass and have at it. Sometimes just practicing scales and arpeggios is all thats needed to give me a lift. Other times I go to Red House in Walnut Creek and join in a blues jam.

on May 7, 2007 10:23 AM
# dave mcclure said:

ultimate frisbee is usually my release... altho the older i get, the slower & fatter i get, & the more injuries i sustain... so it may becomes a source of frustration rather than a release soon ;)

otherwise, my 2-year-old son Dante is starting to become a real joy to hang out with (he was fun before too, but not quite as verbal as lately). some days he can be taxing, but i'm pretty sure he'll be a lot less of a pain in the ass than i am. so i got that going for me.


on May 8, 2007 12:56 AM
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