I started 2023 in a way that feels appropriate for the current climate, heading to JFK at 4pm on New Year’s Eve, boarding a plane at 6, and ringing in midnight from a dark Boeing 777 cabin at a difficult-to-pinpoint instant over the Atlantic Ocean. New Year’s Day was a 10-hour layover in Paris, the entirety of which we spent in an Air France lounge, before getting on another 12-hour flight to Mauritius—a beautiful place where my wife’s family happens to live—and staggering into the sunlight on January 2, wondering why the year was already going by so fast.
Flying is almost always a temporally destabilizing experience, and flying into a new year is a great way to undermine your annual opportunity to realign yourself with the calendar as well as its correlated Jungian rhythms. I don’t necessarily recommend doing this, and would avoid repeating it myself, but it was a fitting bookend to the previous New Year when I had COVID and couldn’t go anywhere at all. In the 2020s, there are plenty of different ways to decouple from geography.