If there’s one place I am quite sure I’ll never visit, it’s outer space. As a frequent traveler, naturally I’m interested in all sorts of travel topics, though. Even space travel. As a health and wellness professional, there’s a whole other set of topics that interest me. The nature of COVID-19 has for many painted a layer of fear around travel. Especially post coronavirus travel. Over the past few months the current pandemic has made it very hard to put, dare I say, EVERYTHING into perspective. Preoccupied by worry and anxiety, people are feeling somewhat hopeless and fatigued.
When a friend told me a video she saw helped her feel calm and helped her bring life back into perspective, I was curious. And I could not believe I had never seen this video! It brings together travel and music from one of my favorite singer/songwriters and YES, it definitely puts life into perspective.
Space Oddity, TED Talks, and Post Coronavirus Travel
Even if you are one of the 46 million viewers who have already enjoyed this video, watch it again. It takes on a different meaning during the current pandemic.
In 2013, from onboard the International Space Station, Commander Chris Hadfield performs a version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The video has taken on new life during COVID-19, and is being viewed from all over the planet. From what I can tell there’s captioning in 13 different languages. Even if you’re not a Bowie fan, watch the video. It’s the first music video shot in space!
A year later, in March 2014, Chris Hadfield gave a TED talk titled What I Learned From Going Blind In Space.
He is a good storyteller, with of course amazing stories to tell. He is well spoken and articulate with a dry sense of humor. Even though this TED talk was from 2014, I feel it really is so very important to hear again today.
Why? As I said, it is a huge challenge right now to put everything into perspective.
How Can Chris Hadfield’s Talk Help Us Cope With Coronavirus?
His talk centers around understanding fear and danger. He makes the point that danger is entirely different than the fear. He brilliantly uses one of the most common fears, the fear of spiders, to make this distinction.
There is, after all, perceived danger and actual danger, and being able to differentiate is essential. Many people experience a generic fear but don’t ask themselves, what is there to actually be afraid of?
One quote I particularly liked from the TED talk is, “There is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.” Ain’t that the truth. Our reactions are everything.
Hadfield speaks of the jaw-dropping beauty of the world as seen from space while showing photos taken from space of the Great Lakes as puddles and the fault lines of San Francisco, to name but a few of the images.
After the video you must draw your own conclusions. Moving through fear allows you to come back with a set of experiences you never could have had otherwise. That is true whether in space or here on earth as we move through the coronavirus pandemic and enter into post coronavirus travel times.
Then, as Chris Hadfield does, you can inspire others. As Hadfield says, “We are people with the ability to adapt, to understand, and to find and refine our own self-perception.”
Exploring the topics of fear and danger and how they relate to this pandemic, from both a personal and global perspective, is worth the time. I’m hoping that reading this, watching the videos, and taking this little journey with me has cleared both some outer space and inner space for traveling again.
I wonder if Chris Hadfield misses space travel. I sure miss traveling, even if my highest views only come from 35, 000 feet!
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