The Taskscape of Travel
George Clooney doesn’t even crack the top 20 list of my favorite actors.1 And yet he-or more precisely the character he plays in the 2009 movie Up in the Air-is my favorite traveler ever, bar none. This is no easy feat for any movie character, as popular films depicting travel are legion and the competition is intense across many genres. From adventures like Seven Years in Tibet to the numerous dramatic climbs to Mt. Everest, and from the comedic yet oh-sotrue misadventures contained in National Lampoon’s European Vacation and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, there are plenty of iconic images of mobility actors from which to choose. Yet Up in the Air is my favorite because it so effectively portrays travel as a taskscape, a form of art and a technique to be mastered through practice.