Travel is an activity of endless possibilities. Theoretically, you can go from anywhere to anywhere. It's the stuff of dreams.
As a practical matter, however, most aspiring travelers are hemmed in to varying degrees by the constraints of the clock, the calendar, the purse and other impediments, including the whims of airline schedulers.
It's rarely true that "you can't get there from here," but there are still a lot of dots on the map that don't connect easily, so we're always cheering on the sidelines when new possibilities appear, whether they're roads, rail lines, cruise ports or airline routes. And we've had a lot to cheer about lately.
For starters, American is seeking government approval to add two key Asia routes to its Dallas/Fort Worth hub next summer with nonstops to Hong Kong and Shanghai, supplementing the hub's existing services to Tokyo and Seoul.
New York-based JetBlue, meanwhile, has quietly turned Boston into its second home. The airline now claims to have 50 nonstop routes to and from Boston and will add another next spring when it launches nonstop service to Detroit, which will be a new destination for the carrier.
We don't think any airline has had 50 nonstop routes at Boston, ever.
One of JetBlue's many codeshare partners, Emirates, will add to the mix next year with nonstop Boston-Dubai service.
Not to be outdone, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways will launch service to Los Angeles next June, connecting two dots that are just about halfway around the world.
We will never get nonstop service from everywhere to everywhere until "Star Trek" becomes a reality, but this incremental growth in airline route networks is a good sign, coming after years of losses, slow growth, consolidation and, in some markets, outright retrenchment.
Let's hope the airlines keep at it. Every dot connected brings somebody a bit closer to their dream.