Here in China, I find myself thinking about my ancestors a lot. I wonder if they see me here and say to themselves, "What the hell is THAT about?!" They left Greece, Czechia, Germany, and Ireland with the understanding that their descendants would be living in America, not China, but here we are.
Another way I live my life very differently from my ancestors is that I spend so little of it on ground level. Sure, people in large cities have been living this way for years, but it is all new to me, even though I've lived in megacities in the past.
I estimate I spend under six hours each week on the surface of the earth. I spend about 40 hours each week on the third floor at work, about three hours each week underground on the subway, and about 120 hours each week on the fifth floor at home. That's about 96% of my life either in the air or under the ground.
The numbers would be even worse if I didn't participate in the weekly staff soccer game. That's one third of my surface time alone. And of course this is only for the typical week; last month my school took everyone to the botanical garden where I spent about eight hours at surface level. But at the end of today, I'll have been on the ground for 20 minutes out of 24 hours.