Well, once in my life I saw a sensei I wanted to learn from, so I moved from Europe to North America to be able to practice with him. So yes, distance is not important, what is important are you serious about the aikido training.
...and in North America you lived under a bush and ate manna from heaven, is that right?
Certain people live in the lucky circumstances of great freedom combined with no responsibilities. These people tend to benefit from the efforts of others (parents who let them live at home, a working spouse/partner, a friend who lets them couch-surf indefinitely). For those who have these benefits and
no untidy encumbrances in the form of a spouse or partner, children or elderly parents (and who are additionally blessed with unlimited good health), one could indeed say "seriousness", or lack thereof, is the sole limitation of their aikido training. It's when people in this situation fail to recognize the rarity of their privilege, and judge others as if they were in similar circumstances, that the reasoning becomes absurd.