Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Art of Travel

Pictured above is a cockpit view on approach into Las Vegas of Red Rock National Park (photo by FO Wheels Bauder). There are often beautiful sights while inflight but let's get real about other parts of the experience. The conditions that surround us when traveling can be trying at best. In an airplane cabin, the only humidity present is that which comes from bodily respiration. Space is confined and our bodies are subject to forces and pressures that create added stress on even the most healthy. Add to this the fact the environment has so many factors out of our control from weather and mechanical factors to the mix of individuals that invade our personal space.

On a recent flight, I met Bert Snow who is the founder of a business called 10,000 Feet. Learn more The slogan on his business card says "Perspective changes everything". Profound, eh?

On the top of a mountain or when immersed in nature's surroundings of all types, we are reminded of what is important in life and that we are mere mortals. As the website mentions, when below you can not see what is above but when above you can see below and when you descend, you can remember what you saw. Those peak experiences we gain while traveling are also why we put ourselves through some of the torture!

Often a passenger myself, I use my mind to affect my experience. When I start feeling claustrophobic while stuck in a center seat, I think cozy. When the temperture is too hot and we are in the sterile cockpit stage of flight, I remember times I have paid for the spa experience of sweating in a Finnish sauna. I'll remark to my seat companions "Too bad they can't crank up the heat so we can have the full spa experience". Our minds are powerful and while we can sometimes change some conditions, when it's not possible, changing our mental outlook can be an effective tool.