Waiting this morning for a flight to Chicago, and the last line of this poem comes to mind.
I march across great waters like a queen,
I whom so many wisdoms helped to make;
Over the uncruddled billows of seas green
I blanch the bubbled highway of my wake.
By me my wandering tenants clasp the hands,
And know the thoughts of men in other lands.
– John Masefield, The Ship and Her Makers
Granted, I’m boarding a JetBlue flight with technology not dreamed of in the time of John Masefield, things like iPhones playing music over Bluetooth to my wireless noise cancelling headphones, or the onboard video entertainment 18″ from my face that I try to keep on the tracking map to focus on productivity. Perhaps the vessel has changed over the years, but the adventure of travel hasn’t. Instead of blanching a bubbled highway a pair of contrails mark our previous moments. I surf an aluminum tube skimming 35,000 feet above sea level at 480 miles per hour
This is a business trip, but as with any trip I try to make the most of the time away from the more familiar. I’ve been to Chicago many times, and look forward to reacquainting myself with people from around the continent attending the same event. And of course a chance to meet new acquaintances as well. Travel offers the opportunity to explore the world one conversation at a time.