The first time I got on a commercial airplane was in 1982 to go to Ft. Lauderdale, I was 21 years old and it was my spring break in senior year of college. It was an eye opening experience as you can well imagine. I made it back alive (if ever you went to Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break you would know that this was not guaranteed) and settled back into my “normal” boring life. It took more than three years till the next time I got on an airplane - it was 1985 and it was my first business trip. I flew to Denver and proceeded to take the rest of Sunday and drive into the mountains. As I reached the foothills of the Rockies I was truly in awe of what I saw. My eyes were opened to new sights that only existed in library books (there was no Google at this time). The mountains dominated the skyline and the clean and crisp air filled my lungs like never before. Yes, I had quickly fallen in love with the view and the newness of the experience and I could have stayed and stared all day long. Little did I know that my life was changed for evermore. I had unknowingly opened the aperture through which I could see the world. Up to this point I had limited what I knew and what I saw by staying close to home, doing mostly the same activities every day and keeping my views narrow. I did not believe in the art of the possible – rather, I believed in the familiar and the routine. Sadly, I did not even know I had done this to myself. What the Denver trip did was open allow me to see and experience more. Aperture wide open – it was my first step towards THPL.
What I saw made me want so much more. I found myself planning and plotting ways to see more, to be outside more, to keep the aperture wide open. At work I started offering to take on projects as far away from home as possible – I felt compelled to dream of travelling the world and living large. Fortunately, my work from that point forward took me to places I would never have visited. I met people of all backgrounds and interests; I saw beauty and poverty, the future and the past. All across the globe I trotted never once closing down the aperture, no actually it was not possible to do that – once I had seen more I was hooked and made it a point to have it be a key part of my life.
It is too easy to stay home and live the life granted – once we break out and venture beyond we find is that there are many ways to touch the “L” in THPL – you just have to look around you, grow interested in what is just over the horizon and prioritize the pursuit of a better life. Yes, indeed open that aperture wide and keep it that way and you will be on your way to THPL.
Loving Life all over the world
lest I forget Sally and me 3:26 +20, and 207 pushups on 4:17 (not sure where that came from)