What I Realized From 10,000 Feet

I recently went on a trip to the mountains of central Pennsylvania. Now thirteen years removed from real winter (our Florida winter is brutal - all seven days of it!) I'm officially a complete cold weather wimp.

It's a trip that has become a tradition where I meet a guy I've been friends with for almost 30 years. It's a sprawling hunting camp that spans over 3,000 acres. It's the perfect place to disconnect with the craziness of life and reconnect with old friends and the outdoors.

There's usually snow, the thick early-winter type that dusts the ground and coats the trees. The cool crisp air in the morning combined with the sunrise over the mountains giving a soft pink and orange glow off the snow is like a postcard come to life. 

The flight to get there is interesting. The first leg is your traditional Orlando airport experience with a jumbo jet full of tired families headed home after a week full of Mickey Mouse. Having young kids myself, it's nice to reassure the mother behind me who's child is boxing the back of my seat that I completely empathize and am not bothered at all.  

The second flight is where it gets fun. To reach my connecting flight, I have to walk from terminal A to little-known terminal F. Traveler traffic gets more and more sparse as the gates pass until I arrive at F, the gate where the small regional planes depart. Jet ways are replaced with small roll away staircases that lead to open doors of prop planes.

While I was waiting to board, the pilots were also hanging out in the small seating area. I was lucky if they were twenty-five years old. So, off we went on our (training) flight over mountains to my final destination - a small town in north central PA. 

I've traveled quite a bit in life, but this flight is especially interesting as it's only an hour and never goes higher than 10,000 feet. At this height, homes, ski resorts, small towns and cities are easily visible.

While staring out the window, I had an interesting observation. Even the largest home, building or estate was a speck. I mean really, really small. Swimming pools, covered for the winter, looked like sand traps on a golf course, yachts on lakes looked like my children's bath toys. Mansions on the hillsides looked minuscule and even mountains looked like small hills in the landscape.

Sometimes you need to get up above it all to realize how small we really are. When you have the ability to take in the whole picture, the stuff we spend so much time chasing in life amounts to so little. From an airplane, you realize just how small our possessions are when put into perspective.

On the other hand, the relationships we have in life carry the same significance regardless of the perspective. It seems that the further we climb in life's journey, the larger and more significant great friendships become. How significant? Significant enough to get me on a prop plane with two twenty-five-year-old pilots.

Take a moment to raise above all the stuff and think about the relationships you can invest in. What old friends or loved ones can you reconnect with this Holiday season?