I flew out west to visit my sister earlier this week. The skies were clear and we had fantastic views for the five hour flight. Each time I fly across the country, I find myself truly amazed at the variety of landscapes that have been tied together by a common government – the green in the East, the square lots of farmland in the Midwest, the red sand mesas in the Southwest and the blue Pacific of the West. It brings home just how big a space we occupy. And, how big a space we think very little of crossing on a regular basis.
In Europe, countries are much smaller, yet traveling cross country is considered a major undertaking. Here, we don’t think much of it. At the same time the idea of going to Canada seems like a huge trip to me, when, really, it’s closer to certain parts of Canada from where I live than to certain parts of the States. Traveling within the country seems more doable. Perhaps it is because you don’t need a passport. Perhaps it is because the culture is supposedly the same (though anyone who has spent time in various parts of the US will know that isn’t true). Regardless, it is truly incredible to me how knowing that I’ll be staying in the same country makes the trip feel shorter and easier. It’s all about perspective, I guess.
Here is a picture of the Grand Canyon from the window of the airplane.