I remember as a kid, my dad used to tell me that if I dug deep enough, I could reach China.
Growing up in Jefferson County, where a trip to Madison was cause for us to check the oil and make sure the tires were good, things have changed a lot for me over the years.
My first trip on an airplane happened as a result of a job. I went to Knoxville, Tennessee to go to work with The Berkline Corporation. Never did I think it would lead to this.
Today, I travel at the drop of a pin. Last week, I booked travel to Brussels, Belgium to attend a trade fair in Cologne, Germany, about 120 miles away. A grand adventure? No, a three day business trip.
Stay in Cologne? Not for me. I’ll take high speed rail from Brussels to Cologne and be dropped off walking distance from the fair. Are you kidding me? And, I’ll be in Las Vegas three days after I get back.
I left Shanghai (the one in China) about 10 days ago at 5:00 p.m. one afternoon and arrived in Chicago at 4:00 p.m. the same day. I got home earlier than I left? Yup! If I kept flying, I could have a “Back to the Future” experience.
After I got back from China, I flew to Roanoke, Virginia to visit my daughter and watch a football game. A day later, I shipped off to Salt Lake City, Utah for business….for a day.
In 1900, a trip to Chicago from Fort Atkinson was probably more difficult and exotic than the trip to Shanghai today.
As I do all of this travel, it’s very clear to me that the world is a single place. It’s not such a big place anymore. We are all people of the planet, not from one country or another. Countries are just addresses.
All of this travel shows me that people from everywhere have wants and needs. Everyone has hopes and dreams. I feel a lot less them and they and a lot more we and us. We’re all pretty much the same.
I hope, as we move forward, we begin to realize this, and we have to find a way to get along. We have to learn how to play nice with each other. It’s necessary for the survival of the planet.
In the immortal words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”