Plane Ride

It seems like I hardly sit down to write about my world anymore unless I’m either A) someplace new or B) stuck with nothing else to do.  I am sitting in a chair in the sky en route to Chicago for my employer’s annual Culture Survey meeting.  Every leader in the company flies up to learn how we’re doing and what our game plan is for the next year.  It’s a great time to reconnect with people I don’t see that often.
I thrive in a social environment.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I can feel very alone and isolated in a crowd, but if I know at least one person I am usually able to use that to catapult myself to a level of comfort and outgoingness and I have a wonderful time.  An event like this is highly enjoyable for me.  I have no problem approaching someone like the CEO of our company and talking for a few minutes.  Even on this flight, Senator Tom Coburn is sitting two seats in front of me.  If I wasn’t surrounded by coworkers (and a few folks above me) I’d really enjoy talking to him and gaining a greater understanding of the political system from his perspective, knowing how vastly different he views many social policies.  But, rather than stir up anything, I just sit quietly and type.
It’s places like this I’m once again struck by the American idea that mass transit means not talking.  One of the little cultural things I picked up on when I returned home from traveling was that people on planes, trains, and buses rarely talk to one another here.  Even on this flight, where the vast majority of the passengers are U.S. Cellular peers, people aren’t talking.  Silence is contagious.
Although I don’t think I’m going to have the time to see downtown, it’ll be nice to be traveling again.  Even on business, I am always excited to board a plane and set down in a new place.  This will be my second time in Chicago for this event and I expect it to be no less exciting than last year.  Though I did catch myself saying ‘at the Con’ when referring to this trip to a friend.  It won’t be nearly THAT exciting.
The drink cart is coming; time for my ritualistic ginger ale.  Maybe I’ll try to strike up a conversation with my neighbor again.  The airline magazine can’t be THAT interesting, after all…

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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