Whenever I have the opportunity to fly across the United States, I’m reminded of the variety of landscapes that wait to greet me out of the airplane window. The patterns change gradually from the east coast to the west coast – the green of the south, to the plains of the central states, to the dramatic peaks and valleys of the Rockies and Sierras, to the cliffs that drop suddenly into the Pacific Ocean.

As a designer, it seems like such a privilege that I get to see all of this contrast, texture and color in a matter of just a few hours. I gasp with delight when the mountains come into view after miles and miles of flatness, and I constantly press my nose against the airplane window, trying to see what is coming up next.

For me, travel has always been as much a learning experience from 30,000 feet as it is on the ground. And over time I’ve learned that getting somewhere can be as invigorating and energizing as actually being somewhere. The U.S. travel Association estimates that Americans took over 2.2 billion trips last year, and that more than half of us fly at least once a year. That equates to a lot of people besides me having the same opportunity to see all of this crazy beauty out of a 12” x 12” weirdly shaped pane of plexiglass.

Which makes me wonder…

How many of us actually take the time to look?


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