Airplanes: A Destination for Silence

There aren't many places where you can now fully disconnect. Places where you can't access wifi and be hooked to the internet and your smartphone. Places where you can totally be #offline.

Thinking back to my first trip to Europe in 2009, I couldn't call home on my cellphone, let alone get a wifi signal to use my cell (notice I called it a cellphone not a smartphone, that dates me already!) That was less than a decade ago. Oh how technology has advanced in such a short period of time!

While in Europe, I had to go to Internet cafes or use pay phones with calling cards to call home to let my parents know I was safe and sound. I remember taking photos with my camera here and there at the most memorable tourist attractions but I couldn't be bothered with documenting my entire trip through the lens of my camera. I wanted to experience it all in person. And let's be serious, even if I wanted to document it all through the best filters and apps, my flip phone didn't even have the capabilities to take photos. God, I really am dating myself. 

Fast forward almost a decade later, and you can now connect almost anywhere in the world at any time of the day. They even now offer wifi on some planes which seemed like the last place we'd ever see access to internet introduced. I always thought it interfered with the airplane signals?! #GuessIwasWrong

On most flights where they now offer wifi, they at least have put a price tag to access wifi. Its a hefty price tag, but I am glad they put the price high so it discourages me to pay for internet. 

Here's why....

Airplanes are one of the last places where we can put boundaries or restrictions on using our smartphones and accessing social media. Its one of the last remaining places where we are guaranteed silence. Where we expect to be left alone. Its one of the last places where we are forced to sit alone with our thoughts... scary I know.

Its where you can read a book quietly or watch a movie... with no dings, no alerts, no vibrations.

On airplanes, I get some of my best ideas. Its where my creative juices get a flowin'. Its where I pull out pen and paper and write down blog post ideas, work on my editorial calendar, brainstorm content for upcoming presentations, process ideas and thoughts and let my mind wander. 

Its one of the best feelings.

I've come away from my recent trip visiting my in-laws in Manitoba with many blog posts written and random thoughts documented. Some samples from my most recent two hour personal brainstorm session plane ride?

  • Agriculture faces a re-branding challenge. I tweeted about this idea this week. Its one of the biggest challenges I believe we face in the industry I grew up in and love to work in. I'll be elaborating on this thought later this week when I serve on a Co-operators ag panel.
  • On the topic of agriculture, it just recently dawned on me that for the better part of my political career, I have been the minority. Working in agriculture in downtown Toronto, surrounded by consumers who don't know much about agriculture and farming is where I've realized I'm not the majority. When I was a kid growing up, I just naturally assumed everyone knew about farming because hey, that's what everyone did right?! Do those who work in agriculture sometimes forget, including me, that we aren't the majority anymore in the circles we need to be selling our industry too?! And are we comfortable being the minority?
  • Social media is changing the operational functions of customer service departments for companies and businesses. Both good and bad. I talked about this at a presentation I gave earlier this week from a customer service experience I witnessed on Twitter recently. Blog post written on this = check.
  • A 'Someday File' - we all have one. Places we'd like to travel too; things we want to buy; books we want to read; things we want to learn. What holds us back from doing any of it?! After reading more of Mark Manson's 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck' it got my mind racing on so many topics he writes about and my own 'someday file' and why I keep making lists but don't DO alot of them.

So many thoughts I know for a two hour flight :P So much writing, so little time. Also, here is to our first successful trip and plane ride with Blake. Thankfully it was a smooth ride and experience. Thanks little man for making this mom feel like she hit the baby jackpot #MotherWin 

Sunday's are for Thanks

Sunday’s for me are a day of reflection and for gratitude. I realize everyday we must be grateful but Sunday’s in particular allows us peace, calmness and clarity to see through the busyness of life to realize how fortunate we are. I think we all struggle with gratefulness in some form or another – especially in the social media age of keeping up with everyone's perfected instagrammed lives, it can be hard to keep our brains focused on what it is in our lives that is good.

For the first time in a while, we weren’t road warriors this weekend with Blake. We stayed put and enjoyed the things that we love about the city we live in. It made me appreciate the small things we did that had such a big impact on why our weekend was so awesome. Here is just a sample of our weekend that has me full of gratitude....

  • The best news from friends
  • Catch ups with friends by a fire outdoors, reminding us of the last few summer weekends we have
  • Free tomatoes from a stranger/neighbour down the road whose garden was too plentiful... something I think many gardeners experienced this year with their tomato crops
  • Trying this alternative version of a 7-layer dip from Alberta Milk that was super quick to make (still haven't tried it, its chilling in the fridge!) and a new chocoloate zucchini bread recipe (baking in the oven as we speak!)
  • Sunflowers to brighten the kitchen table
  • Watching your newborn discover new sights and sounds in the most simplest things
  • Prepping for an upcoming social media presentation this week and loving every minute of it!
  • Working on an exciting social media project that captures the social media usage of Ontario agriculture stakeholders.. its in its early stages but the results are going to be interesting to say the least (have I mentioned how much I love figures and stats when it comes to social media?!)
  • Reading Magnolia Journal on a Sunday morning with a coffee in hand and a sleeping baby in my arms
  • A bike ride on the most gorgeous Sunday evening... this weather couldn't be more perfect!
  • Fulfilling my promise at the beginning of the week of blogging every day this week which I am happy to report I did.. 7 for 7! And the best part?! More ideas are a brewin' so watch for more to come!

I’m trying my hardest this year to practice gratitude, its why I'm proud to have kept up with my commitment and one of my goals for this year of writing down one thing each day I'm grateful for. Let's just say that my #365DaysofGratitude jar is overflowing. I can't wait to read them all at the end of the year.

A line from the latest Magnolia Journal said it best, "Gratitude turns what you have into enough." Amen to that. Happy Sunday!

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