But, for some reason, I am not so lucky with travel.
I have had the travel curse for many years. It has included lost luggage, missed flights, delayed and cancelled flights, unscheduled stops, and major coffee spills on neighbors, just to name a few. Friends generally avoid traveling with me, for then the curse is extended.
So, I wasn’t surprised when my recent business trip to to Ohio had a few problems.
My travel trouble started as soon as I arrived at the airport. My flight was three hours late due to a mechanical problem. Since I’m all for fixing mechanical problems, I settled in and waited. We eventually took off and landed in Detroit. Then it got a little dicey. I had to run to my connecting flight to get there in time to sit on the tarmac for another 1½ hrs waiting for a replacement strap that pushes the airplane out onto the runway. Several of us on the plane volunteered to get out and push it for them, but they weren’t interested.
I arrived in Columbus where everything went well until it was time to head home. Another delay. Another 3 hours. This time for thunderstorms in Atlanta were I was to connect. I missed the last flight of the evening so had to stay over night. I arrived home a day late.
So, what went right on this trip? Here are my top 10 things:
- Unexpected down time to just sit and think.
- My email inbox got cleaned out.
- Recreational magazine and gum shopping.
- More books loaded onto my Kindle than I could possibly read on my upcoming vacation.
- I worked on the outline for my online course, making more headway than I had in weeks.
- I met a really interesting man who does crisis PR for big companies and famous people. We had time for him to share some great stories about his work.
- I met a woman named Laurie from Houston. We helped each other gain new intelligence on the flight situation by spreading out and reporting back in. We laughed a lot.
- Laurie and I ended up in seats next to each and had a delightful conversation from Columbus to Atlanta. We’re going to try to get together when she’s in Seattle this summer.
- I arrived home safely!
- Next to #9, I think I am most grateful that I wasn’t Roger, the customer service representative that had to deal with hundreds of cranky, tired, and frustrated passengers.
I have learned that embracing the experience and counting the things going right is a better way to deal with my travel mishaps then getting stressed, frustrated, or angry. For, this too shall pass.
It’s also a lot more fun.
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home.