I’m sitting here in the Delta Crown Room, waiting on my flight from LAX to Sydney, looking forward to a 15 hour journey, in a big, air-conditioned, pressurized tin-can at 35,000 feet. It was tough getting to this point…
I’d planned this trip about three months ago, got a good deal on the flight, and made it a point to choose the best seats I could get. Upon my first attempt at departing my home airport (Las Vegas’ McCarran), the flight was canceled due to cold rain, which is something that doesn’t happen that often in Southern Nevada. So I pushed the entire trip a day, and shuffled my meetings in Sydney.
The next day, after boarding the flight in Las Vegas, headed to Los Angeles (where I was to connect to the Sydney flight), we encountered maintenance issues with the plane. By the time we took off and arrived at LAX, I’d missed my Sydney connection by five minutes, and was given a hotel room for the night. Since the LAX to Sydney flight happens only once per day, I am now making the most of my extended stay in LA, by updating my blog, and catching up on reading.
What a grand adventure!
I can’t tell you how wonderful it’s been so far, and I haven’t even arrived at my destination yet. It’s been a veritable potpourri of sights, smells, people, personalities, experiences, conversations, tastes, drinks, cookies, sounds, exchanges, smiles, laughs, frowns, colors, lights, temperatures, attitudes (from frustration to excitement to joy), personalities, stories, feelings, perspectives, and observations. Life just seems more vivid when you’re traveling.
Here are a few tips that just might make your travel adventures more exciting:
BE AWARE OF YOUR SITUATION
So many people take the wonder of flight for granted… Image being able to turn a 12 month long excursion from New York to San Francisco (that’s how long it USED to take), into a five hour exercise in air-conditioned comfort, soft drinks, and cushy seats… no need to imagine, since THAT’s what it’s become! Too many people seem to find things wrong with their travel experience, seeming to seek out problems… “the flight was late,” “I sat next to someone who wouldn’t stop talking,” “all they gave me was a bag of peanuts and a soda.” Make it a point to find out what’s GREAT about your situation…
Isn’t it interesting how in today’s era of technological hyper-advances, the absolute luxuries are often perceived as inconveniences… We should all be cheering the whole time during a flight, realizing that we’re flying like Superman through space, making up unfathomable time conveniences, and being able to go anywhere we want to go on the entire planet! It’s actually unbelievable… make it a point to relish the fact that you are experiencing the unbelievable…
MAKE IT EXCITING
I see every trip I take as an Indiana Jones type of adventure. As I leave my house, I don my metaphorical fedora, grab my make-believe whip, and listen to the movie theme song playing in my head (if you listen closely, you can actually hear it right now…).
Who knows what adventures await? You just might meet the companion of your dreams, brush shoulders with a celebrity, broaden your horizons by experiencing a culture that has always been foreign to you, or even end up in the arms of someone you love.
Ah, the excitement of the adventure… Make it so!
Even if a first-class airline ticket is out of your price range, make it a point to travel “first class.” Here are a few ideas:
- Pack a nice lunch, put it in a bag, and eat it on the plane (it WILL pass through security). Every time I do this, I can feel the person sitting next to me turning green with envy. It’s almost like having a first class meal anywhere on the plane (and I am often known to share some of the goodies with my aisle-mates, turning them instantly from strangers into friends).
- Airline club rooms sell day passes. If you’ve got some time to pass in the airport, drop $30.00, and enjoy the amenities that these rooms have to offer.
- As you snuggle into your seat, make it a point to appreciate that you’ve got a seat back to rest upon, a tray table for your convenience, a light for your illumination, and a fan that circulates the air for you. Just being aware of these niceties will make you appreciate them more.
GET TO KNOW YOUR FELLOW TRAVELERS
You all have one thing in common: you are on the same flight! Discover why they are there. You’d be amazed at some of the vocations that are out there. Yesterday, I sat next to a guy who specializes in marketing for a specific cancer treatment drug. As soon as he said that’s what he did, it was non-stop, interesting conversation about all aspects involving cancer, societal attitudes, dietary dynamics, family situations, and stories exchanged of our unique experiences. When the plane landed, I felt that I’d make a new friend, and there was a mutual respect between us.
Remember to respect others’ space; don’t force yourself on the person seated next to you. Since there are so many different personality types and styles, maybe you’re sitting next to someone who simply doesn’t like to talk to other people on a plane. Respect this, and give them their space, without being intrusive.
In summary, make it a point to experience the WONDER of travel. Every day in your life is the only day of its kind that you’ll ever have. Experience it to its fullest, and make the most of every moment.
Whether delayed or on time, choose to experience the joy of the blessing of travel that you get to experience. And do more of it! One of the best ways to foster character is to experience other cities, cultures, and characteristics that other people live every day.