Fun

To me travel is equal to fun.  And I don’t just mean the destination – I love the journey – airport and airplane included.  Air travel is what taught me to see the good in every situation and try to find the bright side.

For many years I traveled weekly in my role as a consultant.  Often I was in and out of places in a day spending more time at the airport and on a plane then at my destination (or home for that matter!).  Travel slowly lost it’s luster and I became a stereotype – bitter, overworked, consultant working my way up the corporate ladder.  I knew I had to make a change but I didn’t know what.  Truth is, I really enjoyed the work I was doing with clients. It wasn’t the work that needed to change; it was me.

So I set out to reclaim the joy I found as kid when I got to board an airplane – after all, I was literally getting in an aircraft and FLYING THROUGH THE AIR.  This is the stuff dreams are made of!  Little attitude changes made a big difference:

  • Looking out the window instead of absorbing myself in some other movie I had already seen or, worse yet, working.  There are some truly breathtaking views from the sky:
    • The places you are visiting.  For example the approach into landing at Washington National airport is essentially a birds eye view tour of the monuments, National Mall and the White House.
    • The places you aren’t visiting – yet.  I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time by air on my to California.  I later returned and saw it on foot.  Both views were amazing.
    • The world above the clouds.  Again, how cool is it that we, as humans, can float above the clouds?
  • Not putting in my headphones and “don’t talk to me” face right away.  I have met some truly remarkable people sitting on the plane and heard fascinating stories – some of which I’ll recount on this blog!
  • Remembering that the people working at the airport and on the planes are not Mother Nature – they do not control the weather or a number of other factors.  Instead of asking them what they could do for me when a flight got cancelled I started leading with “at times like this you must be swamped with negativity.  What can I do to make today just a little bit better?” Followed up with a candy bar of course!  Both our moods were lifted and, as an added bonus, they were generally willing to bend over backwards to help get me to my destination!
  • Doing away with day trips and staying awhile.  I recognize that I was fortunate to be able to more or less dictate my schedule.  I honored that privilege by seeing (and eating) something in each city I visited be it big or small.

And like that, travel was fun again.  Sure I still had work to do (and the hours remained long) but I was no longer wasting my time – I embraced each destination (even the one’s that didn’t seem like they would have anything to offer – I’m looking at you Arkansas – where I was proven wrong).  I met wonderful people.  I was fulfilled.

Life, as it is prone to do, didn’t stay the same for long.  Somewhere in the chaos I found the love of my life, married and had a child.  I slowed down on the travel when my son was born.  Eventually, opportunity presented itself for my husband and I quit my job and moved our family to the Middle East.  Travel is no longer for work and I am getting to explore a whole new corner of the globe – this time with my family!

My main goal these days is to see and experience as many different cultures, places and food as I can while fostering a sense of adventure in my little one. Join me on the journey!

Shine on my friends!

~Rey