Memory can be fickle. I have vivid memories of my family’s first cross-country road trip made when I was about 10 or 12 years old. Yet, someone recently ask me when my last business trip was and dang, that threw me for a loop. Especially when I remembered (finally) that it was less than a month ago. Was that memory loss or selective memory?
Probably a bit of both.
You see that epic family cross-country road trip was an exciting, once in a lifetime adventure for us, one that required months of advance planning and research done long before the availability of Dr. Google, MapQuest, and click-click-click.
Last month’s business trip? A client asked, “Can you be there next week?” and off I went because that’s just what I do. I manage meetings for a living and that involves travel. A lot of it. Or, at least it did pre-Pandemic. But we all know the travel landscape has changed now, and many things we used to take for granted – hopping on a plane at a moment’s notice – are causing us to pause. And that’s probably a good thing. Not just because we’ve all read about how much cleaner the earth’s air is now minus the excessive carbon footprints left from compulsive, non-stop air travel along with the positive effects of massive groups of tourists missing from destinations that were being overwhelmed by those visitors.
But also because, let’s face it, sometimes we just need to stay home, put a couple of ice cubes in a short glass along with a splash of Jack Daniels and simply pull the plug.
Pretty sure I am, and plenty of others agree, too.
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.Anne Lamott
So back to the travel discussion, I can remember that family road trip because it was a big old fashioned adventure, not a task or a job or an assignment, nor did it fall into that head scratching category of “mandatory two week vacation” (NOTE: no one has ever had to command me to take a break!). And when I think of what travel was in the past I do think more in terms of adventure.
Adventure (noun) – A value of a moment that becomes a lifetime memory.Tweet
As for future travel? I think we’re already seeing the result of humanity being cooped up and told not to go places for far too long. Since I’ve already been on planes and checked into hotels (apparently quite recently), I speak with the voice of confidence when I share a couple of TML travel tips as you navigate the waters ahead:
- lower your expectations
- pack your patience
Most importantly, understand that we’re all a little bit rusty right now and this is going to be a bit harder than just getting back on the bike and peddling again. There’s a new term, “relearning to travel”, being tossed about and for good reason. Airlines, hotels, even major attractions are all redefining service standards and, trust me, you’re not going to like where this is headed. At a time when we crave – more than ever – to be pampered and handled with care it’s just not gonna happen. Yet. Even with vaccinations and masks, we are still at the stage where the yellow flag of caution is flying high and wide above our heads, and maybe that’s a good thing.
But as the saying goes, “Let’s not waste a good crises!” Let’s take what we’ve learned during this pause and start working on our next big adventure.
It’s out there, and all you need to do is plan ahead. Way ahead.