“Doesn’t all that traveling bother you?” As a top tier flyer for the past decade, I get asked this question all the time. The answer is an emphatic “No!” as I try to travel well. The two keys are 1) not to rush and 2) be selfish. And in my crazy life, this is pretty much the only time where I actually make an effort to give myself more time (and grace) than needed and to be absurdly selfish. Please let me explain:
I always get to the airport in plenty of time. I go hang out at the airline lounge (AMEX Centurion Lounge is my favorite and bought a lifetime US Air Club membership twenty years ago – man, that was one of my best decisions EVER!) and put a timer on for 10 minutes before I need to leave for the gate. When the timer goes off, I then leisurely pack up my things, fill up my water bottle and do a washroom run.
When there is a delay (and there will be from time to time), I use my airline app to keep me posted. No worries! I keep a good book with me, download a Netflix movie or catch up on all my magazine/articles.
And when there IS a big delay (which just happened last week – Quelle Surprise! – on Air Canada no less!), I don’t fret. Life happens. And because I know that I will get stuck sometime…somewhere, I don’t take the last flight out. I book enough time to still get to where I need to be. That’s called “contingency planning” and it is critical in my line of work. I also carry on my suitcase so I am never without my toiletries and a change of clothes (I always pack for a day more than I’ll need!).
So there is no rushing, no stress, and I am incredibly selfish as I consider this to be my private time. Time to indulge in whatever I want to do. Nap, watch a movie, or my fav: read a book or a magazine.
Now, you might be thinking that I only read business books as that’s what I normally review. Au contraire! I read all kinds of books: non-fiction, biographies, fiction, – although I confess to a passion for paranormal, historical fiction and biographies.
When you are exposed to a wide variety of information, your brain absorbs and learns more than if you just stick to what you know. I’m a big fan of Amazon First Reads – which is part of Amazon Prime. Every month, you get to choose from six different books for free. Which would you choose? The genre that you like the best or the one that you don’t get exposed to so much? (I do both… Depends on my mood and book descriptions!).
If books aren’t your thing, try expanding your mind with an online course, a trip to the museum, or simple people watching! Try to think of five ways to describe the same event you witness.
By seeing the world in novel ways, we significantly increase our ability to think critically and make better decisions as we take this journey through life.
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator. She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years. She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.