Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lessons From 15 Hours in Transit

I spent 15 hours getting from Dayton, Ohio back to Los Angeles on Friday from a work trip. When I first started traveling for business, that amount of time would have seemed like an eternity, and I would have spent most of those hours frustrated and angry I was stuck in an airport unable to do what I wanted. I guess I've learned a few things in my years and travels.

One of the keys to a successful travel experience is being positive and focusing on what you CAN do with the resources available to you rather than obsessing about the things you can't control. Issues, delays and all kinds of other inconveniences are a normal part of travel. Expect them, always have a Plan B and you'll eventually get where you're going.

Here are a few tips I've learned that help deal with travel delays.
  • If you have a mobile device and electricity, you can still get things done. Finding power outlets, however, is not the easiest task in some airports, so before you leave make sure all your devices are fully charged and you'll have one less worry.
  • If you don't have electronics, take a walk and get some exercise. Or read a book. Or strike up a conversation with a fellow stranded traveler and make a new friend.
  • If you travel a lot, make your "life" as portable as possible. Then you can keep things moving even when you're away from the walls you call home.
  • You can't control the weather, so there is also no point in yelling at the airline staff about a flight delayed by it.  They want to get you to your destination. If they have another option for you, they will share it when you ask. More importantly, BELIEVE them when they say they don't have a better option for you.
  • A plane loads faster when the passengers are motivated to get home after a long delay.
  • You can find moments of beauty and inspiration everywhere -- even an airport.

Travel is a lot like life. The journey is what you make it. Make it positive.

Friday, February 17, 2012

One Year Ago Today....

Libyans revolted to overthrown Muammar Gaddafi after more than 40 years under his rule.
Borders filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The Los Angeles Kings lost to the New York Rangers 4-3 in a shoot out.
I went on a "first date" that changed my life.

Happy "First Date" Anniversary to the Best Boyfriend Ever!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Things I've Learned About New York

I've spent quite a bit of time in New York City during the past year (ah, the joys of a long distance relationship), including my most recent visit this past weekend. While I grew up on the East Coast, I never really spent any time in New York until I moved West. As a young adult, the city always seemed too enormous to tackle, but growing up and experiencing more of life makes the world feel more manageable somehow. Now my visits to The Big Apple feel almost intimate, like a peaceful weekend spent with an old friend.

While plenty of travel guides exist to tell you what to see, where to eat, where to stay and how to get around, there are unique things you learn about New York from spending time there that can't be found in books. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • You can tell the difference between tourists and New Yorkers by the way they cross the street. Tourists wait to see if the cars will stop an the New Yorkers walk when they want.
  • If the Herald Square Macy's doesn't sell it, you probably don't need it.
  • If you travel over or under water, you'll be paying a toll.
  • If you're driving into the city, you can't beat the view from the Midtown Tunnel.
  • Car mounted GPS is pretty useless in the city. If you can even manage to get it to connect, it won't be able to keep up with you unless you're stopped dead in traffic. It also doesn't know when you're on an elevated section of Park Avenue and can't turn left onto East 41st Street without killing a bunch of people including yourself. 
  • The nicest, most helpful New Yorkers are the ones that ride the subway.
  • A hotel room with this view never gets old.
Photo courtesy of Paul Gheduzzi

  • Even with gale force winds and snow blowing sideways, there is no better place to see New York than the top of the Empire State Building. 
  • There actually MIGHT be such a thing as too much hot fudge...
The Serendipity Soda Shop Sundae

You're ready to take a bite of The Big Apple now, aren't you? I'm ready to go back any time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm...."

Like a lot of you, I worry about climate change. I try to recycle, shop with reusable bags, not leave the lights on, and all those other little things that help preserve natural resources and help the environment. But businesses need to get on board and do their part too.

With that in mind, can someone please explain why an item this size got shipped in a box THAT BIG?

At least I can reuse the box....