Road Warrior Makes Every Trip an Adventure

 

 

Just finished a blog entry by Peter Greenberg, travel editor at CBS News, Travelers I don’t want to sit next too. http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20131122151408-19963499-travelers-i-don-t-want-to-sit-next-to-on-a-plane?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0.  Everything he said is true, but I had to take a different approach, too keep a smile on my face.

I have been using air travel for over 30 years and can say that, if I spent all my time worrying about how travelers smell or if they trim their toenails, I would have jumped out over the ocean many years ago. I have more or less a million miles on each of three airlines and accumulated as much on at least a dozen others. I have more obsolete mileage cards in my bag from airlines that do not exist than are currently active. I stopped counting at 30 countries and have lived in 5 on three continents.

Sure, I have had some problems with traveling and travelers, but I approached my road warrior days with excitement taking each trip as a new adventure. I have slept on the floor in at least 4 different airports in these years, so adventure is an understatement,

So I would challenge each of you to reach out and turn every trip into a new adventure.

I have seen some great acts of kindness and sensitivity. On one trip a small child, being held by his mother in front of me, threw up everywhere completely soaking the mother and one passenger neighbor. But it was amazing how everyone pitched in to help. After cleaning up the baby, the mother passed him off to the attendants who held him giving the mother the chance to change and return. In the meantime, other attendants and passengers pitched in and cleaned up the area. It just shows that human kindness is still alive.

My travels have offered me the greatest excitements and showed me how wonderful this world really is. I have met some of the most interesting and exciting people you can imagine – professional sports players, scientists, smart engineers and a never ending bevy of wonderful people that make our world such a fantastic place to live.

On a trip into Frankfurt, just after the fall of the Berlin wall, I sat next to a very small elderly German lady who was an editor for a Berlin paper and had some of the most interesting stories, as you might imagine. She said she always packed a gun and had used it several times.

One trip out of Paris, I sat next to an obviously wealthy older gentleman that spoke 3 or 4 languages and discovered one of the first skin rejuvenating creams developed by doing research on sunflower seeds. He had read an article in graduate school about sunflowers growing after being dormant for a 1000 years and knew there was something special about them.

On a trip out of Lisbon, I sat next to a very elderly lady who had never flown and did not speak any English. Even though my Portuguese was weak, I was the only one around who could assist her with her meal needs, etc… On the way off the plane in New York, an attendant stuck a regular size bottle of wine under my arm and said thanks.

Even though a lot of my flights were in business class, more than ½ of my miles were domestic in economy class that can really be a challenge as we all know. One of my funniest domestic flights was just a few years ago flying out of New Mexico into Denver on a turbo prop packed full of big burly oil and gas workers. The flight was very rough and the attendant could not leave her seat. So to serve us water she threw bottled water down the aisle and we all got to practice our catching skills. 

Road travel is not going to end any time soon so I would challenge all of you to sit back and enjoy it of coerce after you trim you toe nails. I hope I have many more flights to come.

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