President of Financial Examinations & Evaluations, Inc.
I travel a great deal as part of work, and also a bit because I like travel and immersing myself in different cultures and places. From the small towns of Spain, remote islands of Indonesia and of course the many grand road trips through American small towns – all are great adventures.
But we are losing the spirit of adventure and exploration. Never before have we had the opportunity to be so many places for so little investment of time and money. Travel has become for many, something to tolerate.
I watch as the “road warriors” act like Pavlov’s dogs. The aircraft wheels barely skid on terra firma and the cell phones are out, texts are flying and calls are being made and received. As the aircraft taxi’s to the terminal, the seat belts come off, warriors anxiously adjust themselves and their feet - to make a quick stand as soon as the airplane tone sounds. “Bong” and like a hundred whack a moles they all jump up and grab their black overhead rollaway bags, and then use those bags and their hips to push forward and others out of the way. As the door opens, they push on and become irritatedly impatient for anyone impeding their progress for even a fraction of a second.
This has to wear on these road warriors as they all dress in the tones of bruises - inevitably they’re wearing black and dark blue suits with red, yellow, and orange ties.
Let me share a few tips from someone who travels over 100,000 miles per year, to many countries and still looks forward to the adventure.
1. You are not in control. You are not of your schedule, the airport, security, the aircraft, the weather, or even geology. Oh, sure you can plan it and imagine it and sometimes, it works just as you planned – so you think you have control – but you don’t.
My travel disruptions this year have included a broken aircraft, snow, extreme cold (I learned, empirically, how cold a polar vortex can be), volcano (this year it was Mt. Etna – it has also been the one with the big name in Iceland and Montserrat in the Caribbean), and also extreme civil strife. Nobody plans for revolutions but they do occur, and so does weather, and volcano. It’s just a matter of time – the more you travel – that you will experience something, until you are great with rescheduling. The rule, no matter what, plan extra time in your schedule for time flux.
2. Pack from a list, yes a list. But also if you forget something (I have forgotten dress shoes, underwear, belt, ties, and medicine) that you can purchase items at your destination. I have never wanted for anything for more than a day. I also have some real cool dress shoes from Thailand that I would not have otherwise purchased.
3. Prepare for health issues. The three worst health experiences for me
- A bug bite on my leg from an elephant ride in Phuket. It bubbled and festered and got real red and angry looking. $20.00 later and a visit from a local doctor, I was on the mend. Though I still have a scar.
- Scomboid poisoning in the Caribbean. Think massive migraine with the hearing beat of your heat in your ears and counting about 200 beats per minute and cured with Benadryl and a bit of Oxygen.
- Norwalk Virus – ha! Hollywood diets are nothing - lost 12 lbs in 2 days.
4. Don’t check medications. Take medicines you may need, or must have, and take them in your carry on bag – never checked. Also invest in a WHO (World Health Organization) Yellow Card – it is not just about vaccinations http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carte_Jaune
5. Pack what you need – not always what you want. Pack for no more than one-week and use laundry services. Use local laundromats for wash and wear and professional services and or the hotel laundry service for dress clothes. Taking anything more is just plain silly.
6. Concentrate your trips on one, or a family, of carriers. You earn respect and access to better quality assistance during “time flux” events as you earn points.
7. If you use any of the online services and disruptions occur – you are toast. Recently, do to the polar vortex, myself and my business associate had all of our flights cancelled. In 30 minutes, I was rebooked and had a hotel room where I could wait out the delay. This was with the use of a travel agent and preferred status on One World alliance. After three hours on hold with the online service – my associate was disconnected. Since his flight was cancelled – all of his connections taking him back to Europe and than on to Africa were cancelled. This was on January 6. He got home, 3 days late, and still had not heard back from the online service by January 15. He was a preferred member of this service.
8. Check versus carry on. I typically have three bags. A backpack with what I will work with or read, a roll on board with what I do not what to have stolen, such as extra phones, watch, cufflinks etc… or warm jackets for those cold places. I check only what I must check, as well as those items that are a lower priority of getting stolen. Yet, even with preparation, I have had shoes, belts, a tie and a Turkish coffee set stolen out of my luggage. My guess is the clothing items were just left out after the bag was rifled.
9. Remember that your destination and arrival times or even dates are “in theory”. Temper your expectations and intentions.
10. You are not special or unique. I once started a day-long presentation to over 700 professionals in baggy blue jeans and a polo shirt. My entire wardrobe was from Walmat - purchased the night before. I began with – “I have suits and shirts and ties – but only the airline knows where they are! It was a room full of hearty laughter – they all knew the problems of travel. At 11:00 am or so the hotel Concierge came in and dramatically slipped me a message while on stage – my luggage had arrived and had been put in my room. I bid everyone an early lunch. I came came back after the break in business attire. I was greeted with a round of applause and some good-natured teasing.
Disruptions occur, if you can avoid the upset and embrace the adventure, you will win, even when you are days late, tired, and wish for nothing more than to be home. The adventure comes to us when we encounter the unknown and we embrace our ignorance, fears and discomfort - and grow. Ah, but to have more adventures that are planned? If the entire adventure was planed – was it really an adventure?
I implore all who read this to both plan an adventure and greet disruptions as an adventure. Plan – but not to well – as the adventures often occur when the plans have run out or fail.
Mr. Files is a published author of five books, in particular "Due Diligence for the Financial Professional, 2nd edition 2010" and "Money and Budgets" other writing and material can be found at .https://www.feeinc.com/media.php. Mr. Files is an international speaker on these topics.
FE&E, Inc. is an international investigative firm specializing in, fraud prevention, asset recovery, due diligence, anti money laundering and intellectual property.
As a financial industry insider for over 30 years he is keenly aware of the type, and accuracy of the information required to make decisions. Mr. Files has been the case manager on fraud investigations ranging from tens of thousands of dollars to over 3 billion. As an international expert on due diligence and Intellectual Property and Critical Information (IPCI) he is regularly sought for those cases that bedevil the desktop practitioners.
This article is courtesy of the Top 1% Club and the Top 1% Club Mentor Gail Kasper. For additional information on Gail Kasper, her television appearances and speaking engagements, please visit gailkasper.com.