Up In The AirPosted: September 27, 2011
Around seven o’clock last Monday evening I was on a plane to Denver, Colorado. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but those of you who know me understand I’m not exactly a seasoned traveler. Coming from a guy whose first act upon returning from a backpacking trip through Europe was kissing the ground in the midst of a crowded Atlanta airport, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to be on a plane headed to a state I’ve never been before with the sole intention of working.
But to no one’s surprise other than my own, I survived and actually found it to be an enjoyable experience. Here are the takeaways from my first business trip as a consultant to Denver to train for my project with the Royal Canadian Mint:
Travelling alone makes you grow up. Fast. No more counting on Mom and Dad to schedule the flight, car, and hotel. It’s all on me. I had no idea where I was going half the time, and came to the realization that becoming a contestant on “The Amazing Race” is not in my immediate future. Despite the overwhelming feeling of becoming lost at any second, there is a great sense of satisfaction in exploring a new territory without any borders holding you back.
Everything’s more fun when it’s free. Hands-down the best perk of travelling: free food. I discovered the only thing better than steak is free steak. It’s fun to look at the waiter and say “Yes, as a matter of fact I would love another.”
Don’t waste your down time. Travelling provides you with countless hours of down time. I’m actually writing this very post from the Denver International Airport as I wait to board my plane back home. Use your downtime to read, reflect, and recharge yourself as you head back to reality. It’s also a great time to call people and keep relationships alive, just ask my grandparents.
You quickly discover what’s most important to you. Travelling helps you appreciate the importance of friends and family, and provides a renewed joy in life’s simple pleasures. Even though you stay in nice hotels and wine and dine for free each night, you quickly realize these aren’t goals worth pursuing. Your job is placed in perspective when you realize you’re not working to afford expensive luxuries, but instead to provide a simple life within your means. It’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference.
God blesses the sky. There is something special about looking down on the clouds from a vantage point 35,000 miles in the air. On a quiet plane with the sun slowly setting, it was just me and my thoughts. I accomplished more in those 30 min than I did the entire remainder of the trip. It’s amazing how clearly you’re able to think about life and reset your focus on what’s truly important. There’s no agenda, no meeting, no deadline. Just the ability to rest in my Savior’s presence.