Thou shalt not do THAT anymore…
For most of us, travel is a gift. Our hard-earned vacation dollars and saved up vacation time is precious. But even the most smartly planned trip is subject to snafus. The thrill of discovering a new place is replaced with a hunt for lost luggage or rushed sightseeing or a trip to the hospital. And when things go wrong, we can quickly devolve into behaving like poorly parented toddlers.
Some travel sins are easily avoided while others might require a shift in thinking, a tweaking of the lens we’re looking through when we travel. Ready to confess your travel sins?
Gluttony ~ Overindulging
I’m not going to lie, I enjoying wrapping up a busy travel day at the bar with friends and colleagues. Trouble is, I’ve seen far too many travelers reach that tipping point and sail right on past it. Getting drunk while on the road is a risky proposition – especially if you’re traveling alone and you’re on a business trip. As a woman who travels alone, I take my travel safety seriously. Very seriously. And when I’m traveling on business, I’m representing the company I work for – whether I’m on the golf course, at the bar or in a boardroom.
Speaking of overindulging, travel often broadens the waistline faster than it broadens our horizons. Trying being a badass healthy traveler instead…
Greed ~ Squeezing too much travel into a day
Travel takes time and rushing it can get you into trouble. Forty-five minutes might feel like enough time between connecting flights but it isn’t. Factor in flight delays, weather delays and mechanical glitches and you’ve just missed your flight, leaving you hanging out in an airport for 8 hours while you wait for the next one – with no one to blame but yourself.
When I first started traveling professionally, I brought home far too much stuff – junk – that collected dust until I eventually threw it out. Now I invest in experiences. While trinkets can be fun to buy on an exotic island, a hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert or a beautiful meal on the beach at sunset with my lover give me what I truly crave from travel – deeper connection to those I love and the world around me.
Speaking of time, monitor how much time you spend behind the wheel when road-tripping. Truck drivers adhere to strict guidelines and so should you. Pace yourself on the road and take time to ensure you arrive healthy, stress-free and alive.
Sloth ~ Not taking enough risks
I travel to experience the world around me, to find myself and to meet new people who may think differently than I do. If I eat at chain restaurants, or don’t make an effort to experience the local flavor of a place and spend more time tweeting than I do experiencing, why travel? That kind of lazy is easier (and cheaper) to do at home.
Wrath ~ Ranting at the wrong folks
Air Canada recently bumped me from a flight. I spent 12 unwanted hours in an airport, was forced through security twice and missed the first night of a conference I’d booked tickets to more than 2 months prior. While they compensated me for my frustration, the bump should never have happened. They sold my seat on that plane twice – not cool. I could have poured my anger on all the Air Canada employees I met that day but I would have missed meeting some amazing people. Lily, for example, took time out of her lunch hour to walk to me to the correct gate. Ranting can be effective, as long as you aim it at the right target.
Envy ~ Not being grateful enough
This one’s tough. I travel a lot but there more than a few writers who travel a whole lot more than I do. Sometimes I feel that green-eyed jealousy monster rearing its ugly head when I see someone going somewhere I’ve never been. Why can’t I go there? Why didn’t I get that opportunity? Instead of letting jealousy take hold, I turn that feeling into productivity. I work harder. The opportunities that have come into my life have changed me in immeasurable ways. Focusing on gratitude is my favorite way to travel.
Pride ~ Being a travel snob
Ever seen two writers dive into the traveler/tourist debate? One argues a true traveler avoids cruise ships like the plague, always explores on her own and takes big risks to reap big rewards. The travel snob is a close cousin to the food snob. The other argues tourists flock to cruise ships, stay at the touristy hotels and adore tour guides. The travel snob calls this person the redneck traveler. Seriously, folks, can’t we all agree to travel in a way that feels good in our hearts? As long as our travels don’t hurt or take advantage of those less fortunate and help us feel better about being in this world, isn’t that good enough?
For the record, I’m an equal opportunity traveler and turning down an opportunity to travel just isn’t in my make-up – whether it’s on a cruise ship, organized walking tour or a weekend getaway at a blue-blood hotel.
Lust ~ Cheating and the road to romance
It never ceases to amaze me when I see people shed their morals in favor of a little road romance. Whether its business colleagues or writers, traveling is not a hall pass for cheating on your partner. And you know that phrase, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas? It’s a lie. Come home with memories, not a heart full of regrets…