My amazing BFF from college asked to be a guest writer, and lo’ she produced! As you’ll see from her writing style, she and I kinda think alike – it’s no wonder we’re BFF – but she swears a whole lot less than I does. For some of you, you’re thinking, “Thank you.” Sorry. I never claimed my language wasn’t swilling pirate-like. Jean and I love her perspective here, and aspire to be more like her, ’cause Jean and I have traveled together, and we both can be cranky bee-atchs when we travel…
When you travel do you just go through the the motions, or do you pay attention to all that is going on around you? I mean really pay attention to the details. The people, their behavior, the trends (oh, the trends in different places…), the scenery, etc. On a recent trip to NYC, I must have been on hyper-sensitivity mode, as I noticed everything around me. This may not have been a good thing, but I took advantage of it and really noticed people and especially their behaviors.
It all started at the long term parking place where we always park when we fly, not to mention I park their every other week now that I’m traveling for work. We pull in and the attendant is sitting next to the other lane and doesn’t even get up to greet us but rather calls across the lanes for our last name – charming customer service. She then proceeds to tell us she doesn’t have our reservation. We show her the app where we made the reservation, and yep you guessed it, the app isn’t good enough. We need the email confirmation. Well, I made the parking reservations at least 2 months ago, I guess that’s what I get for being a planner. After arguing for a few minutes – again, charming customer service – she finally agrees to let us park. After this encounter I’m on high alert for poor customer service and rude behavior.
OK, maybe I have personal space issues, but standing in line to board the plane is one place I am hyper aware of the people around me. Do you have to stand so close?? We are all getting on the plane and it’ll be just as fast if you give me a little personal space, but please, do stand where I can smell your deodorant.
I always make it a goal to smile, thank services workers, and see how their day is. I specifically noticed on this trip to NY, where there were so many tourists focused on the next site to see (you know, can’t see the forest for the trees kinda thing…), that it was a welcomed gesture for those working to be acknowledged with a simple gesture. It doesn’t take anything extra to be nice, and often I think I’m the one who is blessed greater than they are. Try it! Make someone’s day!
After making it to NYC, the main transportation mode is the subway- a perfect place to people watch. Every language you can imagine is being spoken and very little of it is
English. That’s ok, that just means I’m making up my own stories about their conversations based on age, gender, gestures, dress etc.; it helps to pass the time. One night after midnight, we were in a full car on the subway and my husband offered his seat to a lady, not elderly, not pregnant, just another woman our age – see, chivalry is not dead. She thanked him as she sat next to me and proceeded to ask me if he was from NY. I politely said no, and this started a great conversation, and we made new friends right there on the subway, after midnight in NYC. Imagine that!
When you’re traveling, or even going around your hometown doing everyday things, take the time to notice things around you – the sights, the sounds, the people, the smells. Don’t just go through the motions. Your whole world may open up, you’ll learn new things and meet great people. Happy travels!
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