I should have titled this one “randomness”, because these thoughts just came to me unprovoked. I was thinking about how we affect people not just in our home or local everyday experiences, but on the road. You take “you” everywhere…that includes all of your attributes, positive and negative. What is your first thought when something goes wrong??? Do you get upset and complain? Do you think nothing is perfect anyways, so why get angry? Or, do you pretend that nothing bothers you, but get mad inside and suppress the emotion and explode later? I think traveling can be a perfect vehicle for learning how to manage your emotions and coping with the obvious mishaps of life more maturely and sensibly. It is a brilliant way to mind your manners.
If your flight is delayed, why do you think yelling at the booking agent at the gate is going to make whatever the problem is go away. Do you think because you have diamond, platinum or any other kind of precious metal or stone status is going to solve the mechanical problem, or make the delayed flight arrive any faster? If your luggage doesn’t show up on the baggage claim belt right away, do you huff and puff and try to blow the airport down, or do you wait patiently? If the shuttle bus is 5 minutes behind schedule to take you to your destination, do you blow your top? Is the 5 minute delay your or the shuttle’s fault? Shouldn’t you give yourself a buffer in the case something goes wrong to eliminate this kind of crisis? Is the pace of your skycap at curbside check-in taking too long with the customer in front of you making you dance like you have ants in your pants? Who is really the source of your anxiety…the gentleman who is being extra friendly to his customer, or you taking 10 extra minutes to do something at home that could have waited or pressing the snooze button when you should have risen from bed on time?
If your hotel room is not up to standard of the brand or what was advertised, do you think yelling at the front desk clerk is making the situation instantly better? You have a choice. Either checkout or politely request to be moved to a different room if the issue(s) you discovered are not fixable. If you’re waiting too long to be greeted at your table for your order, you can either get up and leave or politely ask for your server. If your food is not up to par, kindly let your server know and perhaps they are willing to substitute with something you are more prone to enjoy or even comp your meal. If your server seems to be overwhelmed and takes a long time to check up on you or bring you the bill, maybe you ask him/her about their day and find out what is causing their current situation. Kind gestures or even giving the people or situation the benefit of the doubt can save you high blood pressure or unnecessary rage about a minor inconvenience.
I’ve witnessed up close and personal some of the behaviors of my fellow travelers during my domestic and international travels over the past 15 years and I don’t like what I see. I would go so far as to say these people are downright selfish and crude. I will have to admit in my early years of travel I had my own personal hang-ups. I am no longer impatient when things go wrong and have the wisdom to assess what is the source of the situation before I judge. Upon my conclusion, I can then make an informed decision on how I need to respond.
So I write this to caution others to take some time to do a little “inner travel”, and identify how you truly affect the world with your thought process and behavior. I encourage people to practice their patience, it just may improve someone’s day and give them a sense of hope. It’s inhumane to disrupt someone’s positive energy just to satisfy your own self-seeking desires. And remember, complaining, yelling, and disrespecting the employees of various merchants and establishments isn’t the answer to solving problems. Do your best to be nice during your TRAVELS!