I’m in Atlanta today and tomorrow for customer meetings and for a customer marketing event we’re co-hosting tonight. Because of this, I have three different colleagues who are joining me from New York today. One of them happened to be booked on my same flight to Atlanta, as well as the same hotel in downtown. We sat together and chatted before our flight boarded, and I tried my best to be as patient as possible as she made up all these excuses for what she probably thinks she should be doing, but she isn’t. She’s likely going to be traveling at least 1-2 times a month for customer marketing events, yet she’s not loyal to any one airline (she is split among American, Jet Blue, and Alaska). Her trips are never more than 1-2 days long, yet she insisted today that between her and her husband (who travels maybe 1-2 times a month for work), they just “don’t have time” to travel for personal unless it’s a wedding/major family event because they both travel a lot for work (or so they think).
While I was listening to all these excuses she was making, I said absolutely nothing. I’m not even certain she was aware she was even making excuses. I sat, half smiling, occasionally nodding. It’s as though I was sitting there, bearing witness to her out-loud thoughts about all the things she should or could be doing, but she isn’t doing… perhaps due to one (or several, or all) of the following: 1) lack of planning, 2) lack of desire to plan, 3) lack of desire to travel for fun and maximize travel, 4) lack of willingness to admit that maybe, just maybe she and her husband just… don’t like to travel for pleasure. And that last part is actually okay! But can we all just be honest with ourselves?
So, she then proceeded to ask me about my travel plans for the summer. I told her we just got back from Colombia. I was in Miami last week for work, will be in Atlanta obviously this week for work, then Michigan next week. I have pending trips to Boston for work. At the end of this month through the first week of July, we’ll be in Asia, then in mid-August, we have another personal trip planned to Canada. My husband travels nearly every single week, and I travel at least 1-2 times a month, but the only reason I ever say I “travel a lot” is because of the combination of work and pleasure travel. I don’t really think traveling 1-2 times a month for work is a lot. But maybe that’s just me since everything is always relative. We make our trips happen because we plan out nearly our entire year in advance and block off dates. Work isn’t our life. We like to travel, and therefore, we make sure travel is part of our life.
She was really impressed with what I shared with her. “Wow, that’s such a smart thing to do!” she exclaimed, as I told her how we planned things out. “That also is so much work.”
Is it, really? Aren’t we supposed to work to make things that matter in our life happen?
I don’t expect everyone I know or like or chat with to want to travel. But, I’d like to think that everyone is honest with themselves. Sadly, this is clearly not the case.