I’m supposed to be writing this from my room at The Douglas Hotel in Brodick on the Isle of Arran. Instead, I’m writing it from my parents’ house just outside Milwaukee.
My flight yesterday was delayed by five hours, thereby killing any chance I’d have of making my connecting flight in Philadelphia en route to Glasgow.
My entire trip nearly came crashing down when the ticketing agents at U.S. Airways said they couldn’t get me out until Sunday. There was shallow breathing, dilated eyes, and the palpable sensation of perspiration seeping out of my pores. Then the agent said she could sneak me on their flight tomorrow (i.e., today). I exhaled, thankful that months of planning hadn’t just been thrown away like the personal effects left in a plane’s seatbacks.
So I lose a day and have to update rental car, ferry, and accommodation bookings. It could be worse; it could be better. Whatever it could be, it’s an important lesson for a person like me who sometimes clings to plans and routines like a lifevest bobbing in the waves of the sea. The trip that kicked off Traveling Savage, my journey to Argentina, is an anomaly, an out-of-my-comfort-zone dash to South America with little in the way of plans other than the earnest belief in letting the world take me where it may. Many people will tell you that is the best way to travel.
It’s not for me.
I questioned my purpose, felt lost, and was generally not as productive as I should have been. I’ve planned my subsequent trips to Scotland in detail: I book accommodations, ferries, trains, and appointments with places I want to write about. It’s fantastic in keeping me focused, but, ironically, I’m a worrier, logistically speaking. On the eve of a trip, I’m thinking about all the flights, trains, ferries, and cars I need to catch – especially when I travel solo. In a hilarious and ridiculous moment Monday night, I was pondering my route from Oban to Glasgow to drop off my rental car at the end of the trip.
Seems I can’t win, right? Maybe not. Much of the stress derives from “what ifs” – what if I miss that plane/train/ferry? Seeing my flight delayed irreconcilably yesterday was a reminder that, yes, of course, things will be alright and life will move on. And, perhaps, that I should have heeded the reviews I read of U.S. Airways and paid the extra $100 to fly on Continental.
Plans & Happenings
This month’s plans are relatively unchanged from July’s State of the Savage, so I’ll direct you there for the scoop. The happenings front has new movement, however. I’ve been thinking a lot about Traveling Savage’s future as I near my one-year anniversary free of the cubicle. Sarah recently showed me a TED talk from Simon Sinek about the golden circle. Please, go watch it. I had a hard time articulating why I do what I do.
After a couple of weeks marinating in my subconscious, I came up with “I travel and write to view the world artfully.” Sounds a bit cryptic, I know, so I’m still working on it. The idea is that in the rush of travel so much escapes me unless I step back, ruminate, and express the moment. It’s like sliding a lens of artistry between me and the experience (and harkens back to memory design). Specifically, I’m thinking of my vignettes and Picture This posts, and now I’m considering some kind of printed media that combines my photos and writing in similar ways. If I’m honest with myself, I think it’s these types of posts that set me apart from others in the field. The financial feasibility of such ideas is always murky though.
Thinking about the golden circle seems like a good idea for anyone pursuing their own entrepreneurial ventures. Why do you do what you do?
Understanding your travel neuroses goes a long way to ensuring positive experiences. Do you have a travel neurosis, and have you come to terms with it?