The quirkiness that comes with business travel...

It’s a lot easier to simply say you are going to Boston for a business trip instead of Newton (which is a suburb of Boston) — it’s simply more recognizable and comes will less explanation; although disappointing all around when you clarify. I don’t travel as much as I used to but every so often I find myself heading to the airport with carry on luggage in tow. A recent trip had me going to visit a potential client, and with it, offered up an opportunity to explore all the trials and tribulations that come with such trips. In other words, it was an opportunity to deal with all the quirkiness that seems to inherently be part of business travel.


As I look back on this, the first hint of the quirkiness yet to come occurred when I attempted to book my hotel room. When I went to reserve a room I was told the hotel was full but an alternative hotel had vacancies. This was particularly disappointing because the hotel I wanted to stay at was an easy five minute walk to my client — alas, I needed a place to sleep so I took the alternative. The idea of not having a convenient five-minute walk (and needing to rent a car) started to fester so I called the front desk of my preferred hotel to see if they could find me a room. I was informed that there were a number of rooms available and was passed onto “reservations”, and as you might guess, I was informed that the hotel was all booked up (but there was an alternative hotel available). After explaining I was told differently, I was again informed there were simply no rooms available. Spurred on by the idiocy of this, I hung up and called the front desk, explained what was happening, and eventually they took my reservation there and then. With that done, all I had to do was call and cancel the reservation for that alternative hotel. I was off the hamster wheel. (Persistence)

A 5:00 am start had me at the airport with lots of time to make my way from one side of customs and security to the other.

After a couple of attempts at the check-in kiosk, I was informed my identity couldn’t be verified and I needed to see an agent — twenty minutes later I handed my passport to an agent and explaining that the kiosk “doesn’t like me”. With boarding pass in hand, I was told that the reason for the uncooperative kiosk was because I hadn’t included a “Mr” when I booked my flight; as a result the kiosk removed a letter from my name to solve for the missing tile, but in doing so made my name unidentifiable. (Learning experience)


Because of my boarding pass issue, I found myself one of the last people to get onto the plane and had to check my carry on — a little inconvenient because I would have to wait at the luggage carousel but none of this mattered because I was on the plane and we were on time. That was until we were informed the pilots had missed their “connecting flight” and new pilots would be here in about twenty minutes. (Patience)

It was a smooth flight.

Some other quirky highlights of my short trip — I could get onto the guest password, the network, but not my email (I would have to access emails at the hotel); I thought I had lost my wallet and was moments from making the dreaded call to cancel my credit cards when I finally found it (my new bag has many, many, places to put things); I lost my umbrella (I still have no idea how that happened or where it could be. And yes, I went back to the hotel to look for it.). (Adaptability)

It was a smooth flight back home after a productive couple of days (with only a slight delay).

It was nice to be back home — that was until I started to get a sore throat, a cough, and a fever. I’ve been under the weather all weekend, and you guessed it, the weather outside was beautiful. (Stoic)


The most beautiful people...


The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depth.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

I came across this motivational quote the other day — I can’t say if someone of notoriety said this or if it was a person who had insight into the human condition.

Either way, I like it very much.

I think it may come from a fundamental belief that when something is too easy we are given nothing for it, and although I will admit I may be misguided with this simple premise, I don’t believe we grow when something is too easy. We are hardwired for struggle when we come into this world and it’s the struggle that is the blue print for our growth and success — having it too easy isn’t holistically in our best interest.

As a species we have done an extremely good job of controlling our environment and minimizing the historical struggles that came with day to day survival (the spectre of famine, war, disease, or the wrath of mother nature). I’m not suggesting that these still aren’t very real for people but I will suggest that in North America, for the most part, when someone says they had a day where they really struggled, they are not referring the four horsemen.

Black and white; good and bad; right and wrong, love and hate, sweet and sour… hard and easy. More and more we seem to think in absolutes, whereas it’s really about the spectrum between these opposing extremes; it is the struggle that happens between the two polar extremes where our growth and strength can be found. And as the quote suggests, it is only in that struggle that you will ever become all you can be (aka beautiful). When it’s easy there is no effort but when it’s a struggle there is effort, strain, creative thinking, adversity, development, defeat, understanding, and victory. It may just be me, but I just don’t see the beauty (or adventure, for that matter) in something being easy.

And as I think about it, I think it also applies to familiar, controlled, comfortable and predictable.

Although, as I said, I may be misguided.


Moments — the beauty that's in a pause.

Sometimes, if you happen to take the time to look, you may see something that will cause you take a moment and pause — and in that pause you may simply take the time to appreciate what you are experiencing, or take the time to wonder, or to question something, or even change the way you think about the world around you.


The beauty of the pause is not only what you are able to see in the moment but it’s also in the act of pausing itself. In pausing, you give yourself permission to be part of a world that is infinitely bigger than yourself, and offers perspective to what you call existence.

I was on a dock (on a lake) just watching a sunset — all something I’ve done countless times. This moment though had me pause and capture it, reflect on it, and share. Why did this moment cause me to pause? Was it because I hadn’t seen something so beautiful before, or was it because I hadn’t seen a sunset with such reflections, or was it the colours? Whatever the reason, for the rest of the night I was pausing to consider the setting of the moon, the abundance of the stars, the joy of being with good friends, and the sounds of nature all around us.

I think as I watched the sunset I discovered holism.


PS : ho·lism [ˈhōlˌizəm] NOUN the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection, such that they cannot exist independently of the whole, or cannot be understood without reference to the whole, which is thus regarded as greater than the sum of its parts. Holism is often applied to mental states, language, and ecology.