Outrageous Travel Lesson 6

When things go wrong, deal with it and move on

It is a fact of life.  Things will go wrong- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.  Don’t let it bug you.   Often you will exaggerate the significance of the damage.  The more time you think about it, the more you blow up the problem.  It is what it is.  It happened.  It’s over and no amount of second guessing, wishful thinking or regret can change history.  Look at it with calm dispassion.  Assess the damage and look at the possible steps forward.  Pick the best one and act.  Don’t beat yourself up.  Don’t worry about who is responsible.  Don’t look for a scapegoat.  Your mission is to enjoy your trip.  If there is a lesson, you can study it later.  What is important right now is moving one.  You are experiencing the trip of a lifetime (every trip you take from now on will be the trip of a lifetime) and you can’t afford to waste one moment dwelling on the negative. Use this travel lesson.

travel lessonWe all want perfection.  In the US we are conditioned to expect- even demand it.  But perfection only exists in the imagination or the mind of a government bureaucrat.  Life is imperfect.  Human beings are imperfect.   Still we would like everything to go as smooth as clockwork.  No one wants errors, glitches, faux pas or anything short of perfection.  We don’t want do overs, quick fixes or redesigns.  We just want to keep moving, keep our original schedule and, above all, look good.  It’s human nature.

Given all the pressure we put on ourselves in stressful situations where there are big investments in doing things right (like a vacation), it is no wonder that things going wrong can make a good man turn ugly.  Don’t let that good man (in the old fashioned meaning that includes both sexes) be you.  There is a lot of pressure, a lot of money and most important of all, a lot of ego riding on the vacation. In the end, however, what will make the trip a success is not that nothing went wrong.  The trip’s success comes from handling the good and bad with grace, enthusiasm and enjoyment.

A true outrageous traveler doesn’t let anything ruffle his feathers. He expects the unexpected.  An outrageous traveler understands that when things are perfect, he’s been damned lucky.  Don’t get cocky and overconfident.  Enjoy the moment.  Tomorrow will be normal.

Don’t expect perfection.  Don’t think that you can escape reality.  Plan for the best but deal with whatever comes along.  It’s real.  It’s happening.  It keeps you on your toes.  It opens up opportunities you never anticipated.  Best of all, it’s exhilarating- even fun when you relax and go with the flow.

Dealing with a problem from time to time only makes you appreciate life’s pleasures all the more.  Those problems, once you move past them also make great stories when you get back from the trip.  Perfection is so boring.

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