Some days you are the windshield, some days you are the bug. Love Mary Chapin Carpenter, if you don’t know the song, find it.
The challenge in traveling is always the logistics: Where am I going? Who will I see? What will we discuss? Where are they located within my destination? Where are the bathrooms? Where is my hotel? Will my travel mavens put me in a good location, and who will be my reading choice at dinner? These are the big questions. By-the-by, it’s been Emerson who has been my favored dinner reading. His essays are so great! If it’s been a while, revisit Emerson. I went through The Game of Thrones series, but that’s not great dinner reading. I’m really mad at George RR Martin for killing my favorite, but that’s in Dance of Dragons so I don’t want to be a spoiler.
The minor questions are always: did I pack enough, will these pants work with those shoes, did I remember band-aids if I get a blister, did I remember my toothbrush, did I put my out of office agent on, are my sunglasses in their case, and did I remind my inside sales rep what my agenda was for this week? Oh, and did I pack the charger and cords?
So then you get on the road, and it’s mapping if you are in a new place. Let’s not discount traffic, yea. If you need to use mapping, get a car charger for your phone, maps will eat up your battery.
I really dig getting to a new city and finding my way without GPS! You get to your appointment and it’s discovering. If you get stood up, it’s plan b. (have a plan b, like locating a potty, a charging opportunity, check in with the office, etc.). If there is time on your hands, it’s finding the yellow pages, or online equivalent, and finding a new prospect to cold call.
Traveling means meeting new people, and making new friends. It’s discovering who to stay away from, and who is beloved.
It’s stepping out and braving rejection in its ugliest forms.
It’s learning new airports. That has been a big amusement of late. I adore the Nashville airport! The live music is awesome. Memphis reminds me of a run down middle school with a bad smell. Austin is Austin Cool. Lubbock does ok. Amarillo has improved immensely. Tulsa really tries. Dallas Love has been reborn into a really happening place! DFW needs to catch up to the rest of the world. New Orleans is friendly, but needs better seating in the bars, kudos to NOLA for the new rental car facility. It’s nice. Jackson MS, is very fine. Richmond gets a thumbs up too. Their renovations are really nice. My home base Houston Hobby is adorable. My favorite TSA agents now know me, and say hi. Why? Because I’m nice to them. Please be nice to people in the air port. We are all just trying to get somewhere.
I avidly avoid Atlanta, Chicago, and Cincinnati. Little factoid about Cincinnati airport, it’s in Kentucky. Other no-no’s are Newark, Salt Lake, and LAX. Pittsburgh airport has a Mall, for those stuck there.
Traveling is not glamorous. Travel isn’t really all that fun for business. Travel is a hunter-gatherer activity for those of us in business sales. It’s a lot of waiting, a lot of rejection, and occasionally a perfect shot. We live for those perfect shots.
I’m living for the windshield days, when I plow through the bugs, and come out with good sales results, new friends, stronger relationships, and all around success.
Viva the windshield!