Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Travel Bug

Most people when they hear about how much I travel to give lectures sit there for a moment and then say, 'I can't imagine travelling like that.' Well there are indeed long hours in the car and long waits at airports. That's true, that's really the JOB of travel. That along with sleeping in impersonal hotel beds, finding mysteriously placed bathrooms at night, waking up with a brief panic 'I am everywhere, I am nowhere.'

I do not quibble with these things. I add more to the list, the blandness of restaurant food, and where is the universal access to beans on toast? So, yeah, I get it.

A number of years ago, on the road, it was all put into perspective for me. I was having breakfast down stairs in the hotel restaurant. A suit traveller was there. Joe and I see ourselves as business travellers but not suit travellers. Most suit travellers take us for retired. I was chatting with one such traveller. He asked what I was doing in (pick a city) and I explained to him about what I did and the lecture I was about to give.

He grunted into his eggs and said, 'You're one of the few lucky ones, you travel for purpose, I travel for business.' And that really did sum it up. I felt that as I took to the podium up a ramp built just for me but will be used by others. Over the course of the day I could feel that what I was saying was mattering. I took questions during break and could see that people were thinking hard about the material being presented.

It was a great day for me in Columbia. I won't know for a week or so how I scored. Public speaking is the only job you do and are evaluated every day. But in my heart I felt that Columbia had my back. They got what I was saying. On leaving I heard some people talking about the conference applying concepts I'd taught to their everyday situation. That feels good.

Today, Saint Louis... and another day on the road.


Heather said...

You are indeed a lucky man. Being able, not only to see but also, to count your blessings.
Have a good trip :-)

Anonymous said...

Glad you time in Missouri is going well. Sorry I couldn't come and see you this time.

Don in Missouri

Kristin said...

Traveling for a purpose is indeed special. I'm glad you have the wisdom to appreciate your good fortune.

Liz Miller said...


Anonymous said...

I was in Columbia and I agree indeed that you were on. It was great, I am back at work and my head is spinning with all the info anf insights gained yesterday- Thank you for doing what you do

Heather said...

As someone whom had the pleasure of seeing you in both Columbia and St. Louis, a huge thank you for being you. You are an amazing storyteller who has a true gift in bringing humor to tough topics.

And you looked great in your yellow shirt. Have a safe trip home.

Patty said...

It was an absolute joy to see you in St. Louis today. After wiping away the tears from laughing I could feel the wheels turning in my head, processing all the information. Thank You.

Anonymous said...

Indeed you rocked it in Columbia and in StL today. Agree with Heather - loved the yellow shirt and can't imagine you in those drab colors you spoke of. Thanks for doing what you do and sharing your time with us. As a parent, you make me think about so many things, and I think in the long run it will only help my son in his life moving forward.

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