Travel and the New Normal
We are all experiencing major changes in our lives, many of which are causing increased stress for an already stressed-out society.
All of us have had to become more patient than ever before. Whether you were a platinum level weekly traveler or a once a year vacation traveler, patience is the first thing you will need to pack.
As SVP of Strategic Capital, I was used to traveling 3 weeks each month to cities all over the United States. I had a cadence, a rhythm that was comfortable and manageable. No matter the trip or city, I knew how far in advance I had to be at the airport, reserve hotels or cars, and book reservations for restaurants and events. It was a part of my career that I truly enjoyed.
There is a new normal when traveling, and it has been an eye-opening lesson in patience and planning. From zero rental car availability to canceled or grounded flights; deep breathing and extra careful planning is required. A good book and a stiff drink wouldn’t hurt either.
I am not filing a complaint or making a political statement about my personal rights; this is my statement on my own humanity. Reflecting on pre-pandemic conditions had me thinking just about me and getting from point A to point B. Now I have to think about everyone around me and in my life on my way to point B (i.e. my family whom I have missed seeing). That’s why I made my own personal choice to be fully vaccinated, which makes me feel that I am protecting my 82-year-old father and my 2 year old grandniece. I feel good about my decision, and it was the right one for me.
So, I plan a little earlier and have returned to some tried and true services: like a car service. I make a call and I know I will get to my locations on schedule, removing any worry of finding a rental car, a cab or rideshare due to availability, labor strikes, and social distancing.
Hotels are a crapshoot. Depending on your stay, you may or may not have housekeeping service. And room service? Forget about it… I waited 95 minutes for a salad and a bowl of soup in Vegas. The problem is that all service industries are low on employees. Whether through furlough or a need to stay home to take care of family. It is everywhere. These are not normal times and thus require new strategies.
And while we may require new strategies to maneuver through this new reality, usually getting back to the basics of our humanity really works best. Patience. Understanding. Respect. Kindness. And patience.
And did I mention patience?