With a new year come changes for many people. Resolution lists start forming of must dos and must don’ts for 2011. In terms of travel, attitude can play a large part in how you travel. Each year, I try to reevaluate how I travel in hopes I notice the good, the bad and even the ugly.
Those yakking on their phones at airports furious over a 2 hour delay or the clueless traveler insistent on not seeing another country’s language as important can change their attitudes and sing a much happier travel tune for 2011.
Don’t Get Mad at Delays: My Dad lent me the best perspective on delays. He walks up to the gate agent after waiting for hours on a delayed flight and asks, “If I get mad will that make the plane get here faster?”. You can’t do anything about delays when it comes to travel.
Sure, it can be upsetting and annoying, but getting angry with gate agents does not uphold a good travel attitude. You will be tired and exhausted before you even arrive due to unnecessary anger.
Watch out for People, Literally: It continues to amaze me while I travel how unaware people can be. Run into me. Knock me down to get to your bag at baggage claim. It’s ok. I’m just a person, I often think. Remember that while you travel people surround you constantly. Just because you need to get from A to B doesn’t mean you can knock down strangers in the process. You aren’t the only one trying to travel so mind your elbows.
Take a Moment: In the midst of a missed bus to Bogotá, it can be difficult to appreciate where you are. When aspects to travel turn sour or even sweet, it is always a good idea to step back and take a moment. Grab a coffee at a café rather than complaining away a problem or even a non-problem.
Learn a New Language: If you are planning on traveling to a country that doesn’t speak English in 2011, make attempts to learn a few words of the local tongue. Better yet, make your travels about language learning. Sign up for classes and discover how another country thinks, communicates and creates meaning through language. By learning a language your travel attitude and perspective on others can change a great deal.
Try Out New Places: After frequenting Italy year after year, I realized this summer I needed to step outside my travel comfort zone and try new destinations. Travel can become routine when the destinations become routine. For 2011, try challenging yourself by heading to destinations you hadn’t considered before. A change in scenery can do wonders for a change in travel attitude.