One of the things I love about traveling is that around every corner you find so many surprise elements that create an experience which makes life richer. My travels last week through North and South Carolina exposed me to many elements that took me in and out of my comfort zone.
I learned several lessons that made my trip one I will not soon forget - including my run in with an alligator!
1. Accept the good with the bad.
During travel, you are at the mercy of so many elements from staying at hotels you have never stayed at before, to visiting places that were no where near what you thought, to people who over deliver, to those that don’t deliver at all. Anything is really quite possible.
Since we were moving from city to city each day for the first three days of the journey, we found we loved some places and some we will never go back to again. On our list to get back to in the not so distant future is Charleston…we loved this city that both my husband and I have never been to before.
2. Look at your fears straight on.
Okay so as the pic below shows one of my greatest fears that comes in the form of the reptile called the alligator. Thinking perhaps it may have begun at the Alligator Pit hamburger place we used to go to as a kid in Southern California. My dad would usually threaten to throw me in with the lone gator that resided in a pit right outside in the parking lot .
Gators bottom-line, freak me out!! So you can imagine my terror when I realized that the Cape Fear River (makes sense right) in North Carolina is home to the American Alligators.
Fears come in all shapes and sizes for each of us and while I can’t say I am cured of this fear, I did watch in fascination as this alligator swam along side the ship we were on (yes I was grateful for the massive amount of metal between us) and found a rock to sunbath on as you see in this pic.
Imagine my horror later on when the sign near a pond on a bike path we were bicycling on said, “Don’t Feed the Alligators.” Couldn’t peddle fast enough to be sure!
3. Feel gratitude for the relationships in your life.
We also were hosted for two days in Asheville by my dear friends, Debbie and Bob. Their hospitality and friendship rocked it during the awesome couple of days we spent with them. In fact, today’s quote Debbie had appropriately posted inside of her kitchen cabinet.
Ed had never been to Asheville or gotten to know these friends over the 28 years we have been married (an indicator of how long it has been since we spent much time together!). The two days we spent with them were rich with fun, laughter, and catching up on our lives.
The icing on the cake was spending time with their son Travis who was so cool as a kid that I named my son after him. Happy to report he is still cool and very awesome! ;)
4. Be open to opportunities as they arise.
With these fun days under our belt we headed to another destination in North Carolina that had inspired the trip. There I had the opportunity to meet John Warrillow the creator of the Value Builder program (an amazing program I recently was certified to share with my clients) and also other Coaches, Consultants and Business Brokers who were also there to learn more about this great body of work.
In addition to learning a ton I got to meet and network for three days with people who are as passionate about working with small business owners as I am! Some of them are reading this letter for the first time this morning and I am so delighted to have had the pleasure to meet each one of you!
5. Be pushy and persistent - as needed.
So on the final leg of the journey I had the opportunity to change my flight to go see my dear niece Meaghan in Orlando during a brief layover. Ed had already headed home a few days earlier so I was a little more flexible in my plans. Seeing her was so great and then … I found myself in quite a conundrum in an airport I was totally unfamiliar with getting around.
Getting through security was hellish only to be topped with the fact I was on the wrong terminal with only 20 minutes at that point to make my plane. Taking the tram back to the main terminal, even though the correct terminal was only-steps away from the wrong one, they made me go through security again! With a presentation to give the following morning I knew I HAD to make the flight... period.
So as I asked for assistance from the TSA agent, I was told, “it happens to at least 100 people a day” and I basically had to fend for myself. Amazed by the fact that if that many people were having a problem they might want to fix their signage or have security make sure people where heading into the right “secure area.” Knowing there was no time to dilly dally and in the spirit of my pushy ancestors before me, I pushed my way right through the tourist population that was standing in that massive line.
Made it to the terminal just in the nick of time and they actually opened the plane back up for me … only to find ourselves sitting on the tarmac for another hour and a half!
After returning home on the wee hours of Thursday morning bleary eyed and lacking sleep from my journeys, at 10am I headed to present a speech to a group of Middle School children on the importance of content writing when it comes to online marketing.
As I looked at their many faces watching me as I shared the element of writing as an important high tech tool, I was once again reminded of the importance of our travels and the experience of life that we are given to share with others.
Head out into the week ahead keeping an eye out for all those life lessons - both personal and business - that are just around the corner if you choose to pay attention to them.
Enjoy your travels this week!
To Your Successes and Victories,
Author, Business Growth Coach,
and Founder of the Victory Circles