by Paul M. Carhart
Another tip from the forthcoming book, "Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle."
Suffice it to say, not everything is always rosy when you're on-the-go. Things go wrong. Plans don't work out. Trains are late. Museum hours change. Modes of transportation you were relying on have changed or no longer exist. The world is a big place and no matter how much homework you may have done, things can be very different when you get where you are going. Unfortunately, there are also unscrupulous people who will steal from you and they’ll get you in your hometown too if you’re not careful.
Middle-eastern countries are notorious for this. Locals who will “give” you things only to require money for it as soon as you take it plague Cairo, especially near the Giza pyramids and The Sphinx. Gypsies who will try to get your attention with a crying infant, only to lift your wallet when you are distracted, frequent the streets surrounding the Coliseum in Rome. Thugs are known to roam the streets of Pisa. Rain or other weather conditions can also nab you when you're not prepared.
Should this ruin your day?
On the contrary. It only adds character. Each daily journey will be a unique experience. Even if your friends have visited the same place at a different time, you will have your own set of experiences and you should savor them, even if they aren't what you had expected. Or worse, even if they downright suck.
Of course, as the saying goes (loosely paraphrased), "stuff happens" whether you're at home or away. Got a flat tire? Miss a golden opportunity? Someone been promoted over you? Arrive at work late? Fast food restaurant screw up your order? Movie you wanted to see sold out? Too many of us rush through life expecting every day to be a perfect representation of our perfect life. It isn't always so. We don't have to "live happily ever after" to live happily. The answer? Find something to love about every day you live and every place you go.
If things really suck, look for the constant things. The twinkle in your spouse's eye when he or she says they love you. The regular paycheck you receive from your employer that allows you to have your car, your house and to support your family. The downsides are almost always outweighed by the upsides. If that isn't so, change what you're doing. If you look hard enough, I'm sure you can find the silver lining.
Even the ickiest places have something in their favor. On one of my trips, it was my intention to take trains to various other countries and make the most of my time. I had purchased a train pass and had mapped out points of interest. When I got there, the entire country was on strike and I didn't even know it. The local rail wasn't working so taxis were the primary means of travel. I had to scrap the plans of country hopping and come up with something else. Several museums I had intended to see were closed as well. But, visiting the local sites still made the trip worthwhile.
So, as you can see, there's usually a way to make the best of your situation if you will only search for it.
If you liked this tip, you'll be pleased to know there's a whole book filled with similar advice. Paul Carhart’s book, Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle, will be available from your favorite online bookseller, Winter 2009. Stay up to date: paulcarhart.com.