Thursday, June 11, 2009

Expect the unexpected

This I know to be true about travel: one must expect the unexpected. To "celebrate" this truthism, I herewith submit my "favorite" list of things to unexpect when traveling:

  • sleep (how to "make" it happen?)
  • favorable conditions (both with your body and travel schedules)
  • no road work (is there a reason the roads can't be as indestructible as black boxes?)
  • removal of tolls (I live in Illinois. Hear my prayer.)
  • easy segues from one side of a security checkpoint to the next (honestly, if it's not the person in front of me causing the problem, it's me!)
  • weather that does not impede plans (why don't I just bang my had against the wall?)
  • short lines for anything (especially restrooms)
  • toilet paper holders in restrooms smaller than a grocery cart (can they put them higher up the wall so they're not causing us to sit sidesaddle?!)
  • flushing only when you want flushing (showers where you do not want showers)
  • pricing stability (for better or for worse)
  • short productive meetings (sometimes I'll take either)
  • favorable salt-in-the-food conditions (I hate it when I blow up like a puffer fish)
  • happy seatmates (I'm sure I've failed at being one)
  • sanity (defined as ... ???)

But sometimes, we do get what we hope for, but do not necessarily "expect." It's always the little things that mean the most:

  • a sympathetic, patient, determined ticket agent (YAY!)
  • a heart-warming and just right bowl of soup with warm bread (Mmmm)
  • toilet paper (thank goodness)
  • a magazine that lasts the whole flight (with publishing the way it is, this is a miracle!)
  • a roadside cafe where you are sincerely welcomed when you walk in the door (bless you)
  • a just right mattress (my heart beats for Goldilocks)
  • an air conditioner that doesn't bang when it turns on and off (HAL-LE-LU-JAH!)
  • a boiled egg in the midst of donuts (protein!)
  • finding the thing you fret you forgot to pack (celebration!)
  • fresh brewed iced tea (it's good to be awake when speaking in front of an audience)
  • an abundance of smiling faces (there is power in a smile)
  • the perfect hot dog or veggie sandwich (perfect, as in, tasty, available and fast)
  • a surprise encounter with someone you know (grace)
  • the determination to make the best of each circumstance (grit)
When I truthfully examine each item on any of my traveling lists, above all, the determination to make the best of each circumstance is The Most Important--which is why I travel with a wad of toilet paper in my handbag. Just in case.

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