July 14, 2022
Most of my business travel over the years was while living near major airports. Being “inconveniently” located within an hour of O’Hare or Midway spoils you into thinking that a flight to anywhere in the world will have a seat for you during the next few hours. Even Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Milwaukee were “big-time” compared to my current “home field.” Business travel looks different through the Lexan side windows of a 12-passenger turbo-prop. You have to be comfortable with perfect strangers asking your body weight before assigning you a seat. Your idea of a convenient layover period changes as well. When the alternative is a 100-mile jaunt to the nearest “big city,” some sacrifices have to be made. My much better half had the O’Hare/Midway shuffle down to a science and can be called upon to “rescue” an itinerary if the opening or finishing leg is delayed or cancelled; but I prefer that she be allowed to enjoy her retirement without the drama. Fortunately, my only verifiable “super power” is killing time in airport waiting lounges. I have “done time” as far south as Santa Caterina Brazil, as far west as Shanghai China, as far north as Edmonton Alberta Canada, and as far east as Vienna Austria — along with hundreds of points in between. It might not be in the same category as leaping tall buildings in a single bound, but there is something enjoyable about watching people and observing them at their best — and worst. Twenty-three months between flights might be too long for optimum super power retention; I may need to visit the local mall occasionally to stay in shape for future flight delays. What is your secret for staying calm when the road frequently traveled develops potholes?