When Travel Throws You For A Loop

Travel is fun, but travel is also trouble — even if you are dedicated to a set personal schedule, trains and planes only run at certain times. Stepping outside your usual patterns also increases the chances that something can go wrong, whether that’s a cancelled flight or a lost bag.

But we like traveling. We like going and seeing friends, attending conferences, and eating all the food we can’t get in our home towns. The benefits of travel far outweigh the downsides.

Just the same, though, we have to figure out how to handle the problems that pop up. I had an impromptu reminder of that fact during a recent trip to Providence, Rhode Island. I had planned not to get a lot of client work done while I was away, though I did get to work on a few personal projects with a favorite conspirator. I’d also pushed off several meetings to the day after I got back, planning to jump right into things after I returned.

A major storm had other plans; my original flight home was cancelled and I was rebooked for the next day — the one I had meetings already planned for. It was a situation I just couldn’t control, as much as I’d like to.

But these sorts of situations do let you push a ‘reset’ button of sorts: a few mass emails to let people know that you can’t seem to escape Rhode Island’s borders, some triage to see what work I could actually do in the meanwhile and what I could push back, and a beer to help me relax let me step back and deal with the problem. It also let me get a little further on a personal project — the sort of thing that I could work on without a lot of concentration, as opposed to a client project which I would be less comfortable pairing with a beer.

Sometimes travel doesn’t work out the way we expect. But a changed itinerary is just like any other part of an entrepreneur’s life — adapt a little bit and you can keep moving forward (or, in my case, westward).

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