Wednesday, July 20, 2016

My Magic Wand

Years ago, when I was working and encountered any sort of problem or difficulty, I would tell my team that I would just bring in my magic wand and that everything would be fine.  I actually had one that I purchased from a local Renaissance Festival - it was beautiful, twisted metal wand with a gorgeous crystal attached, but that is not what held the magic.  It was the attitude that I had about the situation.

Somehow, I always knew that something good would happen and it would always work out for the best.  Call it serendipity, happenstance or just plain luck, whatever it was I understood that the more positive expectation I had, the faster it would come.  This was a belief I held in all areas of my life.  It seemed as though, as soon as I joked about it and let go of any attachment then - poof, it would appear!

Easy Does It

I was traveling from Fort Lauderdale to Fort Myers, Florida and had scheduled a shuttle from the airport to take me on the short 2-hour trip.  It seemed like a great option, I love land journeys, they are very relaxing, and you get to see areas that you miss by flying.

As always, I arrived extra early because I don't like to rush if I don't have to.  That is another bonus of being retired, I can take my time and set my own schedule.  So, while patiently waiting at the airport, I felt very fortunate to not be getting on a plane, I had fun just wandering around and visiting with some of the nice people there.  

As the pick-up time approached, I went to the designated area and waited there.  When the shuttle did not arrive on time I rang the office to check on the schedule and they said they were running a few minutes late.  No worries, I was fine standing in the fresh air just watching the people go by.

When Things Go Wrong on the Road

While I was waiting I met a lovely young couple from Australia who were traveling to visit family in the area.  I love meeting new people wherever I go so it was very nice to chat to them while we waited for the shuttle.  I am a very patient traveler and know that delays happen so I was not concerned until over an hour passed and still no sign of the shuttle.  The office was no longer answering our calls and my phone had completely died.

After almost 2 hours we began to get a little anxious that they may not be coming at all and we needed to think about what we were going to do.  We all needed to be on the other side of the state that evening or we would have to make plans to stay where we were for the night and try again tomorrow. 

I don't like feeling trapped, I'm sure no one does, but my response is to get creative and see what other choices are available. 

The Golden Rule of Traveling is to Stay Flexible and be Open to other Possibilities

When problems arise you have to decide how you want to handle it and it never helps to get upset or to be rude.  Calmly assess the situation and then decide how you want to proceed.

Fortunately, we were at the airport so we had many options for alternate travel.  We could rent-a-car and drive over, we could hire a taxi to take us or we could fly.  All reasonable avenues, and more if we wanted to check into coaches or the train.  Literally the moment we began to decide what option we would prefer, the shuttle pulled up to collect us.

The driver was brusque and clearly had been having a very bad day, much worse than ours.  The bus was loaded with passengers who seemed very tired and frustrated as well but now we were on our way.  At a short fuel break, I talked briefly to the driver and asked cautiously how he was doing.

It had been a very long day for him, he was actually the owner of the company and had a driver that didn't come in so he had been driving since 4 am and was trying to get all of his customers to their designated locations throughout the state.  He was so warm and friendly and immediately the atmosphere changed for the entire journey.

Sometimes the Best Things come from the Strangest Circumstances

After arriving safely, having a great dinner and good night’s sleep I thought about what a great day that it had been.  I met some wonderful people and got to see some lovely parts of the state and everything worked out perfectly.

Perfect does not mean that everything goes to plan.  It means that it works out for the best, usually in a way that will surprise and delight you!

I no longer have that magic wand but its power is always with me as long as I remember to expect the very best outcome possible and know that it will happen.

What experiences have you had while traveling?  Do you expect something good or something bad when things go awry?  Join the conversation and share your stories.