Some things I’ve learned:
1. Expect delays. There will be storms and police and illness and cancelled meetings. This is why “wait” is a verb.
2. Have a good book on hand. You never know when or where you’ll find yourself dining alone or driving alone for hours on end or sitting at the airport in the middle of the night. Take that chance to learn something new.
3. Look around. Seeing the world at 65 miles per hour isn’t really seeing the world – it’s just passing through. Sometimes it’s necessary to just watch the people around you, visit local monuments, stop at a road-side fruit stand, or take the narrow, winding road. The minor delay is usually worth it.
4. Talk to strangers. Learn something new about your world and expand your vision of life by chatting up the waiter/waitress, talking to your cashier, getting to know the passenger in the seat next to you, or talking weather with the desk clerk.
5. Unplug. Some days its necessary to not answer the phone or email for a few hours, especially when you lose cell phone signal in the mountains and rural areas. Otherwise work becomes your life.
6. Stay in the hotel with the most comfortable bed. A good night’s sleep is worth the expense.
7. Avoid food poisoning if at all possible.
8. Plan ahead. It may be raining and 50 degrees in Seattle, but it’s sunny and 90 in Spokane. Don’t get caught in the rain without an umbrella or in the heat with only sweaters.
9. Have a navigator. Traffic delays, the scenic route, and getting lost are less stressful and more enjoyable with a GPS or travel companion.
10. Phone home. Listening to a familiar voice makes strange lands less foreign. It’s nice to have a reminder that someone, somewhere loves and misses you.