Thursday, April 15, 2010

Unexpected start

The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu is credited with the quotation "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Today, I learned that a journey begins by standing still. The Icelandic volcano caused widespread chaos in air traffic and our flight to Dubai through Amsterdam was cancelled. This meant there was no way to get to Kabul by the 17th and all of our meetings are cancelled and Julie is furiously trying to reschedule the meetings. In the mean time, we are set to fly out tomorrow using a different route that doesn't go through Europe.

As we were in the (never ending) line, I told Julie I was getting an early picture of the difference between corporate travel and travel "under the radar". At Boeing, I'd have been in the Executive Lounge letting the company travel department change my flights for me. I'd have made another call or two and all my meetings would have been re-scheduled for me. The disruption would have been barely noticeable.

While in line, I also ran into a former employee headed to Japan. She's spending about three out of four weeks there. Asking her how things were going and about some of my old colleagues, I was reminded why I left and how at peace I am with the decision I made.

I know in the big scheme of things, today's events aren't as important as they seemed at the time. However, they did give me an early opportunity to "stand still" and reflect on what this journey is really all about.

1 comment:

  1. Preston,

    It is now Monday the 19th and I am eager to know what route got you to your destination and what adventures you are having along the way. You certainly have the right attitude---this is not just travel, but a journey of the heart and mind and every moment---even the annoying ones--is a teacher. That said---I hope somewhere over the past 4 days you have had a good meal and a hot shower!

    Safe travels to you and Julie!

    Robin Groth