Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How to Travel Worry-Free

Traveling can be a blast. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons I got into performing.  New places, new faces, and getting out of the daily routine at home make hitting the road a great experience.

There are those days, though, where all of your travel plans go awry. Keeping sane in some cases can be more than a mortal can do, but like with so many things in life, it’s all about making the best of a bad situation.  Coming back from the last gig falls into this category. 

Dealing With the Unexpected

Marlo and I were disembarking a ship that berthed at Pier 88 in New York City. There we were, waiting in the assigned meeting room at 7:30 AM (or what felt like 5:00 AM to someone in showbiz). If you looked out the window, you could see the Intrepid, with all its awesome fighter jets adorning the upper deck. All of the disembarking performers were at my table, and we shared stories about all of our mutual acquaintances. 

Now, it’s great to catch up with other artists, but the Immigration officials were taking their sweet time arriving, and after 2 hours, we were sweating. We had a flight to catch, after all, and La Guardia was at least 30 minutes away. Finally, at about 10:00 AM, Marlo and I get processed, and it’s off to find our luggage. Was our luggage waiting for us as we disembarked? Nope. Wouldn’t be a story if it was! Well, after another 30 minutes waiting for our bags to show up, we head on over to the taxi area. Our ride, which was supposed to pick us up at 8:45 AM, was understandable nowhere to be seen. After several calls to the transportation agency, and multiple swing-bys of the vehicle itself, we are on our merry way at 11:00 AM. Our flights are at 11:30 AM. Crap.

Obviously, when we arrive at the airport, the plane has left, and the only option left to us is to wait stand-by. To those of you that don’t fly much, that means that you go to the gate of the next flight traveling to your city, and camp there in the hopes of snagging a seat that would otherwise fly empty. That really isn’t an attractive option, even is normal circumstances. On that particular day, there was heavy rain, meaning that flights were delayed. On TOP of that, all of the flights we were interested in were oversold. So, Marlo and I were looking at a long day of waiting around for something that probably wasn’t going to happen.

Thinking Outside the Box

In the midst of planning seppuku, I got a call from my dad, who jokingly offered to pick us up after hearing of our plight. DAD, YOU’RE A GENIUS! We’ll rent a car!

By driving, we would get home in a scant 8 hours, whereas if we try to fly home, we might make it home the next day. Time to call Hertz!
After getting in the car and dealing with some minor (1/2 hour) traffic on the way out of the city, it was clear sailing. You might say “Eight hours in a car is a long slog”, and you’d be right, BUT - just being on the move, and having some sort of control over the situation made all the difference. As a bonus, we got to drive through the Appalachians, where all of the trees were bursting with color. It sure beat the taupe walls of an airport terminal!

So when things go wrong and it looks like the day’s a wash, I have to remind myself that there’s always a way to turn it around, and make the day fabulous!

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