Remember the American Express commercial “Don’t leave home without it!”? Well, I did leave home without it on yesterday’s trip to go kayaking. Specifically, I left my wallet and my purse thinking, I wouldn’t need either in the wilderness. I didn’t while we were on water, but what I had not anticipated, was that our road coming back would be closed indefinitely due to a wildfire that had jumped the road. What now? In the mountains the road closure meant a 4-hour detour over a mountain pass! We needed money to buy food for us and the dog, water, and fuel. Luckily, the friend driving, did bring credit cards and money. It happened to be his birthday – happy birthday to him! So off we went on an unscheduled road trip over Ebbett’s Pass, allowing us to see beautiful countryside we had never, and would have never, seen. The evening light cast the mountains in a particularly beautiful hue. We ended up eating in a hole-in-the wall kind of place in the middle of nowhere, totally fun and with good food. The music was playing and we had a great time. What’s the moral of the story?
Don’t leave home without it!
Celebrate when you can…
And enjoy the moment…it might surprise you.
Cross cultural communication was my favorite subject in graduate school, Thunderbird. Learning about how to successfully engage with people from different cultural backgrounds has always been fascinating to me. Later I found myself conducting Management Training with executives from 10+ countries in one session, which convinced me that the best way to communicate was face to face, to understand the nuances of body language. In today’s hyper-connected world, besides telephones we have so many different technologies at our fingertips, email, texting, video conferencing, engaging on social media. I have come to realize, as much as we might feel comfortable with only one or two forms of communication, we need to engage on all levels to get the full cultural context. And different people communicate on different media. I think of it much like making music. Different musicians with different musical instruments engage with different audiences to create a musical experience. Each participant has a voice. What are your ‘instruments’ of choice? Have you found your voice yet?
Reentry into orbit is the hardest part of the flight we hear from experts in the space industry. Likewise, it’s the hardest part of any trip. Coming back from Europe, I always have to deal with the challenges of traveling. This time our journey entailed a stop in London. We were delighted hoping to get a glimpse of an Olympic venue or a star athlete (The Spanish basketball team did tower over us at passport control in Munich). Instead we had to deal with a 3-hour delay and uncertainty, due to the pilot calling in sick. That’s life! Thankfully, we discovered a ping pong table in the terminal. What a novelty in an airport. Once back in California though I needed to deal with jet lag. Over the years and countless trips to and from Europe later, I have learned that every person deals with jet lag differently. And no one wants to hear what works for others! So, I have my routine, a light schedule the week after, lots of natural light, lots of exercise and healthy food, and sleep only when it is dark. Voila, a week later I emerge as a whole human being again. Still hoping for the ‘Beam me up, Scotty”invention though. Does that come with jet lag as well?
It’s inevitable. Every trip comes to an end – eventually. You are still there at this far away place. The place you planned to explore for a while. The place where you were going to meet people, make new friends reacquaint with old ones and loved ones. And yet it’s time to say goodbye soon to family and friends, places and things. Time to let go, once again. Over the years, I have journeyed back to Germany countless times. I still leave with mixed feelings, but always trusting that I will be back – soon!
We attended the Modellflugtag in Unterwoessen. The passion of these model airplane builders was impressive. Not only do they showcase exact replicas of everything from bi-planes to F 16s, from Messerschmitt’s to Mirages, they also are experts at remote controlling their creations at incredible speeds through the sky. If you have never seen a model helicopter fly upside down, almost close enough to sheer the grass, you ought to. Very impressive!
Tile under our feet and on walls is the norm – in bathrooms and public buildings they protect and last. I was struck by this beautifully tiled ceiling in the cafe at the Architecture Museum in Vienna today. The power of turning things upside down, quite literally. The design of different individual tiles put together on a large scale and on an arched ceiling was breathtakingly beautiful. Much like life – turn it upside down, put it together on a large scale and look at it standing back. Sounds like a great recipe to me.
Had great fun watching untested paperboats succeed and drown at the Starnberg Papierbootrennen. Without a doubt, the canoe-shaped models succeeded. And yet some of the other ideas were more fun to watch. Some capsized immediately after boarding. Save examples of planning, taking risks, and having fun!