For years, I have rushed between teaching piano lessons, my kids’ activities, errands, and family obligations. I still have a few of those things to do, but thankfully now I can relax a little. To travel better, I’m going to start living better at home: more enjoying the sights, even if it’s just a sunrise or a good cup of coffee.
My new goal is to enjoy myself, whatever I’m doing. This includes doing things that don’t fit in to my plan. Therefore, my mantra for missing my mode of transportation is, “Now I have time for coffee.” If coffee isn’t your thing, ad lib. If you plan well and give yourself ample time, it’s rare that missing a connection will result in disaster.
We missed our train from Vienna to Prague because we went to the wrong train station in Vienna. (Big difference between Westbahnhof and Südbahnhof.) By the time we figured it out and took a bus to the right station, our train was gone. The ticket agent switched our tickets to the next train, one hour later, and we found an English newspaper and sat on a bench in the sun catching up on events back home. Arrival in Prague one hour later than planned was fine. No harm done.
Flying back to the US from Europe, we missed our connecting flight in London because of bad weather. British Airways gave us the choice of a complimentary night in a London airport hotel with meals, or taking a zigzagging trip through Canada to get home at approximately the same time. London, baby! We took the BA shuttle to the hotel, checked in, asked the clerk for advice on where to go with our afternoon, and took a double-decker bus into town. The clerk had recommended Oxford street, since we wanted to do a little shopping. We spent the evening looking in shops, eating the best Belgian waffles ever, and people-watching. Next morning, we had the breakfast buffet and took the shuttle to the airport. It was a bonus day in London!
These days, when I find myself with extra time on my hands, instead of trying to cram another errand into those minutes, I get myself a nice drink, read from my iPhone Kindle app, or just people-watch. Maybe middle age isn’t so bad.