For the first time in 2 years, I decided to fly and travel internationally again. Maybe it wasn’t the best decision considering the latest virus strain and the restrictions tightening.
It didn’t go too well.
I lost luggage, missed a connection, and was missing a document for my arrival destination.
There I was six hours into my trip, rushing from one terminal to the next without having eaten all day — I was super stressed out.
When I arrived at check-in, they said; you can’t fly Sir, you’re missing a document.
Okay, now things were turning rude! At first, I was flabbergasted and said there must be a mistake. Look, I have all documents here. But, of course, they were right.
A friend of mine set up the trip for me, and I didn’t check the details — I just followed instructions. My bad! I was missing this vital form to fly to my final destination.
It sunk in — I’m stuck — how dumb of me.
My head was spinning, tension rising, I felt nauseous. I had to do something to calm my mind, think clearly, and not freak out.
What did I do?
Instead of sitting down frustrated and mad, I started walking.
Water in hand, I walked all over the terminal, checking out shops, cafés, and restaurants — trying to take my mind off the problem. Luckily, I didn’t find a bar!
I strolled outside, around the terminal, back inside, down a big set of stairs, back up again, and some more. Finally, I arrived back at the airline counter, feeling much better.
Managing Your Mental Health.
My walkabout clocked 10000 steps in one go! Somewhere along the way, I realized how to make the most of airport problems. I’ve been stuck in airports several times and remember each experience being unpleasant and negative for my mindset.
Mostly I’d wind up sitting at a bar drinking too much to wash away my sorrows, waiting for what’s going to happen next. That never worked out too well.
I was facing a complicated situation — there was no way to continue my onward travels and there were no further flights back to my home destination.
Alright, to heck with it, just get a nice hotel, hot shower, dinner, a glass of wine, chill out and fly in the morning. Sorted.
When it rains, it pours!
It was Friday night in Jakarta, a busy travel weekend ahead. It seemed there was no easy way out for me tonight.
I started having visions of sleeping on an airport bench! Not a pleasant thought.
No, we are not doing that, I said. I continued to walk, Google the next hotel to call, all while talking to myself positively and kindly.
One hour later, 10 hotels deep that were fully booked, I finally found a nice hotel and room.
The Key Moment.
I realized during my ordeal that the defining moment was to keep my mind under control and not to freak out — which I did by walking. That’s hard to do when you’re not seeing a solution on the horizon, and it’s getting late.
Walking allowed me to decompress, release the negative thoughts, and replace them with positive ones, by applying positive self-talk and affirmations.
This process brought clarity and logic back and prevented me from blowing up. That’s the reason I managed to find a solution.
The combination of the movement with extensive walking freed up my tangled mind and gave me fresh energy to re-set and take back control.
By the time I stepped into the taxi to the hotel, I’d walked 20000 steps. I now felt stress-free, relaxed, and even happy! A total transformation of my perception and mindset, and a workout!
From negative to positive, to acceptance and solutions.
Well, the first embarrassing admission I have to make is, don’t be an idiot, Rob. Check all that needs to be done ahead of your travels, and don’t leave it to others.
It’s common to get stuck at airports at the best of times, with canceled flights, lost luggage, and the rest. During the current challenging times, however, it can happen at any time. You have to be on your toes.
I got a little smack in the face and realized how much of a bigger deal travel is and how dramatically things have changed.
Today you absolutely must dot all the i’s and cross the t’s — no wiggle room allowed anymore!
No matter how tough the situation looks, slow down and breathe when you get stuck. Then go and walk around the airport, or wherever you are, talking nicely to yourself until you feel the fog lift. It works!
In the end, all will be good.
Thanks for reading,
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