Travel by definition is an act of movement. Moving your physical self from one location to another. Working in the hospitality industry I am fortunate to have as a side effect of my profession the opportunity to travel, to quote Johnny Cash, “I’ve been everywhere man”. I will give you a moment to sing a few verses in your head you know you want to. Done? Okay where was I? One of the greatest discoveries or revelations that I have had in my life is that when I travel, I am not just moving my physical self from one location to the next I am given an opportunity to expand on and explore my world.
I got into my field because I wanted to explore my understanding of how we communicate, how we relate, how we tell our stories, how we share our life experiences and as much as I have been fortunate to be able to view that thing we call the human condition from behind a computer screen and a keyboard, it was not until I got out into the physical world through traveling for work that I discovered the true understanding of just how many different stories that there are out there.
Travel indeed takes us on a journey, the physical one mentioned earlier but it also takes us a ride of new understanding, exploring the world outside of our own little box we tend to create for ourselves. It allows us to discover how alike we all are in so many ways and yet so different in so many others. It allows us to confirm who we are as we cross paths with strangers around the country with like minds, at the same time allowing for us to change or grow what we thought as we experience new personalities and stories that perhaps we had not yet discovered or had an opportunity to hear.
I get to live a life less ordinary and that life is fueled by the stories of the people that I have come across in my travels. The 94-year-old veteran in Florida or the Civil Rights activist in Memphis or the wonderful Irish grandmother in Boston who helped me understand our history. The crazy chef in San Antonio, who opened my mind and my pallet .The cheeky young girl who lost her hearing as a baby stuck waiting next to me on a delayed flight that reminded me just how much I need to practice my signing. The family with six kids at LAX that showed me that no matter how much work that many kids seemed like, family was a great thing. The sales guy who was just a normal Joe, reminding me that no matter what you do for a living, if you enjoy it, that is that matters.
I do have a point here, these are just samples of the random people that I have encountered on my travels and the things that I remember or took away from my conversations with them in the lobby, on the plane, waiting in line for lunch or simply killing time before a flight. These stories are no more special to me than all the countless others I have, every experience we have is unique to us, every story we tell has its own special place in our memories and its impact on us.
Those of us given an opportunity to travel are given something much greater. We are given the opportunity to explore and to feed our curiosity for new things, new experiences, new perspectives, new languages, new recipes, new styles, new ways to get from point a to point b, and new memories of the people passing by.
We tend to get wrapped up in ourselves in the day to day of our lives and traveling gives us the potential to step outside of that and take a look around and focus on the world around us. Try it the next time you travel, once you are at the right gate and you have double checked you carry on to make sure you didn’t forget anything, maybe turn off the laptop or the iPad and look around you. Say hello the person sitting next you. You never know, they could have a great story to tell.
Our memories are our personal movie montage of our life experience. If mine happened to jump from brain cells to screen, I am sure it would be scored to music, and maybe just maybe you would hear Louis, signing about the colors of the rainbow and what a wonderful world it really is and can be.
Red Roof Inn celebrates our guests and the many diverse people that make up the many stories of those who have traveled with Red Roof Inn. Red Roof Inn will be attending the GBTA Convention in August, please stop by and share your story with us at booth 2045.