I’ve been travelling for my work for a long time and I still find some of the lessons I learnt from my parents come in very handy: “Be calm, be on time, always be polite, be prepared, and don’t give up.”
When travelling, it is sometimes hard not to get upset and frustrated when you’re held up by delays, or rerouted due to strikes or other issues. But these are out of your control, and it really does pay to stay calm — anxiety will put you in a very bad mood if you don’t, making matters worse.
One habit I have developed over the years, especially at airports, is to take ample time and expect the unexpected. I hate that feeling of being rushed, stressed, and having to run. I can finish an email or report anywhere when I need to — in an airport lounge, a coffee shop, or even with a laptop balanced on my knee at the departures gate. Making sure there is time makes things so much easier!
A final lesson, and one I learnt the hard way, is to always have a change of clothes in my hand luggage. During a trip to Beijing in the 1990s, my bag was delayed. It’s no fun when you are larger than the average population — buying tight-fitting shirts, trousers ((before they were fashionable), and especially undergarments was a painful lesson to learn.