Travel – excluding being stuck in traffic or snow – can be a great experience. Occasionally, travel isn’t quite as terrific as non-travelers think. As examples:
- Stuck in a motel in Gander after a snowstorm which caused Air Canada to cancel all flights into and out of Newfoundland for two days
- Taking a 5-hour, 167 km, train ride east from Winnipeg across prairie, swamp, and Canadian shield to Shoal Lake
- Forced into a 10-hour layover in Barbados because Air Canada cancelled a scheduled direct flight from Port of Spain to Toronto and a two airline two hop journey was the only way to get home for Christmas
- Unable to leave Hongqiao airport because our destination was ‘fogged in’ and being compensated with a free night at a one-star hotel where ‘ladies of the night’ distributed illustrated brochures to every room
Fortunately, time spent at the destination is the high point of most trips and travel is the price we pay. And the best thing about travel is that when you’re done you get to go home – just make sure to follow the signs!
A lot of the travel I’ve done has been to places nobody wants to go to. A lot of the travel I’ve done has been paid for by other people. My advice to the younger engineers that I’ve been asked/told to mentor is that if somebody asks you “Are you willing to go to …”, that it’s usually a good idea to say “Yes”.