Road Trips Can Teach You to Handle Adversity in Business

I love road trips! For me, a road trip is at least five hours in the car. Anything less, is just a drive. So, with those parameters, I’d like to share with you a few experiences I’ve had, and lessons I’ve learned. Oh, and share some fun adventures!

One of my favorite road trips was about thirteen years ago. I loaded my three youngest children in the car, along with a babysitter that I hired to go with us. I quickly found out that the babysitter I had hired, had NEVER been away from her family, like EVER. That small detail had escaped my awareness, even though I had met with her parents, let them know our plans, and talked in detail for months about the trip. So, instead of having someone along that could calm and help with the kids, ages 2, 4, and 10, I had another one I had to calm, age 15.

It was a three week trip across country. The babysitter almost went home, except her parents weren’t willing to pay the airfare, and neither was I. We still had a great time, saw some amazing sites, from a snake pit in Kansas, world’s largest kaleidoscope in the Catskills of New York, where we met up with my older two children, and my husband flew in to join us for a few days. So many sites and fun times. Caverns in West Virginia, a week at the beach in Florida, a Plantation owned by a Slave (who knew, way cool), the S.S. Alabama Battleship, and so much more. The lesson, PUNT.

Go, with what is in front of you, and look for unexpected opportunities for enjoyment. Just because something doesn’t look quite how you envision it, doesn’t mean, it’s not a success.

The next trip, I again had kids with me, the middle two,we were driving back from Wisconsin where one of my sisters lived, when I couldn’t find a hotel or motel room. I was driving across South Dakota, and there was a huge motorcycle rally (Sturgis), and I knew I wouldn’t find a room since I didn’t have reservations, so I kept driving. I had a babysitter with me, I didn’t know until we had left town, she couldn’t drive a stick shift, and my husband’s car, which I decided to take on the trip, had manual transmission. So, no help with driving. It was very late, my husband back home, was checking on the computer and calling ahead of the cities I was coming up upon to check for availability. Nothing. Finally I stop, I inquire at a hotel; one bed, no rollaways, and it’s a smoking room. I can’t take it, I’m exhausted, the kids are sleeping in the car, I just can’t drive any further, yet, there simply wasn’t enough room. I get back into the car with everyone sleeping, and it won’t start. My starter went out. We end up sleeping in the car, (the kids never really knew), I got towed in the morning, got the car fixed, while I slept in a room I got for a day rate, and headed home. Sometimes solutions don’t look like solutions, but they work. I hadn’t thought sleeping in the car was an option.

My last one, I was heading to Montana to see my parents. I was traveling alone. I’ve made the drive from Southern Colorado to Helena, Montana, many times. I didn’t want to go the interstate. I love Wyoming and Montana, the interstate doesn’t do it justice. I drove almost the entire way on two-lane highways. I loved it. Mileage, was a little shorter, not taking the interstate, time, a little longer. I had to slow down for every town I came through. It was fabulous, and so beautiful.

Many times, the fastest way, isn’t the best way. Getting off of the “usual” way of going/doing things, can bring unexpected peace. Newness, and beauty.

Strength – It takes courage, which takes strength, to do something different, than what most people are doing. Getting in the car, instead of the speed and ease of flying.

Dignity – Dignity is required not to whine and complain when life doesn’t turn out how you planned or pictured it to be, or on your timetable.

Grace – Sometimes it’s because of you, and decisions you make, that things turn out the way they do, forgive yourself, and move on.

There is an incredible RoadTrip event coming up in the fall.

Yes, I’ll be driving. I’ll be arriving in Cincinnati, via Kentucky, my last state, to complete having been to all of the United States.

You should join me, there will be lessons to learn, people to meet, and stories to be heard.

I’d love to hear your road trip stories, please share.

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