Learning... Up In The Air

The more I travel, the more I realize I don't know. From my first trip involving a Passport stamp to Peru in 1998 to this past week's 4 cities in 3 days jaunt, I learn a lot on the when I'm on the road.  In 2010 and 2011, at the height of the Gowalla adventure, I did over 250,000 miles in the air (unfortunately not all on the same airline - start-up life.) In 2012, I was more grounded in NYC with my work. But already in 2013, I've been on the road for 15 days and hit 12 cities. When on the road, the circumstances lend themselves to learning. The disruption in the normal schedule lead to unexpected downtime and distance from the usual default time fillers.  When I leave for a trip I usually have at least two week's worth of Economist to catch up on and a book that remains only partial consumed because I am really good at falling asleep midparagraph when I try and read in the evenings at home.

I also learn from those that I meet will traveling that I wouldn't otherwise see in my New York bubble of interactions. Between airports and rental car counters and conference tables, life on the road puts you in close proximity to all kinds of people. And let's not even begin to dissect the irrational closeness of sleeping on a red-eye flight from SFO to JFK next to a big burly man in 26B.

As I look forward to the rest of 2013 and beyond, my work with Waze is going to keep my frequent flyer status feed and my carry-on packing skills sharp. But hopefully, it will also continue to lend itself to being the routine busting classroom that I have come to appreciate when I'm up in the air.