Kiwis are used to travelling. We must be with the closest landmass to New Zealand being a 3hr flight away – if we want to visit other countries and experience different cultures then we must get used to travelling and the time it takes to travel, cos it’s not just the time in the air that adds the hours onto a journey but the time waiting in airport lounges, transfers, delays and security requirements.
If you are leaving it to me to organise the transportation to the airport then you better be resigned to the idea of arriving at the airport at least 4hrs before the gate closes – I hate being late at the best of times but having the stress of the unknown makes my blood pressure rise uncontrollably and there is nothing more unknown than a security line at an airport.
I’d rather be relaxed, calm and in control sitting airside with a coffee (or wine depending on the time of the day) a good book, notebook and pen or in case of today – my trusty iPad. It’s called Welshot on Wheels back at HQ and I have no excuse not to be productive in these hours that I’ve been given. Or, I could just people watch? Or browse the bookshops? Or eat? If you are starting to get the idea that I love airports – then yes, yes, I do. I people watch and tell myself stories about who they are and where they are going and what they will do when they get there. But most of all, I use the time, either to think or to get stuff done. Waiting in an airport (or anywhere for that matter) is never a waste of time.
Anyways, here I am sitting at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam – I’ve just celebrated a birthday and had a wonderful week exploring this vibrant and colourful City and since our transfer schedule had changed I am nearer to 5 hours early. If you’ve never been to Schiphol, it is an amazing place to get lost in for 5 hours, it even has its own museum. Bags checked in off I went through to security – no stress here, plenty of time, no fluster, no anxiety – just cool, calm and collected. Different story for the dude in front of me however – you could hear him constantly moaning under his breath and he was certain he was going to miss his flight.
It got me to thinking about what I use this time for – it doesn’t need to be airport specific either – if you do have to wait around, you might as well be being productive.
1. You know that blog idea you’ve got in your head? Get it onto paper now! Even better, if you’ve got your iPad/Tablet/Laptop with you then get it into draft format on your WordPress website/blog.
2. No blog idea in your head? Take 10 to 30 minutes to make a list of blog subjects.
3. Got loads of blog ideas in your head? Make a schedule – basic title, bullet points for reference, and give yourself a deadline to publish it on a certain date.
4. Listen to that podcast or audio book from your latest “Go to Expert” who’s explaining how to go about X, Y, Z… (Make sure you use those headphones)
5. Catch up on your blog reading – hands up who has a ton of saved bookmarks with a pile of unread blogs you keep promising you will make time to read someday.
6. Watch (remember the head phones again) those “How to…” videos that you’ve been saving on Facebook and You Tube.
7. Working on a project? Spend some time reviewing your “To Do” list and amend your schedule / plan of action accordingly.
8. Make that business call – send that email – reach out to that person you admire on Facebook and ask if they’d like to meet for a coffee when you get back – write a letter, lots of lovely stationery can be found at airports.
9. Browse the bookshops – on a recent trip to New York I found some great “Business” magazines that I’d never come across before.
10. Feeling stressed? Feet sore from too much walking on your latest City break – some of the bigger airports have massage facilities – a foot massage is the perfect way to unwind, relax and enjoy some mindfulness exercises.