I've Forgotten How to Travel

Travel List: Keys - check, Phone - check, Laptop - check, Wallet - 200 miles away!

Seriously. I forgot my wallet. I've been traveling most of my career. Mostly domestic, a few years internationally, and after this pandemic hiatus...I can honestly tell you, I am out of practice!

Sure, I've had stories with my travel over the years. A day trip turned into an overnight due to a canceled flight with nothing more than my briefcase with me. Luggage lost in a country I didn't speak the language. Flights canceled. Flights delayed. And on and on.

But, I don't think I've ever forgotten my wallet (or lost my wallet for that matter) on a business trip - ever. Until this trip. I was 200 miles from home. It wasn't the end of the world. All is fine. I reassure you, all is fine. It could have be much, much worse. But, that moment...when I realized my wallet wasn't with me, it was a moment of shear panic and dread and confusion. It lasted only seconds, I made myself breath. I knew, in my head it would all sort itself out; but I kept thinking I'm such an idiot.

I've forgotten my makeup before. And once my hair brush. And another time a pair of shoes I should have grabbed. I've forgotten a power cord or two, on more than one occasion. But, never, ever, have I left my wallet at home.

Yes, I know we are all human. And we all make mistakes. But I don't like to be reminded that I'm human and that I make mistakes. And this one could have been a whooper of one.

I was on a quick business trip. A day of meetings, a dinner, a few morning commitments the next day. Simple. The meetings were three hours from home. Of course I was driving. And the morning I left was a typical morning. Feed the dogs. Walk the dogs. Leave a list for the family member in charge of the dogs in my absence. Throw my stuff in the car. Grab a travel coffee mug. Grab my sunglasses. And go.

I drove straight through. I didn't stop for gas or a snack or a water. Work phone calls almost the entire three hours. I pulled into the parking lot of the building for my first meeting. Early on purpose. I wanted some time to organize my thoughts. Walk in ready to go.

And then it hit me, my purse was with me in the car, but my wallet was not. No identification. No credit cards. Think. Think. Think. I've got this. I just need to think. Text my husband (also on a business trip). Try not to panic. All will be fine. The sun was shining. I had had an easy drive. This was most definitely not the end of the world.

In a matter of minutes, I had quickly sorted out where I stood. My biggest concern - no identification to check into the hotel. Problem solved very quickly. A colleague brainstormed with me, and taught me how to download the hotel app, log in, and use my phone as my room key. No need to stop at the front desk, no need to produce identification. Wow. Stress-reliever.

I was driving my own car. I keep emergency cash in my glove box. Look. How much? $40. Whew. Even with gas prices high, I knew I could get home on less than $40 if all other things fell into place. I'm a problem solver. I'd figure it out. I texted each person I had a meeting or meal with. Made sure they could pay and cover basic needs. Try to minimize the problem. Stop talking about it. Laugh it off.

It all worked out. I'm home safely. My wallet exactly where I left it. Dogs happy to see me. Life will go on.

Now, I'm off to learn how to set up Apple Pay on my phone...just in case!

If you are following my new weekly posts each Wednesday, this week's blog was supposed to be about using the old-fashioned telephone for prospecting efforts. Don't worry...I'll still post it, just next week. Stay tuned.