My first day of travelling has highlighted something that I’m definitely going to have to work on – patience.

Arriving at the airport in plenty of time (three and a half hours early) to find that I’d have to spend an hour and half before I could check in seemed like a minor inconvenience – and it actually worked out as a bonus, as it gave time for a good farewell with a friend who had come with me. However from then on, the world seemed to want to put me on trial. After boarding the plane in Manchester, the pilot informed us that poor weather in Heathrow was going to delay our flight by half an hour – not a huge problem, as I would still have about 30 minutes to connect with my next flight, and in the meantime I had a book to read. After the thirty minutes, however, the pilot came on the PA again to let us know that ‘minor electrical problems’ had surfaced, and they were going to have to try an advanced troubleshooting technique known as ‘turn it off, and turn it on again’. The entire plane. Engines, lights, the works. This would take twenty minutes. Now I was beginning to get a bit worried – I was most likely going to miss my connection. The traditional tension started to build, and every few minutes I was having to consciously relax my back and shoulders. When the flight finally took off an hour and a half late, my connection definitely missed, I released that being tense wasn’t going to help – I’d get the next flight instead, and everything would be fine.

At Heathrow, the queue for the connections desk was understandably busy – it took a further 45 minutes to have my rebooking confirmed, and then I could move on into the terminal building. Chilling out was high on my agenda, and I spent a while sauntering idly – looking at the ridiculously overpriced shops and food, munching on some sushi, and feeling the stress ooze away. Boarding the next flight was pain free, but then the plane just sat on the stand for another 45 minutes. The mutterings of impatience from various fellow passengers rose in volume as time went on, and again I felt the stress building.

Finally, I got it – there’s no point getting wound up, tense, and agitated by this stuff. I’m not have a week-long holiday delayed, where arriving late means that I lose some valuable time off – I have months of time. If a journey is delayed, I should take advantage of the delay – do some reading, talk to people, take the time where I am. Overall, ditch the stress – that should be left in the past, its not something I’m taking travelling with me.

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