Travel Delays: Blessing in Desgise

No one looks forward to hearing that a flight or train is delayed or worse, canceled.  However, harnessing a positive outlook on this unforeseen change in circumstances can be positive if not rewarding.  Before you scoff and think, Pollyanna, and hit “Delete”, consider some of the research on optimism. 


When approaching a travel delay or other such travel frustrations with a positive attitude, you are furthering your life in a much happier and healthier trajectory.  According to research (Maruta, Colligan, Malinchoc, and Offord, 2002), optimistic people have greater life spans.  They also have much higher rates of sleep quality (Howell, et al. 2008).  Optimistic attitudes are linked with immune system protection and produced more antibodies (Kohut, cooper, Nicklaus, Russel, & Cunnick, 2002). Embracing the glass as half full attitude seems to lead to correlate with life satisfaction as well as with greater self-esteem (Lucas, Diener, & Suh, 1996).  

The list goes on and on about the positive benefits of being positive.  Of course, this can be easier said than done.  How does one pass the time at an overcrowded airport?

  • Catch up on email messages and voicemail.

To do lists are demanding.  Use this as a time to catch up without interruptions.  

  • Plan for the future

A staggering 97% of people do not set goals but people who set goals are 50% more likely to achieve them.  Be among the few 3% and use this precious time to think about your year, your life, your next 5 years, what you want, what you and your family want and write them down.  Many in the business have to write meticulously about career goals. Im talking about more than that. 

  • Call up or message an old friend

Your friend from high school, your Great Aunt Audra, a college friend-call them up and say, “Hi”.  They will love to hear from you.

  • Watch a Ted Talk

Not only are these short, less than 20 minutes, but they are strong and brilliant messages.  

  • Watch a movie or show

I’m sure with all the Hollywood choices out there you can find a show or movie that peeks your interest.  Catch up on a show or film.

  • Catch up on a hobby or find a hobby

No, the airport is not a place you can go fly fishing but, you can plan your next fly fishing trip, read up on new gear, and whatever else fly fishing enthusiasts do.  Don’t have a hobby?  Bloody hell-get one and now is the chance.  

  • Read

You can always catch up on your fav blogger, Dana Darling!  Insert cheesy grin.

  • Meditate or pray 

Come on yogis, harness your mindfulness skills and center thyself.  Prefer to pray instead?  This is a perfect time.

  • Take a nap

No, not everyone has the gift to fall asleep on command but can you rest?  Um-the answer is yes.

Okay folks, that’s it for me.  I am writing at the airport awaiting my delayed flight and I have loads to do.

Bon voyage!

Note: This article excludes traveling with small children.  I would rather spend the day getting a root canal than hanging with small, bored and crying children at an airport.  If this is you, I’m send a prayer to the heavens for you.  


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