What does a day in the life look like?
This past week, my lawyer commented to me, “I don’t know how you do it or even keep straight what time zone you are in.” during our first meeting. “Every time I spoke to you,” he said, “it appeared you were in a different state.” This same week, I had another friend comment on a Facebook post about my various travels and “wasn’t it too much.” For me, there is nothing as too much travel, even when it runs me ragged like this past week. In fact, the experiences I go through are exactly why you want someone like me to be in your pocket when you travel.
This week, I had to do the proverbial “planes, trains, and automobiles” when at the last moment the closing on my new home in New Jersey was ready to be executed only within 24 hours of me needing to be on my way to Charlotte, North Carolina for meetings. Mind you, when this call came through, it was the end of the business day on Tuesday, and I was at my parent’s home in Vermont. I had travel arrangements for Thursday and Friday to be in North Carolina and a complimentary planning session at 2 pm for clients on Wednesday. I agreed I could make it to the closing if it were the last appointment of the day, knowing it was at least a 3-hour drive from my folks into New Jersey. I then worked on getting a hotel near the Newark airport and making schedule changes with my friend, who would pick me up on Thursday in Charlotte. She is one of the many people through this crazy move that has been involved in lending me a helping hand. So, with new travel arrangements in place, I left Wednesday morning for New Jersey.
Now the drive is typically 3 hours, but we always recommend you allow extra time when you are heading to the airport because it is inevitable that something will go wrong when you have a limited amount of time. Well, that is exactly what happened to me as I ran into the lovely summer construction delays. The saving graces were the blue tooth and the navigation system (though I must say sometimes I really don’t like her). It became clear that I would not make my hotel in time to change or make my call to my client from the lobby’s comfort before meeting my agent at the condo for the final walkthrough. As 2 pm arrived, I dialed my client because I did not want to cancel on such short notice. Once we were connected, I explained the unusual circumstances and then found an exit to pull off into a quiet neighborhood and discuss Australia with them. I felt the call went well, even though I could not apologize enough for my strange circumstances, and agreed I would follow up by an email from the hotel that evening. Once we finished our chat, I quickly called the realtor to let her know my time situation. I was now a good 30 minutes or more behind once the navigation system rerouted me from my original destination to now go straight to the new home.
Fortunately, I didn’t run into any additional delays other than the tolls. ( Note to anyone making US driving trips: Buy the EZPASS or IPASS for your vehicle. It will save tons of time and on my list of priorities once I am in the home.) I arrived at the new condo at quarter past 3. We did a quick walkthrough to check on the home inspection repairs. Then, we were off to the closing. For the most part, the closing went as planned, and I left the offices for my hotel. Now, here is where life gets a bit interesting. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the interstate and route systems in New Jersey, but they are a bit different with their whole “U-Turn” system. Despite my lovely GPS lady, I missed the hotel and had to figure out how to navigate these “U-Turns” to get myself back on track. The parking lot security guard chuckled as I arrived and said, “Even though you passed us 8 times, you haven’t broken the record.”
A great thing I discovered about the Wyndham Garden Hotel I was staying at was they offered airport parking even if you were not returning to the hotel as a guest. After my evening experience with the “U-Turns,” I decided not to risk it in the morning by attempting to make my way from the hotel to an airport parking lot. One thing to note is that the shuttle from the hotel to the airport only runs on the 1/2 hour and drops you at a point at the airport that then requires the riding of the AirTran to get you to your terminal. (Be sure to allow enough extra time for the shuttle, train, checking-in, and security.)
Fortunately, I was up and downstairs, ready to leave with lots of extra time to catch my mid-morning flight. This was a good thing because, besides the shuttle delay, you have to make sure you get on the AirTran in the right direction for your terminal. Yes, I wasn’t paying attention to the signs and did an extra stop or two to get to my terminal. (See, I make mistakes, so you don’t have to.) Once the train drops you at your terminal, you will have to do a bit of walking actually to get to the check-in point. (Never be too shy to ask a stranger or airport employee for assistance.)
The rest of the trip went off without a hitch. Returning to Newark, riding the AirTran, catching the shuttle, and driving my car back to Vermont was a long but easy day. Now, most of my travels go much smoother than this, but isn’t it nice to know I am out there regularly trying these scenarios out and sometimes making mistakes, so you don’t have to? A big part of what I offer you is the “been there done that,” because why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to? Your career “road warriors” know what I am talking about. Safe travels!