In my previous post, I talked about stepping out of my comfort zone by traveling with UNR classmates to Australia, along with the benefits of travel for personal growth and self-reliance. I learned a lot about myself and others on this trip, and the most significant take away was the importance of attitude.
The travel group was split into two flights, with ten of us flying from Reno to Los Angeles and then to Sydney. Some of us had never traveled “alone”, some had never traveled internationally, and most of us had never met each other before. As our flight was further and further delayed, our chances of making it to our Sydney flight became slimmer. We all seemed a little frustrated and anxious, but once we got on the first flight we had hopes that we could still make it. As we arrived at LAX close to 10:45 pm we were told we missed our connecting flight by two minutes. TWO minutes! The next flight out wasn’t until the following day at 10pm and United Airlines gave us four hotel rooms for the 10 of us strangers for the night. This was the time when everyone was going to have a melt down for sure.
Luckily, at orientation for the program, we all talked about the importance of “going with the flow”. This could have been a time where we became divided, uncomfortable, angry, and sad because we would miss the first day of class in the Blue Mountains National Park, where we all were looking forward to visiting the most. Surprisingly, a few people had a positive attitude and a calm sense of what to do next, which became contagious, and instead of pouting about a bad situation, we all remained positive and made the best of it because we were all in this together.
Since we were all stranded for a day in Los Angeles until our flight at 10:45pm, some of us went shopping, visited the Santa Monica Pier, and genuinely made the best out of a whole day that we were supposed to be in Sydney. We all had shared an experience that allowed us to get to know each other and connect on a level that we may not have otherwise.
When we finally arrived in Sydney, dubbed the “Terrible Ten”, we met up with the rest of our classmates, and all stuck together and laughed about the unfortunate luck of our travels. We all went in together as somewhat strangers, and came out of it as friends. Everyone’s relentless dedication to staying positive and going with the flow turned a situation that could have been a horrible experience, into a fun adventure that led to friendships that I hope to have for a long time. Attitude is everything, and although sometimes it feels out of our control, we have all of the power to determine how a situation or a person will affect us. Attitude directs our thoughts, energy and the actions we take, and once we realize the power we have to control our attitudes, we are more in control of our lives.
Where before I was uncomfortable flying alone, or traveling with strangers, I now feel confident in my ability to do it again and to have a level head and good attitude when things go wrong. I encourage everyone to be conscious of your attitude, especially in tough situations, and think about how you can make the best out of your situation. It may change your outlook, your experiences and might even help someone else get through a difficult situation.