Travel - The Ultimate Team Sport
Travel helps us appreciate the importance of teamwork, while providing plenty of chances to develop and practice good sportsmanship.
Remember the 'good ole' days' when your parents advised you (or when you spoke authoritatively with your kids) about the positive ways team sports can help build strong character? On yesteryears' front porches and across kitchen tables everywhere, essential life skills like patience, self-confidence, and respect for others were causally linked with children's participation in organized games such as soccer, baseball, volleyball, or basketball.
On a parallel track with team sports, travel is a mutually cooperative enterprise that helps folks of all ages stay active and engaged. Travel also helps us appreciate the importance of teamwork, while providing plenty of chances to develop and practice good sportsmanship.
Following are six solid reasons why traveling qualifies as the ultimate team sport...
Adapting with patience
Even in the most generously-sized hotel rooms, rental condos, cruise ship cabins or RVs, there's a constant element of give and take when you're sharing finite space with one (or two or more) other people on a 24/7 basis. When you factor in the distraction potentials of a heavy snorer, a non-stop chatterbox, indecisive menu browsers, and/or a weeks' worth of steady rain, travel presents ample opportunities to master the skills of patience and adaptation. Here's a rule of thumb to travel by… The longer the vacation and the more time you spend rubbing elbows with your traveling companions, the more patience you're likely to develop.
While it's true that sitting on the bench through six innings of baseball can teach vital lessons about patience, it's even more likely that a full-capacity bus tour of a sprawling city will have the same effect, while providing a 'grand slam' fun factor.
It's self-affirming to imagine a dream vacation. And it's even more rewarding when you plan your route, organize an itinerary, gather the requisite gear, line up your travel team players, and make the getaway happen. In football, it's a confidence-booster to kick a field goal. In the realm of travel, rolling out of your driveway or lifting off from an airport runway at the start of a dream trip equals a touchdown in the self-esteem arena. Bonus point… most trips last longer than football games.
Respecting your travel companions' requests and preferences–as related to personal space, quiet hours, menus, activities, and other opinion-related issues–is a basic rule of the travelers' game. Just as on a tennis court, it's instructive to volley ideas with open minds and show a little love and R-E-S-P-E-C-T for your fellow vacationers.
It's self-affirming to imagine a dream vacation. And it's even more rewarding when you plan your route, organize an itinerary, gather the requisite gear, line up your travel team players, and make the getaway happen.
On most successful journeys, participants learn to divide and conquer the inevitable daily chore lists. Traveling is a natural learning lab for lessons in cooperation, so you won't need to sign on a basketball coach to help you sort out the fundamentals of teamwork.
Any trip by land, air or sea requires completion of many of the daily chores you handle at home - on a limited, more manageable scale. No matter where you are –on a basketball court or at a resort–it's always wise to delegate work according to individual abilities and interests. That's how team members learn to rely on each other (and on themselves) to accomplish all the 'have-tos' in a given game. Travelers face lots of mundane tasks, from choosing restaurants to managing dirty laundry to performing routine auto maintenance on the road. After the 'have-to-dos' are slam-dunked, it's time for you and yours to share ideas about the 'want-to-do' options that make traveling a free-spirited, energizing, full-court experience.
Like a game of soccer or hockey, the practice of travel is awash with goals waiting to be scored–where and how to travel, when to make reservations for flights, rental cars, zip-line tours or resorts, what clothes and gear to take with you so you'll be well-prepared for the upcoming adventure, and what to do when you reach your destination. For example, if everyone on your travel team sets a goal of 'packing smart,' you're likely to be happy, high- scoring tourists. When it comes to packing for a car trip, flight or train excursion, the things you don't take might have a greater impact on your overall comfort and ease than what you actually choose to pack. All travel team members should aim to pack lightly, pack thoughtfully, and keep the riff-raff out of their duffel bags. Less is almost always more in the realm of luggage. Chances are your grandkids' soccer coach won't share this goal-scoring tip with you.
Building a sense of community
Are you committed to strengthening the team spirit and sense of fair play within your unique circle of family and friends? To experience the true value of teamwork on an ever-changing playing field, make plans to travel together!
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"Travel - The Ultimate Team Sport"
Paula Loehr, R.N., B.A., worked in the fields of community health and nursing education, and was a school health nurse at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels before becoming a fulltime journalist. Her writing specialties include family tr...