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The Turf Doc: Down and out in the terminal

By |  July 23, 2014 0 Comments

5913398084_bafef5c20b_nI have been fortunate to be able to travel both nationally and internationally for most of my professional life. Travel can be both enjoyable and unenjoyable at the same time.

I thought I would provide some insight about the good and bad aspects of travel. Actually, I’m writing this column while I’m traveling overseas, so my awareness and sense of travel are at their keenest, which means that they will get me in trouble… with just about everyone.

Many of these suggestions or tips are not all mine, but are worth sharing.

On the home front

The trouble with travel starts with the moment you have to tell your spouse. And I will say this is not a male or female thing; it is simply about the person who is staying home while the other is gone. I know many of you think that your spouse supports you, understands and appreciates your sacrifice. But I’m sorry, I have a hard time believing that a spouse that is home alone with kids, who are probably throwing up around the house, is concerned with you having a “great experience.”

I once asked a colleague years ago, at a time when the only way to communicate with your spouse was by a landline phone, how he could keep track of time zones and such to call home at the appropriate time. His response was that once he left, he never called home. I asked why and he said, “Have you ever called home and it has been good news?” He continued, “if something happens they can see it on CNN.”

Given that the world we now live in is one of increased technology, my suggestion would be not to post pictures of you smiling and having an exciting time. Exotic landscape shots are also out unless you have “un-friended” your spouse.

Conversely, taking your husband or wife on a business trip requires a creative balance. If you pay too much attention to your spouse so that they have a good time, they may think you don’t really do much on these trips.

On the other hand, if you do not spend enough time they could get quickly bored, which leads to another set of issues.

Other tips

When traveling through Charles de Gaulle airport (Paris) try to do it on weekends. The French tend to go on work stoppages or “labor strikes” during the week. They are less likely to do it on a weekend because it is a day off, minimizing any flight cancellations or delays.

On international travel always register your trip with the U.S. State Department’s website Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP). This way if something happens to you, the government can help you in a timely fashion. In addition, you receive email alerts regarding travel hotspots that you need to be aware of. Invariably the email alerts seem to apply to where you are traveling.

If you are required to fill out an immigration card, fill it out early in the flight. Waiting to the end when you have flown all night makes answering the questions difficult because of blurry eyesight. Making a mistake on those questions guarantees that you will be sitting in a small immigration office with a Styrofoam cup filled with water. That cup of water is a good sign that you will be there for half the day.

Whether you travel a lot or hardly at all, enjoy each trip for what it is because over the years you will not remember the hassles and problems, only the good things.

The best part of travel is being at the destination. Meeting people globally and sharing experiences that you thought would not be possible creates memories that will last a lifetime.

Photo: Greg Lilly Photos / Foter / Creative Commons


This is posted in Columns, Research

About the Author: Karl Danneberger, Ph.D.

Karl Danneberger, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of horticulture and crop science at The Ohio State University. He is author of the popular The Turf Doc column that appears monthly in Golfdom. Karl writes on topics ranging from Poa annua to pest control.

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