Tonight late we head back to the mainland and with a change in planes in Phoenix I will be home tomorrow afternoon. Travel is amazing.

People in airports amaze me. They are very interesting to watch. It is ususally easy to pick out those who are heading home and those who are on their way somewhere. Some are calm and obviously comfortable with the ebb and flow of checking in, going through security, finding your gate, waiting, lining up and loading the plane. They settle in and enjoy or ignore the flight crew instructions, the take off, the service, the announcements and the landing. They patiently file off the plane and wait for their luggage and then they are gone.

Other people are intimidated by everything that is going on. They don’t seem to know where to be when. They ask the gate personnel and the flight crew a million questions. They get up and down out of their seats alot. They order things the flight crew doesn’t have. You just know that they are not familiar with traveling.

I have traveled more than some and less than others but on the road I have learned that a good traveler has six characteristics.

The Good Traveler is generous, giving up a seat, helping someone else put their oversized luggage in the overhead bin and explaining the routine to others. Generousity always makes the journey more pleasant as we learn to let go of what we don’t need to help our fellow travelers.

Good travelers are disciplined. They have the discipline to keep going against all odds and they have packed exactly what they need in their kit each time that they leave home. They know when to sleep to avoid becoming overtired and are generally ready for anything.

Good travelers have patience. They listen to instructions that they have heard a million times before. They have the patience to stay put if they have to without getting ruffled and to put up with minor inconveniences of all sort with the goal of reaching their destination clearly in mind.

Good Travelers have a joyful enthusiasm for discovering new places or returning to familiar places with new eyes. They talk story with fellow travelers and share experiences gladly. They understand that the journey is the thing and enjoying it is the first step in creating good memories.

Good travelers have courage and curiouslty in good measure. Their curiousty keeps them aware of what is going on around them and gets them interested in their fellow travelers. Their courage lets them ask questions rather than take things for granted or suffer in silence when things go awry. They have the courage to step forward if someone calls for a volunteer or step into the unknown with quiet confidence.

I believe that travelers have these characteristics and if they don’t they acquire them on the way. I have had many occasions where the trip I had planned turned into the trip from hell with canceled flights and six hour layovers and if I didn’t have those characteristics before, traveling has taught me to be generous and disciplined, patient and enthusiastic, curious and courageous and those characteristics will make tonight’s travel more pleasant then it might have been otherwise.

Aloha to the big island and all the fellow travelers we have met here.