Finding and living your personal purpose at work every day– STEVEN BOLOS

Working with nationwide property owners means a lot of travel for guys like me. From gold to platinum status, I put in the hours and miles to serve clients across the country. As any frequent traveler knows, there is a big difference between jet setting and jet sitting. Most of the time, it is more sitting than setting.One day, years ago while on a flight from Dallas, Texas, to Irvine, California, I had what I thought to be the worst traveling experience ever. There I was, trapped and confined on the plane while stuck on the tarmac waiting to depart. Although this has happened to many of us travelers over the years, this unusual experience would be long-remembered as my worst.

There I sat squeezed between an older gentleman and a woman. Twenty minutes or so had passed, as we still sat quietly awaiting the captain’s radio announcement of “wheels up.” The woman seated next to me reached under the seat for her purse and pulled out her emergency toenail clippers. My curiosity was short-lived, and to my horror and dismay, she immediately slung one leg over the other and began clipping her toe nails, sending nail clippings flying left and right.

My fear of being pierced in the eye by a flying nail fragment was overshadowed by my shock, along with those around me, of seeing this happen.Since then, I believed that to be my worst travel experience that I would ever encounter.

At least until today. This evening as I was traveling from Phoenix back home to Dallas and blessed to have been bumped up to first class. I sat in my cozy window seat relaxed and excited to have an upgraded experience. All was going well and the experience was everything I’d hoped it to be, until the last 40 minutes of the flight.

Our drinks and food were served, and I savored the sweet,upgraded travel life. Suddenly the gentleman seated behind me in an aisle seat, who had seemingly consumed one too many drinks, began to excrete horrible gastric fumes, one after the other, as if he were a malfunctioning scent machine.

My fellow passengers and I desperately used our cloth napkins as face shields to try and block out the horrendous smell. The bowel bombs kept coming, one after the other as if no end was in sight. At one point, I found myself struggling to keep from vomiting. The entire first-class cabin was cringing and frowning with each excretion, praying for the air circulation to clear the air. This most recent experience is now “by far” the worst experience I’ve ever had while traveling on an airplane.

Traveling for work is not always that fun and first class sometimes stinks. I now have a new worst travel experience, and I hope my travels don’t get any fouler.

Although this has happened to many of us travelers over the years, this unusual experience would be long-remembered as my worst.