5 career lessons learned on the fly

One PR pro discovered that the extra airplane travel was exactly what he needed to find a new perspective. Here’s how this ‘super-commuter’ finds his work/life balance.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time: Relocate my primary residence from New York to Florida in 2005, bounce between Fort Lauderdale and Manhattan and enjoy the benefits of both cities.

The plan was for me to “super commute” for a year.

Almost two million miles and 15 years later, I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

I’ve spent countless hours navigating flight delays and cancelations, and commuting to and from airports, to say nothing of the approximately 3,500 hours (or 146 days) I’ve spent in the air. By the numbers, my roundtrips are the equivalent distance of the earth to the moon just shy of four times.

Numbers aside, my time in the air has been nothing if not instructive. Herewith are the five most valuable lessons I’ve learned while winging it up and down the East Coast.

Regardless of whether you believe Greta Garbo said, “I want to be alone,” or “I want to be let alone,” the lesson is the same. In a world where hyperconnectivity is ubiquitous, alone time is often at a premium. But, at 35,000 feet, where phones don’t ring and emails can be ignored until wheels down, you have a golden opportunity to stow your devices and spend a few hours of quality time on yourself.

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