CruiseWorld 2014 and My Multi-Modal Transportation Adventure

It's just about 6 weeks til I make my way to Fort Lauderdale for CruiseWorld 2014.  The current plan is to catch a ride by car to Rancho Cucamonga, jump on the MetroLink rail to Union Station, grab a bus to LAX and fly to Ft Lauderdale.  The return trip, starting the 8th of November, will entail a cab to the Amtrak station in Fort Lauderdale to get on the Silver Meteor to Washington, D.C., spend the day wandering around the Smithsonian, then the Capitol Limited to Chicago for another day of walking about and finally the Southwest Chief from Chicago to Victorville, which should get me home about 4:30 am on the 12th.  So...car, train, bus, airplane, taxi, taxi, train, train, train, car.

Sadly, none of the trip is by boat, or I really would have all the bases covered.

In the middle there, I will be staying 3 days in Fort Lauderdale and attending my favorite travel conference.  This is the one put on by NorthStar Publishing (Travel Weekly and Travel Age West).  Several days of meetings and seminars, some of the best trainers in the industry, as well as the CEO's and other executives of most of the major cruise lines, and an afternoon expo with a couple hundred suppliers putting their travel wares on display.

 And this year, not just attending, but presenting one of the break out sessions, and participating in a panel thang as well.  I am not sure what possessed me to volunteer for this gig, but there you go!  I have spent the last few weeks putting together what I hope will be a fantastic set of powerpoint slides, outlined my thoughts, recorded it a few times...so I am as ready as I can be, I suppose.

Here's a thing you may not know about me:  I have a serious love/hate relationship with public speaking and performing.  With a band, it's not too bad, because you have the other members up there with you.  Performing solo is just nerve wracking.  And public speaking (and I know, I've done plenty.  From daily meetings with 12 or 15 sales people to speaking to a crowd of 50,000 at Jack Murphy stadium, back in the day), is about the same...I am a bundle of nerves for days beforehand.  BUT (and this is the big BUT), the rush once you get started, and find your groove, is better than any drug.  And getting the positive feedback afterwards, finding out you've actually touched people in some way?  Awesome!

I know I'll be having nightmares of standing in front of the class with no pants on, or being lost and unable to get to my appointment.  It goes with the territory.  And after enough times, when you wake up from those, you can remind yourself that you're going to love it, once you get started.


and, of course, I'll be daily posting about the whole adventure here, if you want to tag along.