The streets of Karol Bagh during the weekly night market. Photograph from my apartment balcony.

Five Things Travel Taught Me About Business

My career started in the travel industry after college and I built up a company’s India operations nearly from scratch, then helped build out operations in new countries across Asia. At times, I wasn’t sure if business was teaching me how to travel, or travel was teaching me how to do business. If you’ve been to India, you know negotiation is cutthroat, and my prime example was a three day stand off in the Delhi offices of a major Indian Airline after they decided to change a quoted fare for hundreds of group seats that would blow my margins out of the water. They claimed there was an error, but I eventually got them to honor the original fares after those long, very hot days. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to 6 of 7 continents and experience life in places like Bangkok and Delhi, stroll the beaches of Fiji and the Cayman Islands, learn to surf in Costa Rica, not-so-luckily be chased by Burmese Military through the Kachin state, and catch Malaria in the remote villages of Burkina Faso. Here are a few of the lessons I have learned and hopefully there are a few takeaways that will help you:

When deer hunting season and early season skiing crossover. Missoula, MT. Photo by Scott Poniewaz.

Parents, Let Your Kids Become Ski Bums

I remember clearly my first day on the rope tow at the age of 13, when my parents finally succumbed to my pressure and let me go skiing. It was a beautiful day, the snow was freshly groomed corduroy and from first glide, I knew I would never want to stop. I did laps and eventually made it up the chairlift and skied almost every square inch of the 300 vertical feet of Tyrol Basin. The following year I got a season pass, and after that, quickly worked my way into a ski instructor role. Before I was 18, the age the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) requires for holding the Level II exam, I had found a way to complete and pass the Level II tests, but had to wait several months for it to be official when I finally had my birthday.