man in office

Years ago, after spending most of my career on an airplane, I finally had a meltdown. I thought if I have to get on one more flight I’ll kill myself. But then I felt God spoke very clearly to me and said:

“But you have no other skills. This is all you’re good at doing.”

It was a comical moment, it was also a wake up call. So I decided to embrace my travel schedule. I pretty much live in a suitcase, so I bought nice luggage (I recommend Briggs & Riley or Tumi), and so I can work in privacy, I joined the Airline club (for many airlines it can come for free with the right credit card), and changed my thinking.

I embraced my travel schedule because that’s the key to working with the best clients and projects. Essentially, I started investing even more in what was important to me.

Traveling isn’t as glamorous as people tend to think. While I’ve had some amazing experiences, I’ve also stayed in my share of sketchy hotel rooms (in rural Nigeria, I would toss my shoes at the lizards climbing up the wall), and once you’ve flown on airlines like Russia’s Aeroflot (where they served drinks to everyone on the plane from the same six cups) you start to question your decisions.

But honestly, there are very few countries on the planet where if I was stuck, I wouldn’t have a local friend to call. And I’ve managed to ride a camel at the Egyptian pyramids, explore under Israel’s wailing wall, sit in a hotel room looking over the skyline of Seoul, South Korea (photo above), travel to the headwaters of the Amazon River, had breakfast at the thousand year old Tokyo Fish Market, visit Korea’s DMZ, enjoy remarkable cuisine in India, and sample the street food in Istanbul.

Whatever is important to you, make a priority. Don’t wait and don’t scrimp. We only live once, so decide today what’s important, and act on it.

And when I get to the rest home, I’ll have some amazing memories.

If I have a memory left…


This article originally appeared at Phil Cooke, Ph.D. is a media producer and consultant to churches and ministries around the world. His latest book is “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking.” Find out more at


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