Digital Media Center
Bryant-Denny Stadium, Gate 61
920 Paul Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0370
(800) 654-4262

© 2024 Alabama Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cam Marston on Getting Back to His Old Routine

My travel schedule is beginning to pick up again, and that’s very good news. My revenue depends largely on me going to see my clients. I had once loved getting seated on a flight and ordering a frozen crème de menthe frappe with extra light whip cream when the flight attendant and the drink cart came by. I’d watch their face go from confusion to laughter. It’s my signature drink order wherever I go. This fun has largely stopped since 2020.

Right now, my travel calendar for the next six weeks: Key West, Las Vegas, Charleston, and Chicago. I’m excited but, mostly, I’m grateful, which I’ll explain in a moment.

I used to could pack my suitcase blindfolded. I knew down to the minute when to leave for the airport. It was so routine. A few weeks ago, though, as I was packing my bag, I felt like was living another man’s life that I vaguely remember. It was familiar yet unfamiliar all at the same time. I was worried about being late to the airport. I repeatedly double checked my travel details. I had to laugh. Returning to travel was NOT like climbing on a bike again. I was having to relearn how to do it.

Of the things I enjoy about travel, two of them stand out right now: First, travel forces me out of my routines. It makes me uncomfortable for a little while, and I think that’s a good thing. Even staying in a fancy hotel requires new routines, requires expansion of my comfort zone. I have to remember how to get along with strangers, how to rely on other people. Getting out of my routines is uncomfortable, but, at the same time, there’s excitement to it. It feels good. Routines turn into ruts if we don’t get out of them from time to time.

The other great thing about travel is coming home to my routines, knowing that my routines are there waiting for me. My wonderful secret blend of coffee in my favorite coffee cup. My early morning music from my favorite radio station. My kids stumbling in for breakfast. The dog coming to me for a scratch. I love them and I know they’ll be waiting for me - when I get home.

The personal growth experts say that change is necessary for any sort of growth. We can’t become more, better, or different if we don’t change in some way. And maybe they’re right. When my travel stopped in March of 2020, I was forced to make some significant changes that now, looking back, have made me a different and, I think, better person. My daily routines provided a little bit of cushion from the extraordinary uncertainty and fear that these forced changes had brought on. I’m so much more grateful and appreciative of the upcoming work like I’ve never been before.

And I’ll soon be asking another flight attendant for a frozen crème de menthe frappe with extra light whip cream.

I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep It Real.

Cam Marston is the Keepin' It Real host for Alabama Public Radio.