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go first

When it comes to an entire day airline travel, I don’t know if our trek from Martinique to LA could have been too much better. We started off the journey by being ferried to the Fort de France airport by our friend Steve, which was much better than taking the taxi as we had initially planned. Our connections worked out perfectly, our flights were on time, and in fact, I think we may have even arrived in LA ahead of schedule. Our daughter Cass was there to pick us up shortly after we retrieved our bags from the carousel, and the traffic for the drive home was, as you’d hope it would be at that time of the morning, pretty much non-existent. On top of all that, aside from the one immigration official at the Martinique airport, every airline employee that we came in contact with was friendly and courteous*. Short of being beamed from spot to spot by a Star Trek transporter, or possibly receiving a free upgrade to business class with complimentary champagne, I don’t know how it could have been much better.


Outside an LAX terminal just after midnight.

*One thing that I picked up from Tim Ferris’ book Tools of Titans is the idea of “going first.” What that essentially reminds us to do is to be the first one to say hello when we meet someone new, or at least be the first person to smile when coming in contact with another individual. Most people, when presented with courtesy and friendliness, will respond in kind, including officials who sometimes seem to be trained to act in an opposite manner. I try my best to remember to do this, and I do think that it has a positive effect on how our interactions with others work out.


  1. Safe travels!
    My wife is always holding her breath as I strike up conversatioms. The comedian Steven Wright tells a story about how his father made them stand in the middle of the living room as a group staring straight ahead and not talking for a minute. His dad called it elevator practice. I am totally the opposite and no matter who the person is I will try to make them smile.
    The only time I fail is when we go out and I pretend to pick up my wife in a bar… I don’t end up going home alone is a mystery

    • You have to be careful with Customs and Immigration people though. Many have had their humor gland removed. No jokes for them.

  2. A Friendly Smile Never Hurts..
    Sounds like you’re on your way on your next Adventure on a good note– Looking forward to Reading about it..

    May “Frost” Stay safe while you’re away..

    Play Safe Kids..

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