Russ Batenhorst Dreaming dreams of vacations to come

Today’s topic comes to us courtesy of that often-dreaded bastion of the business world — the meeting. From the smallest of mom and pop operations to the large corporate conglomerates, I’m guessing pretty much of all us have gone to meetings.

There are first-of-the-year goal-setting meetings, middle-of-the-year progress report meetings, end-of-the-year evaluation meetings and a whole lot more whenever needed.

If you get a new boss at work, there’s a good chance there’s a meeting in your near future. New product coming out? Have a meeting. Old product being discontinued? Have a meeting. Been accused of calling too many meetings? Make it a “training session.” But you’re not fooling anyone, it’s a meeting. Better yet, call it a “team meeting” to give all in attendance that feeling of belonging.

Veterans of giving and attending meetings will know that there seems to be just one way to start a meeting: You have to have an icebreaker. Those are the little activities at the start aimed at getting things rolling.

There are the old standards: Tell us something no one in the room knows about you. Give three statements about yourself — two truths and a lie — and we’ll guess the lie. If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why? We’ve heard them all.

So, along those lines, I’ll give you a topic today. Think of it as an icebreaker for the weekend. Something to throw around during halftime of the game Saturday when you’re done arguing about who should be the starting quarterback. This comes from a meeting I was at this week. I will warn you, this one ran a little long. Either that or else the boss had nothing planned for the first hour and decided to just let it live a life of its own.

Anyway, if you could travel anywhere in the world, what would be your top six destinations? Talk amongst yourselves.

Oh, OK, I’ll go first.

My first pick was the easy one of the group, Ireland. My wife went there before we were married and had nothing but great things to say. Other family members and friends have gone since. It’s a land of heritage for both of our families. Even with a lot of my travels focused on the United States, it’s a foreign destination that has made it to the top of my list.

Since we both want to go there — me for the first time, my wife for a longer visit than she was able to have the first time — we’re planning to go for our 20th anniversary. Oops, too late. Make it the 25th anni … umm, missed that one, too. Surely for our 30th … Wait, that just happened.

Well, someday!

As I said this at our meeting, there were nods of agreement within the room of others with Ireland in their top six. As we worked around the room listing one country at a time, themes began to form. One didn’t have a place on their list that didn’t include a tropical beach. The history buffs offered variety, but there seemed to be a consensus for ancient and biblical destinations.

For another, it would be a European tour of World War II sites. There were the more easily attainable: a lakeside cabin in the Colorado Rockies. And the not as easy to get to: One guy listed the bottom of the ocean.

One smart aleck (and amazingly not me) pointed out they’ve been to the bottom of the ocean and stood on it. I think this guy wanted to get more than 10 feet off the beach, though. Think Atlantis deep.

Dreams have been a common theme for us at work this year. Some have been more difficult to express than others, but everyone seems to have travel dreams.

How about you? What are your top six? Remember, anywhere in the world.

By the way, the others I listed off the top of my head were Italy, New York City (again and once a year), the South Pole, the Holy Land and, well, I was the World War II Europe guy.

Saturday, I’ll settle for Lincoln, but you can always dream.

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