It was my first ever official race and I wanted that third place ribbon (it was yellow and yellow was - and is - my favourite colour) more than I wanted a Teddy Ruxpin. Mrs Lacey, our kindergarten teacher, had hung the ribbons up for a full week before the sports carnival and I stared so hard at the yellow ribbon, that I’m convinced I missed out on some crucial life lessons.
“Just keep your eye on the finish line and run,” Dad had said as he walked me to the starting line.
I was off to a great start, I kept my eye on Mrs Lacey and Mrs Fitzpatrick, who each held the end of a long red ribbon. I could hear my dad shouting. I was in the front. But suddenly, Priscilla Martinello and her incredibly long legs were in front of me. I could hear the others stomping behind. I looked back. And there they all were, red faced and pushing forward. I kept running, but I also kept turning back. Paula Can’t-Remember-Her-Last-Name was now in front of me. Again I looked back — and ran right into Mrs Lacey, who laughed and told me I had come third.
Not everyone wants to come third. But everyone has a competitor.
When I first started travelling for work in the travel industry, I soon got to know my competitors more than my colleagues. They were all a great bunch of people who just happened to be working for someone else.
Occasionally, I’d have a look at what they were doing or to see if they took the same angle to the story I wrote, but as the years past and I got more experienced, I just kept looking forward. Some of them are doing amazing things, but there are others caught up in a race I didn’t know we were still in. They assume we’re looking back at what they’re doing and instead reveal just how much they’re looking at us.
So to the travel industry as a whole, competitors or not, now, more than ever, we need to work together, to share our knowledge and raise everyone up.
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