Driving on I-95 from Jacksonville to south Florida for the second time in about 10 days, I happened to hear Johnny Cash’s version of the song, “I’ve Been Everywhere” (released in 1996) and did the song ever ring true! In our trial consulting work, we go where the clients and cases are. This has taken us to 26 states and, as we are Florida based experts, we have worked in 50 of the 67 Florida counties, as well as all of the Federal court districts. And, as a part of my courthouses photography project, I’ve been to all of the courthouses in the state, many, more than once. But, in the last month the traveling song was apropos because of our recent “educate lawyers tour.” Starting a few weeks back, we have done a series of continuing education programs. It started with 3 days at a law firm in West Palm Beach. The next week we spent 4 days in Gainesville as part of the Florida Bar’s annual Advanced Trial Advocacy program. The following week was spent in Orlando for a firm holding their large all lawyers and clients meeting, followed by a short trip to Jacksonville (the first of 2). The next week we were in Atlanta for 3 days to visit with clients and prospects there, as well as 2 of my professors from Georgia Tech. The next week, it was back to Jacksonville for a program with a client’s firm there – a seminar and open house. In one month, there were 12 nights in hotels, thousands of miles in the car, and a couple of flights. Not all that abnormal in the scheme of things – traveling is a part of our job, but driving up or down I-95 4 times so close in time when “I’ve Been Everywhere” came on really hit home. I haven’t been everywhere Johnny Cash went in his long career, but I know my way around Florida! We know where to find good food along the way, we know the location of rest areas, the construction zones, cross over points to the Turnpike, and the service plazas on the Turnpike. We remember the sights we’ve seen along the way – like the space shuttle launch we saw driving through Brevard County. We remember driving in a hurricane (that may be another song) – coming back from a client seminar. I don’t think I can rhyme the names of the cities we’ve covered like the writer of the Johnny Cash song did – but I’ve been everywhere man – and where I haven’t been, I look forward to going. It is part of our work, and the marketing of our work. It is how we spread the word, meet new people and see “old” friends and clients. It can be tiring, but it is an adventure. An adventure including Jacksonville, St. Johns, Fruit Cove, Switzerland, Orangedale, Elwood, St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Flagler Beach, Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Spruce Creek, New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Creighton, Titusville, Port St. John, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Rockledge, Viera, Palm Bay, Sebastian, Fellsmere, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Palm City, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Juno Beach, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Greenacres, Lantana, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Coconut Creek, and finally, Pompano Beach. I’ve probably missed a few, but you get the idea.
Although I haven’t been everywhere, I’ve been almost everywhere, at least in the U.S.A. My traveling days began in childhood, when my parents and I took long road trips every summer for our vacation. All of my teachers knew about my dad’s penchant for traveling, thus, when school began each fall, I was asked to tell my classmates where I had been on my summer vacation. There was no one, I repeat, no one, among my classmates who could match (not to mention, exceed) my family’s vacation experiences. In fact, by the time I was 12, I had traveled across the 48 states in the continental U.S.A., as well as Mexico and Canada, not once but twice. In adulthood, I have traveled to Alaska and Hawaii, completing my tour of my homeland. I have also been to many countries outside the U.S.A. and, on numerous occasions, have taken multiple modes of transportation (such as an airplane, train, boat/water taxi, taxi, airport shuttle, private car service/limo, and my personal car) in one day. When some people say they are nervous about flying in an airplane, or have never been in a taxi for fear of being kidnaped, or other naive things, I reply, “Get over it. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt, got the coffee mug, etc. so many times and look at me. Here I am, alive and well!” Yes, I’ve been everywhere and then more, but I am still traveling for business and pleasure. Check out the lyrics to the song, “I’ve Been Everywhere” and see how many places you’ve been. See how many places you need to go in order to say you’ve been everywhere. I guarantee you will learn more from going places yourself than by listening to me tell you where I’ve been!