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I have a cure for the “Eli Travel Curse”

Dear Reader,

IMG_0370If you are a speaker in the PHP community, you know about “The Eli Travel Curse”. For everyone else, basically we all know that you never ever travel on the same flight as Eli White. Heck, most of us won’t share a cab with him to the airport, and we get nervous if we see him at an adjacent gate, or even traveling on the same day. :) This makes traveling to PHP conferences tough because Eli is a beloved fixture at most conferences. Dont get me wrong, we all love Eli, but he has the absolute worst luck in traveling.

I’m happy to say that I have a cure for those who are “Eli adjacent” when traveling. The picture above is my magic talisman.

WAIT! Before you realize you recognize what it is and rush out to get yours, this is a special talisman that can’t be simply purchased off the shelf. Yes, this is the talisman that comes on most bottles of Pyrat Rum. However, this particular one is off a bottle of Pyrat rum given to me by Eli himself.

Eli and I share a couple of common points in our job timeline. The first one was that I preceded him as the Editor-in-Chief for Zends DevZone. As a thank you for some small pieces of advice I gave him while he was at Zend, Eli presented me with a bottle of Pyrat Rum at ZendCon 2009; this is the talisman from that bottle. I’ve had this talisman hanging on every backpack or bag I carry with me since then. I keep it with me to remind me of this important lesson.

No matter who asks you, and no matter how insignificant you think your help is, you have no idea how much or little affect others when you help them. So help everyone you can, as often as you can.

Since I hung this little gift from Eli on my backpack, my travel woes have been cut significantly.

  • I’ve not had a flight canceled
  • I’ve not been stuck in a strange city
  • I’ve only had a handful of flights delayed…way down from pre-talisman days

Now you can attribute all of this to the fact that the airline industry is getting better at service. You can say it’s because I now primarily fly Southwest and they have a very good track record. Me? I know the real answer.


  1. I would have never received my magical talisman if I hadn’t been willing to help a friend when he asked. Since then I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be a friend, I do my best to help everyone who asks…and a few who don’t.
  2. If you want to be safe in your travels, you gotta get Eli to give you a bottle of rum. :)

Helping people, it cured the Eli travel curse for me! :)

Until Next Time,
I <3 |<

p.s. Pyrat Rum is now one of my favorite rums of all times. Good stuff if you can find it.