Written on November 14, 2013…
I’m writing this while rumbling along the less-than-perfect-this-is-why-we-can’t-have-a-bullet-train CSX tracks in northern New Jersey on the Acela train. I’m on my way home from my something-th (I’ve lost count) & last (scheduled) business trip of the past year.
It started in Orlando last October & ended today in New York City. Of course, it wasn’t all time on the road: during that same time period we bought a house, hosted our first Christmas, laid my grandmother to rest, turned 31 & celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. B & I snuck in a cruise in August, a trip to Vermont over Labor Day, a weekend in Philly in September & (squeezed in between two business trips) a belated anniversary trip to Toronto. Geeze, no wonder I’m tired.
Business travel is like anything: the grass is always greener. When you’re not doing it, you have wanderlust. When you are doing it, you can’t think of anything better than being back at your home base. But anyone that argues that business travel is “real” travel is fooling themselves. Sitting in a Homewood Suites in suburban St. Louis on a Saturday night, eating a cold club sandwich & trying to finish a memo isn’t travel (this was me, in May). If you travel a lot for business, the cities & hotels all kind of start to blend together at some point – it’s working, just from a different location.
It sounds like I’m complaining. Maybe I am. I know, though, that I’m lucky. I have a job. That challenges me in ways I never thought possible. That has introduced me to people I never would have met otherwise. That has forced me to grow in ways I never anticipated. That taught me how to do math. And contracts. And staffing. And management. And a million other hard PR-type things that I never had heard of until they landed on my desk.
I have a spouse, B. He keeps our world moving when I’m not there. He keeps our house from falling apart (& stays home to meet the repairmen when it does). He reminds me to send birthday cards & does the laundry & hauls my various suitcases up & down from the basement. He drops me off at the airport early in the morning & picks me up from the train station late at night. I am damn lucky to have him.
In the past year I’ve been on business trips to: NYC (more times than I can count), Boston (twice – I actually forgot about the first trip), Phoenix, St. Louis, New Orleans, rural Minnesota, upstate New York, Ft. Lauderdale, & Atlanta. I’ve staffed clients for Today Show tapings, worked trade show booths, pitched hundreds of reporters, sat through hours of strategy meetings, & traveled tens of thousands of miles in cars, on planes, on trains. I have three more trips this year: down to Florida for Thanksgiving with my family, up to NYC with B to celebrate the holidays & to my inlaws at Christmas.
I’ll be taking a little time away from this blog in January, to recharge & rejuvenate. To be ready to hit the ground running in 2014, for I already know I have a business trip to Phoenix in March.