Confessions of a Business Traveler
This week’s Travel Theme: Work comes at an absolutely perfect time for me. I am finally back home for a full week after three straight weeks of traveling to Phoenix Monday through Friday for training for my new career. I’m clearly no stranger to frequent travel, but three straight weeks of air travel and hotel stays has definitely been a first for me. And naturally, traveling for business makes the whole thing quite a bit less fun than if I’d been on three straight weeks of vacation. All this back and forth has brought out a new side of me: the frequent business traveler. And so I bring you, my confessions…
Confession #1: Air travel trips me out.
I’ve always been pretty comfortable on an airplane and wouldn’t consider myself a nervous flier. However, the abundance of time I’ve spent aboard United Airlines over the past three weeks has given me plenty of time to think about the logistics of flying. Lately, this has been coming about an hour into my flight, when I look out the window and the thought suddenly occurs to me: “Holy crap. There are over 100 of us sitting inside a piece of metal tens of thousands of feet above the ground. How crazy is this? Whoever figured this whole air travel thing out was really smart. I hope the people who built this airplane were really smart too. It would really suck to fall out of the sky…”
This is usually the point when I bury my nose in a book to cut off these thoughts. I’m finding it really strange that after so many years of flying, these sorts of things are just now popping into my head!
Confession #2: Checked baggage actually kind of rocks.
For years (pretty much ever since they started charging checked bag fees), I’ve prided myself on being a carry-on-only traveler. I’ve never found the $25+ fee worth it, and there’s always the potential of lost baggage if it’s not right with you. But on these most recent trips, the necessity for professional clothes, workout clothes and casual gear has prompted me to pack a larger checked bag. And if we’re being totally honest here, the fact that my company reimburses me for the fee tips the scales.
And you know what? I’ve loved it. It’s so much easier to pack when I can throw in extra pairs of shoes, a few wardrobe alternatives, a light jacket that I probably won’t need but just might, etc. And during a layover (especially a layover that consists of sprinting from gate to gate after a delayed flight, of which I’ve had two), it’s marvelously freeing to breeze through the airport without lugging a wheeling bag. Speaking of that…
Confession #3: I totally judge the people who stand still on the airport’s moving walkways.
How lazy are you?
Confession #4: Sometimes layovers can be fun.
This could be a sign that I’ve been in the throes of too much work and not enough play, but I’ve genuinely enjoyed a few of my recent airport layovers. Part of the fun is that I’m in an airport with only limited options to use my time. It’s tough to be really productive, so I might as well eat something yummy and read a book. Plus, airport dining (at least in Denver) has improved quite a bit recently.
That’s right, I passed my last layover at DIA in the company of a wine flight at Cru. And some Lamb Lollipops.
Confession #5: Sometimes, once I get home, all I want to do is sit on the couch.
If you’ve been reading P&P for very long, you know that I’m a fairly active person. Until I started my back-and-forth business trips to Phoenix, I hadn’t missed a Saturday on the ski slopes all season. But lately, I get home from my travels around 11:00 on Friday nights, and I’m thrilled if I have the energy to meet friends for lunch on Saturday afternoon. Skiing isn’t even on the menu. This is:
But don’t worry too much – by Sunday I’m usually back to this:
Were you expecting juicier confessions? I do have a couple more weeks left of business travel, so I’ll do my best. What are your travel confessions?