many people in this world have traveling jobs. i am one of those people. and on my my last flight home from new orleans, i met another. this fellow work traveler mentioned how much he disliked his work trips. i was interested in hearing how someone could possibly dislike taking a trip to new orleans, even if it was for work, so our conversation continued.
this man didn’t seem to have any specific stories about his week that made it particularly awful. it didn’t sound like he worked any extreme hours. and it didn’t sound like he spends nearly as much time traveling as i do. but he seemed completely uninspired by the whole week he had just spent in one of the most flavorful cities of the U.S.
our conversation ended, and i was stumped.
i can’t help but wonder about that man, and about others like him.
i wonder what kind of person he is, and how he lives his life.
i wonder if he ever explores his work destinations and takes advantage of getting to travel on the company dime.
i wonder if he ever wakes up earlier than necessary to pursue something exciting in thefirst2hours of his travels, before his meetings begin.
i wonder if he ever gets away from the steakhouses attached to the bottom of his hotels.
i wonder if he ever googles those destinations before he arrives, and make time to see something he wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
i wonder if he ever gets to know the locals.
i wonder if he ever spends time outside, or does anything active while traveling.
i wonder if he ever orders something off of a menu that he’s never heard of.
i wonder if he ever talks to his taxi cab drivers.
i wonder if he always stays in the sterile corporate hotels so that he can earn his reward points.
i wonder if he would understand my life and the way i live.
…probably not, but i don’t understand how he lives his either.
i love my traveling job.
i do realize that my work set up is much more enjoyable than it is for many others as i work in the world of wine. it’s also easier due to the fact that my only children are the four legged kind, who are much less maintenance. but regardless of my industry and my life phase, i am the type of person who always takes advantage of my travel, and whatever opportunities lie in front of me.
occasionally i hear someone say that all big cities feel the same. i feel quite the opposite. i would bargain that people who have those thoughts, probably have a lot more in common with the man i sat next to on my flight, than with myself. of course every city feels the same to those who stay in a hilton hotel and eat at ruths chris on each trip. they aren’t experiencing the city at all.
when i travel for work, i want to be as fully integrated into a community as possible. i want to feel the pulse of each town, and discover the quirks that make each destination unique. i want to get away from where all the businessmen stay, and find myself a little apartment nestled into a walkable neighborhood. i want to familiarize myself with my surroundings. i want to start my days at the independent coffee shop up the street. and end my days at the local yoga studio. i want to blend in with the locals. i want to learn the running routes of my neighborhood. i want to talk to strangers. and i want to open my eyes to all that destination has to offer so that i can soak in every bit of it.
as mentioned before, i love my traveling job. i love traveling, period. and even when i am traveling for work, and my days are jam-packed full of meetings, i am going to be grateful for the opportunity i have to be there. i will wake up early, i will stay up late, and i will live life to its fullest.
explore on, my friends.