Tuesday, December 6, 2011
There's no place like home
In that time I went from zero to gold with Hilton Honors and reacquainted myself with the state of our interstate highway system and our air travel infrastructure.
December is one of the slow months in my job and I'll be spending more time at home for the next several weeks. I'm ready for the break.
I wanted to come back and give you some deep insights gleaned from my last several months of travel and my prolonged periods of windshield time, but the truth is that it was all kind of a blur. And kind of a grind.
There are two kinds of business travel. There's the kind where the home office type jets in from the big city for a conference or an easy two day work trip. It's almost a vacation for these guys. Their needs and transportation are taken care of every step of the way. The home office functionary drops in from the sky, shakes some hands, runs through a PowerPoint stack, eats at a couple of nice restaurants and zips back home.
That's not the kind of business travel I do. In my job, I'm away three or four nights most weeks and I spend a frightening amount of time just getting to the next stop on my endless slog. It's long days and short nights and lots and lots of time behind the wheel moving from Point A to Point B. It's a life filled with fast food and evenings spent plowing through my in-box in that night's cookie cutter hotel room. Glamorous it ain't.
There were some highlights along the way this autumn as I toured the highways and byways of the Deep South, but any time I stopped to smell the roses or to eat in a nice restaurant only added to what was already a long day in a string of long days. "Experiences" are something you learn to avoid when you engage in my kind of business travel.
I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. I enjoy the comforting sameness and routine of the insulated life I lead when I'm on the road even if I'm more than ready for a respite after several non-stop months of it.
I saw and did some interesting things and met some memorable people along the way this fall, and I wouldn't want to trade those. But it's good to be home for a little while to recharge the batteries, read a few good books, play the mountain dulcimer and maybe even get a little writing in.
Mostly, I'm looking forward to spending some time with Teri. In a few days we'll be going to a place where our cell phones and computers won't work. We're both excited about getting off the grid for a little while on a tropical island, practicing our pigeon Spanish, and thinking about nothing more complex than whether we'll have the steak or shrimp at dinner that night.