Monday, June 23, 2008

no business like business travel

I woke at 4:45 am Thursday to fly to Boston for a meeting. I arrived at 3 pm, checked into my hotel and walked downtown. I love to walk in Boston. When we lived an hour away, Chris and I always parked the car as soon as possible and explored on foot.

At one time I travelled a lot for work; now I rarely do. I forget how much I enjoy it. This is not something I would expect to write. Sometimes I find vacation travel stressful. I worry that I am not seeing or doing the best, most fun, most important things. That I am missing out. I get cranky and annoyed: by the price of dinner in Taos, by the rudeness of a waitress in Madrid, by my timidness-induced failure to explore Cuernavaca.

On business, I feel freed from my self-imposed vacation fears. I talk to people, ask for help, seek entertainment or joy in the moments between my responsibilities. I talked to the bus driver (he has four kids, including thirteen year old twins - the girl is grounded for lying and partying the night shool ended.) I hooted and slapped hands with drunken southie teens high on cheap beer and Celtic pride. One of them got my attention by cat-calling "hey sexy girl!", making me realize (a) I was wearing a bright green top the day of the nba championship celebration parade and (b) I guess those jeans still flatter me. I sat in the hotel bar with a friend from a past life, talking about health reform, the unpredictable joys and frustrations of family, and the time it takes to heal from loss. I watched the sun set and stayed up late watching a bad movie while snuggled in an outrageously comfortable bed. (Oh, how nice a really good hotel is.) I whispered with a state insurance commissioner and felt smart and funny and knowledgeable. I smiled when told that one of the presenters had sung my praises at dinner the night before. I packed light, wore new shoes and linen pants, took good notes. I traded my seat so a family could be together, and got a vodka tonic in return. Then I got home, slept in my own bed in an empty house, and woke up late the next morning.


  1. I love business travel now that I've experienced family travel. Reading an entire newspaper/magazine/book without ever having to referee an argument, procure snacks, draw a princess or an steamroller on command ... it's bliss.

  2. I never get to travel on business. I'm always here. Im' jealous. It sounds like a great trip.

  3. I used to hate business travel, but I'm coming around to seeing it your way more and more. I can leave the tv on all night an nobody complains, and I don't have to get up early to take the dogs out. Now that Justin and I work together, a lot of our business trips are together. We had a blast recently in New Orleans. Best business trip I've ever had.