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Travellin’ man

Six months into my new job and I’m still pretty chuffed. The weirdest things are working from home which is odd but will be covered in a later post, and traveling, and traveling more. Traveling lots. Traveling stupid amounts.

To clarify, I’m no George Clooney as I really do need to be home a great deal to be look after J, but I believe in the last 6 months I’ve made a serious dent in my “i’ll be glowing soon” radiation dosage from the flights, and been groped by more strangers dressed in authority figure uniforms than a catholic boys choir (eeyo0h!).

The weird parts are the solo aspect of business travel, and the weirdness of hotels. Allow me to elucidate.

Traveling alone for work (which is the most common for me) is not a pleasant experience. Sure, there’s the excitement of new places all the time… but no-one to share it with. “Ooh, random stranger, take a picture of my lonely arse self in front of some monument that I’d love to share with people who actually don’t care that I’ve been there”. “Yes please, table for one at this restaurant quite near my hotel would be awesome, I’ll be the one drinking alone at his table reading a book”.

Sure, I could meet random strangers and talk with them but being that I tend to be staying at the business areas of town, other people nearby are either working there and don’t want to be bothered, or also traveling and want to talk shop or attempt to pick someone up (not usually me, weirdly enough).

There’s always the option of spending the evening with the clients who have families and lives of their own who will occasionally take you out (mostly so they can have a “free” night out on the company card) but generally want to get on with their own life. You could take the ‘up in the air’ route and pick up random strangers for one night stands but that’s really not for me… and I’m beginning to suspect I may not be in Clooney’s appeal range.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few amazing times while I’ve been traveling for work, but they’re usually the exception as it’s generally it’s “get the job done, sleep, work again and get home”.

Which brings me nicely to the topic of hotels.

Hotel rooms can be all special and nice when you’re a newlywed couple, a family on holiday, or the occasional “just passing through” stop, especially if they come with a nice view. Hotel rooms when you’ve just finished a full onsite day with a client and need chillax are not ideal and generally are blessed with a view of a four lane highway and a few smokestacks. Limited tv selection, crappy internets, barely adequate gym, pool, and breakfast, and if you’re really lucky the excitement of a hotel bar closing at 10 and filled mostly to the brim with generally similarly mildly depressed businessmen whiling away the evening. Going out on your own is an option, though in a town you’re in for one evening, can’t drink much (as you’re onsite early the next morning), and rarely have any control over timing it with something interesting on in town, it’s generally not an awesome experience.

Also without being paranoid, I’d be remiss in not mentioning the inherent germs of hotel rooms. The little folds on the toilet paper means that some random stranger has touched your toilet paper once to unwrap it, the previous guest has usually used it, then some cleaner has touched it again to fold. Just what I want on my tender behind, at least three sets of fingers touching the shared edge of the roll. Not to mention Mann’s Assumption which asserts that you should always assume that every item in a hotel room has touched another persons arse at some point in time. Think on that. People are freaky weird. I never ever ever touch the remote. If you’re that way inclined, comfort could be gained from the Gideon’s bible but thinking of the above, Eww! I know, I’ve broken you off hotels forever.

End result: while I’m more than happy to travel for my work (within reason) and generally enjoy visiting strange companies to do so, the weirdness between makes business trips just something to be dealt with. Getting back to my wife, cat and house at the end is exceedingly pleasant.

I’ve painted a fairly bleak picture, and again, I love traveling and have had some awesome times both with work travel and personal. I’ve seen more of the world than many others and will continue to do so and continue to enjoy it. However, a hotel on a cornish seaside bluff with my wife with quaint restaurants nearby, no rush and pleasant company, holds a little more appeal than a hotel alone on a freeway near an oil refinery and a cattle ranch after working a full day and nothing but an arse touched room to return to.

Signing out, from a dull hotel room in the middle of nowhere, because what else am I supposed to do.

Originally published at TimmieSaurus. You can comment here or there.

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I also hate travelling for work.

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