Do you ever have to travel for work? If so, you probably experience the same anxiety-ridden yet exciting highs and lows that I get every time I fly for business…
Let’s start with getting up several hours earlier than you normally would so you can catch your 8am flight. Starting your day running on little sleep is tough, that’s for sure! I never sleep well the night before a flight because I’m overly concerned about not waking up on time. Although that virtually never happens in my day to day life, for some reason when there’s a plane involved, I don’t trust myself or my alarm clock to get me up on time. In fact, in almost ten years at DAVIS I don’t think I’ve overslept even once and been late to work, so why travel days are any different is beyond me. Alas I sleep terribly, but do always manage to wake up on time, despite my fears.
Next up is packing, which is an absolute nightmare for me and over-packers across the globe. Do I wear my dressy work clothes while flying? That sounds horribly uncomfortable, but I do see others pull it off gracefully. Not me, though. Comfy yoga pants and a sweatshirt with flip flops or sneakers is my go-to outfit. But then of course I have to save extra room in my carry on bag for work clothes, which may or may not end up wrinkled upon arrival. I try to pack clothes that travel well, but that’s not always easy. Not to mention the fact that I. Need. Choices. My mood changes on a dime, and I might not want to wear a dress today. Maybe I’ll want to wear pants when I get there. How can I possibly make those decisions hours in advance? What if I spill something on myself? What if it’s too hot for tights and a business suit? I envy people who seem to make these clothing decisions at ease. How do they do it??
If I’m only flying in and out of a city in the same day, I also have to condense everything else into my carry-ons as well. Laptop, iPad, notebook, pad folio, business cards, paperwork, cords, makeup, hairbrush, wallet, cell phone, the list goes on and on. What did people travel with in the old days? How did we survive without all these electronics?
I’m finally out the door of my house and off to the airport. There’s nothing quite like driving in rush hour traffic to get to the airport, while parking fears begin creeping up on you as you get closer. Will the parking lot be full? Will I get stuck parking in the economy lot that’s cheap but takes an extra thirty minutes to shuttle to the airport? The drama never ends.
Alright! I’ve made it to the airport, printed my boarding pass (even though those self-serve kiosks are always a little touch-and-go), and entered the gates of hell, otherwise known as the security line. Do I take off my shoes? Sometimes I have to, sometimes I don’t. Do I take the laptop out of my backpack? What about the iPad? What is the point of this? What do I do with my boarding pass during this time? Inevitably, I forget the water bottle in my bag, and here I go getting pulled out of line and questioned about it. Sorry ‘bout that! I just can’t seem to nail this part of the journey at all.
It’s boarding time and I’m ready to go. But so are the 200 other folks who seem to be frothing at the bit to get on this plane. Do they know that no matter what they have a seat waiting for them? And what is it that takes some people so long to stick a bag in the overhead bin and sit down? Seems like a quick and simple task to me.
On a final note, the most bewildering part of flying to me is the phenomenon of tomato juice. I don’t get it. I love tomatoes and I love juice, but the two together at 8am freaks me right out. I am convinced that there is no other place on earth where people order tomato juice so frequently. In fact, the gentleman next to me on my flight right now just did so. Someone please explain this to me, because I just don’t get it. What is the appeal of tomato juice on an airplane? I missed the memo on that one.
I’ll save the disembarking process, the luggage carousel and rental car pickup for another day. That’s a whole other blog in and of itself.
All in all, traveling for work is exciting and interesting, and always full of adventure. Although there are always hiccups along the way, travel, in general, is one of the most educational and fun experiences you will ever have. Don’t pass up the opportunity to travel for work should it arise!