Dealing With More Travel

Airport
Credit: http://qlikd.com/airport/

I really enjoyed my 6 weeks of going nowhere. I know, I don’t get to complain because my life sounds so glamorous – but reality is different.

Oh New York! You’re so lucky.

I know, the hotel was wonderful, the office fantastic, and the three blocks in between? Just fabulous.

This was the trip I struggled most with. In part because I’m exhausted and overdue the holiday (yay! another plane!) that I will leave on at the end of the week. Also because of a series of unfortunate events:

  • My flight out was delayed by 8 hours (thankfully the upgrade had been very cheap – most that day $4 over economy – when I booked, so I was in the lounge), causing me to arrive at nearly 2am.
  • On the afternoon that I planned to go early to see MOMA, it was tipping it down. As I was looking forward to the walk across town as much as the museum itself, I decided to wait for the rain to stop. Engrossed in what I was doing, I didn’t notice the time (or that it was no longer raining) until it was too late.
  • My flight to Ottawa boarded just-about on time, but then after we’d turned off our electronic devices for takeoff just sat on the tarmac for about 45 minutes, with no announcement, nothing. After some time, it just suddenly took off.
  • My flight back to Toronto was massively oversold and I had to hang about by the gate hoping for a seat it seemed unlikely I’d get, thinking if they would just tell me I’d be fine with an hours delay – I could just go to a restaurant and get something to eat. I did get on the plane, very last row. The woman in the seat next to me told me she’d been observing the girl at the gate – who’d been really snotty when I went to see what was going on, and to her as well – but was being charming to all the men. Urgh.
  • After arriving in Toronto I went to get the shuttle to KW. The guy told me it would be there in <15 minutes… actually it was about 45.

Normally I manage to roll with these kind of things more easily, it’s just how it is when you travel. I think that I was lucky to get on the oversold flight, and definitely very fortunate to get out of New York before the hurricane. Normally I’d find it funny that the receptionist at the fancy Ottawa hotel told me “Internet is extra, $15 a day, but it is wifi” – like that’s impressive? It’s 2011, of course it’s wifi.

But – not when I’m exhausted and fed up of flitting about. The trip was so useful and I got so much done that I will definitely be going back, so I need to find a way to make this work. I did two weeks away in August, and expect to do the same in September (albeit, one week holiday) and October. I can’t have each trip make me this unhappy.

Some things to think about:

  • Flight time. Flights later in the day are more likely to be delayed.
  • Distance from hotel to office: a 20 minute walk might mean I see more of the city and get some exercise.
  • Set an alarm: normally I don’t, but several days I woke up about 30 minutes after I needed to if I wanted to work out before whatever I was doing.
  • Snacks: need something to eat or a protein shake if I want to work out in the morning.
  • Water: travel is so dehydrating, need to make more of a point of drinking lots of water after my flight gets in.
  • Doing something cultural is a must, if leaving early is too hard then leaving a day later would be better (not an option this time, as I had to get to Ottawa).
Do you have any strategies for dealing with work travel? Please share!

3 thoughts on “Dealing With More Travel

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I spent 4+6 weeks working in Paris last year and everyone kept telling me how lucky I was! Sure, Paris was amazing, but that was basically 4+6 weeks with only being able to socialize with my coworkers, no friends and no hobbies. A more social person might have made friends, but I was working crazy hours and that’s not me anyway.

    1. It’s really tough, it was a bit like that when I was in Shanghai – I ended up going along with what the girl I was working with wanted to do and didn’t see that much. We had a long commute, too, which wrote off a lot of evenings. But towards the end I started going to see more stuff, and that was really cool.

    2. It’s really tough, it was a bit like that when I was in Shanghai – I ended up going along with what the girl I was working with wanted to do and didn’t see that much. We had a long commute, too, which wrote off a lot of evenings. But towards the end I started going to see more stuff, and that was really cool.

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