Long flights followed by long meetings and nerve wracking presentations. Should I use PowerPoint or shouldn't I? Should I make a joke here and there or stick with the serious approach? Yeah, I'll stick with the serious approach because maybe what I think is funny, they won't think is funny.
And then the day comes to an end.
Where should I go? To my hotel room to unwind, call home, watch some TV, workout - yeah I should work out but I didn't bring workout clothes so that isn't going to happen.
I could go shopping and pick up something for the kids. Ahh.. they have enough stuff all over the house. I could "check in" on Facebook or one of the many apps and see if anyone I know is in the city walking, drinking, eating in my area. But what if I check in and someone I don't want to hang out with checks in with me?
I could look up that friend from high school who is living here now but then I have to do that whole "catch up the last 30 years of my life" thing and I don't know if I want to recite the past 30 years of my life. Besides I can't even remember if I really like them.
I'll head back to my hotel, take off these shoes, lie down on the bed and watch CNN. That's what I'll do.
Then at 7 I'll go out to eat. I get to eat what I want at the time I want - fantastic. What should I eat? I have another long meeting tomorrow, I don't want any stomach problems. What's safe? Chicken with rice, that's pretty safe but that's what I eat 4 nights a week at home. Mexican, Thai, nope can't go in that direction. Fish - that's a good idea but it's boring - really boring. Steak - I could go for a good steak with some of those steak cut fries (that I never understood why they call them "steak cut" - they're thicker - is that it? Yeah that must be it).
Okay steak it is. My Travel Agent actually recommended a great place. What was it called? It will be quicker for me to call her than to try and remember. I'll call her. (please pause from your reading of this informative and deeply thought out post so that we can pretend the main character or narrator is actually calling his Travel Agent).
So I called her - she is the best - what would I do without her?
Eating alone - I've done it many times on business but not so much at home. I wonder what other people are wondering when they see me eating alone and they are seated with a group of friends of family heavy into conversation and laughter? Do they feel bad for me? Do they make up this whole story in their minds of why I am alone and what happened in my life? Hmmm... who cares? I'm starving.
That was a superb dinner. What should I do now? Maybe I'll just head back to the hotel or should I get some air and go for a walk and window shop (do they still call it that?) or I could go for a frozen yogurt to one of those places with the handles and the yogurt stored in the walls in 50 flavours. Yeah, that's a healthy choice. I'll get the low fat one that I never understood how it could be low fat because it tastes way too good and since it's low fat maybe I'll cover it with some of those sprinkles of skor bar.
Then I can window shop with the yogurt in hand. Sounds like a plan.
That chocolate mint chip was amazing! I'm tired. Back to the hotel. Call home, review my stuff for tomorrow and go to sleep.
Sleep - sometimes when I'm alone in a hotel, I can't sleep. I stare up at the ceiling which I can't see because it's dark and I start thinking about my life and how far I've come and all the good things I have going for me and how I hope not to lose any of those good things. I think about how hard I work and how little time I leave for anything else and how I"m always telling myself, "I'll take that ski vacation with my friends next year or I'll bring my family on a cruise some other time but that time never comes and if I don't make it happen now, it may be too late.
I'm going to call my Travel Agent first thing tomorrow and I'm going to go ahead and book that family vacation and then I'm going to call my buddies and start planning our ski trip. That's it - I work and work and for what? To travel from one city to another, to have a steak with steak fries, to eat yogurt from a wall?
And finally I fall asleep with the realization that although it's lonely being a CORPORATE ROAD WARRIOR, it makes me appreciate all that I have in my life.
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