Airport lounges, hotel rooms, conference rooms. For the frequent business traveler, these three confines sound all too familiar. And all to boringly real. Between unfinished reports and slide presentations, venues to prep and people to meet and greet, there is very little time to stop and smell the roses.
The roses. Yeah, the roses. Uh, those were roses? Too often, where you conduct your business becomes insignificant. The grandeur of Rome, the glory that is Greece, the mysticism of the Far East are all summed up in what you see in between car trips from airport lounges, to hotel rooms and conference rooms. And vice versa.
Maybe I am missing the whole point. What is business travel really all about? Is it not for the sole purpose of accomplishing the task at hand? Whether that task be selling jelly beans in South Africa or setting up a new factory in China, that IS what it is all about. And a task that you would do well to accomplish, needless to say, or it could be your last. The powers-that-be (read: company owners or the ones who sent you there) will make sure of that. So there. Case closed. You have a job, now go and finish it. Successfully, if I may add. No hemming, no hawing, no time to stop and smell the roses!
But wait, there’s more….and if you pick up your phone right now and dial…..just kidding. Am not about selling anything to you here. What I am really about, what I really want to say is that business travel is not just all that serious stuff. That business travel can be fun too, or at the very least, less stress inducing. That there IS time to stop and smell the roses.Sure the job has got to be done, but in between those interminable waiting hours in airport lounges and pre-dep areas to slack times between meetings and the mandatory dinners with clients, there is time to be had. I have had mine as I am sure your have had yours. How that time was spent is now, really, really, finally, what this is all about.
If at the very beginning of this article you thought I was going to bore you with my travel tales I beg you to reconsider. This is not going to be about just me. This is going to be about us. About our shared experiences. Perhaps you can share with me your best eating place whenever you are in Hongkong. That special place where the chow mein is great but inexpensive. Or your favorite shopping spot in Taiwan where I can visit in between my meetings. And then maybe I can share with you a funny anecdote during my last trip to Cambodia, or something to that effect.
Right now, it’s just you and me. But hopefully soon we become three, or four. A group, a throng, a crowd. Then we can all tell each other our stories, share our little triumphs, our little golden nuggets of wisdom meticulously culled from within the countless number of business trips we all have taken. Let us learn from each other, sharing tips and tricks and special moments on how we survived the rigors of life between airport lounges, hotel rooms and conference halls. Many things we may have become, but the jaded traveler certainly not one among them.