Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Business Trips Aren't What They Use to Be

Once upon a time, business road trips excited me. I was able to see parts of the country I hadn't seen before, got to eat in nicer restaurants and have someone else pick up the tab and stay in a hotel room with free cable. That last thing might not be much to you but for me who grew up without a television at all, I had a lot of movies to catch up on. I'm not entirely sure where those feelings left me but they have been gone for some time. When I needed to go out east last week, I didn't have any good thoughts about it at all.

First, because of the amount of gear that we needed to take with us, we had to rent a cargo van to haul it and as I suspected, it didn't exactly ride like a Cadillac. We also had to leave on Sunday afternoon since it would take nearly a day to drive out there. Once there, I put in thirteen to fifteen hour days working in sometimes less than desirable conditions. After our day was done, we would check into a motel that looked eerily similar to the one the day before, clean up and go out to eat. This part would have still excited me but my fellow traveler wasn't an adventuresome eater and so we had to eat at the same kind of upscale burger joints every night. Also, since I am part owner of the company, I'm picking up the tab instead of someone else. Back in our rooms, I would be too exhausted even to turn on the television and would just take a dose of Advil for the aches and go to bed. Mornings would begin with a continental breakfast. How does a choice of a bread product, some rehydrated eggs and some thawed out meat product deserve a name as regal sounding as continental?

There is some good to all this. Back in the day, I came home to an empty and darkened house with pretty much the same amenities as a motel room these days except with no cable television. These days, I have a wife and a daughter who missed me and let me know it.


Murf said...

What some cheese with that "wine"?

R. Sherman said...

I feel the same way. I used to get jazzed about business trips and flying but now dread them, not because I'm afraid of flying, but because they're so tedious.


The Real Mother Hen said...

I echo that. Like you, I used to enjoy business trip, but not anymore.

PS: hey you know what is cooking right now as I type? I got some dried squids from a Korean store in Portland. I cut some and boiled soup this morning, with Lotus Roots (also from Portland). The smell is wonderful, though I'm sure my neighbor will think someone has died in this house for a week. But I'm sure your wifey will love it :)

Sage said...

"and check into a motel that looked eerily similar..." At least it didn't look like the Bates Motel! The person you travel with makes the difference and having someone not adventerous in eating would be a drag.

Beau said...

No television? That must have been interesting as you grew older. We only had a small black and white. I can see the travel becoming tedious- if I had time I used to pick one or two things about a place and try to learn about it. I see food as an "adventure" of sorts too. Of course there are some places you may not want to know more about!

geri said...

I liked business trips too, there was a job in the Philippines that sent me Hong Kong twice which was really nice except that we had to haul tons of samples and even a few merchandise back which was nerve racking with customs.

Your business trip might still be fun for me esp since I am still relatively new in the U.S. (I do still enjoy burger joints and even motels) but definitely not the all day trip in a cargo van.

Ron said...

I sure know the feeling... and you put it into words so eloquently.

I grew up without TV for the majority of the time too. :)


Ed Abbey said...

Murf - No thanks, I have a blog instead!

R. Sherman - Tedious is an excellent description.

Mother Hen - While that wouldn't be my first choice off a menu, I would try it were I eating at your place and I'm sure I would like it.

Sage - The right traveling companion makes a huge difference and for this trip I unfortunately drew the short straw.

Beau - Yeah, the first television I had in my living quarters was my roomate's television in college.

Geri - Mrs. Abbey always wants to go along and I do take her when possible and we can afford it but this trip was just going to be too busy.

Ron - So there are two of us in this country. I thought I had been the only one.

fullfreezer said...

Both my husband and I used to travel a lot for our careers. After being gone for a week at a time there is nothing better than being able to cook your own food. I got SO tired of eating out 3 meals a day. My hubby was once gone on a project where he lived in a motel for a month. By the time they finished the project they had eaten in every restaurant in a 20 mile radius.
Glad you're back safe and sound.

TC said...

I think you're very lucky to have that wife and daughter to come home to :) Isn't it better to look forward to coming home than leaving?