During the mid to late 90's I had the great privilege to work with an amazing team at American Express Business Travel after they bought the company I was working for. The then Vice President for Europe, Eric Brannan told a great story that I could relate to and it spurred me to come up the the "Business travel is only glamorous until you do it" saying. Given it was 20 years ago this is my best recollection of the story and I hope I do Eric proud!
It goes like this:
"My job takes me all over Europe, sometimes with many cities in each week, Monday it's Paris, Tuesday Stockholm, Thursday Frankfurt. The hotel rooms seem to blur into one and I work out the day of the week by which city I'm in. The funnest thing happened the other day though, I woke up, rolled over in bed and screamed as there was a woman in the bed with me. Then I realised, it was Saturday, I was at home and it was my wife!"
Says it all really doesn't it? My "Where I've Been" and "World Traveller Challenge" pages on Facebook say it all, some 40+ countries and over 300 cities and towns that I've "been" in. But how many could I honestly say I've "seen" properly, spent time visiting them and understanding the culture, architecture and heart of the place. Probably a few dozen if that. I recently went to Paris as a tourist and realised that it was the first time in 30 years of travelling and multiple visits to the city, that I'd actually spent time in the city! Needless to say it was an immensely rewarding experience and one that got me adding cities to my bucket list that I've already been to but have decided I now need to go back and really see them.
So what's your experience? Is it the same as mine, early morning flights, cabs straight to the office and a late flight home, or, if you're lucky, a late flight in, hotel over night, office the next day, dinner then hotel then home again early the next morning?
Personally my "worst" business trip ever was London to Houston, 2 days (1 night) there, Munich (via London), airport hotel in Munich, train to Frankfurt, over night there, office the next day, flight to Paris, airport hotel before going into the office, Paris to Amsterdam, a rare 2 days there before flying back to Houston (via London to grab clothes and Dallas to meet a colleague at the airport!) for 3 days and finally back to Munich and then London! Other than Houston where I'd been spending a fair amount of time anyway, I didn't see any of the other cities at all! I'm sure people do worse on a regular basis and I'm sure none of them find it glamorous!