Ironically I actually enjoy travelling, however I enjoy travelling with a significant other and in a recreation capacity. I’ve too done a fair amount of solo travel, and that too had some high points.
When it comes to business travel though, especially being over 30, I have to say, all in all it just sucks.
- Adding major stress to the whole trip is the travel component. You might travel by plane, train, car, etc but no matter how you get to your destination, I don’t see this as adventure, much more just a chore. The modern travel system just isn’t that exciting, waiting around in departure lounges sucks all the romance out of the trip. Trains though I find tolerable if you get the right carriage and some privacy. Cars too might give you ultimate privacy, then again driving long distances becomes a never ending tale on the highway interrupted by all too familiar gas stations. It’s all modernised and franchised and frankly boring.
- Strange accommodation: Strange as in unknown, unfamiliar. Call me old fashioned by after a long day at work I like returning to that place I call home. Frankly in my mid 30’s now, and anything else feels like a compromise. Oh sure it is nice to get away on a romantic holiday with your SO, a nice way to add some much needed spark to an old flame. Business trips though, and for the most part it’s lonely hotel rooms.
- The more the merrier? Not entirely so. I’m currently on a business trip with 4 other co-workers, and none of them are happy about being on this trip. I guess they all feel the same way about the trip as I do, frankly we would all much rather be in our comfort zones rather than having to spend time browsing markets and cheesy forms of entertainment while we pass time to start work tomorrow. Everyone is grumpy and just about tolerating it, we’re just getting started on a 2 week trip. I guess here it depends on who you end up going on trips with, but for the most part, let’s just call these stock standard politically correct co-workers. No, not fun at all.
- Different surroundings being in the foreign office, and having to work in unfamiliar settings. As a coder I can code anywhere, so what this trip will mean is far more meetings. Meetings can be useful if the content applies to you, however my experience with meetings is that very little of the content applies to any 1 individual in particular. All ground gets covered which means a lot of the time you end up just keeping a poker face waiting for the meeting to end.
- Lack of organisation. Often you arrive only to find that the essentials have not been setup. No domain access, or no desk space, or a lack of an external monitor. Any / all of these are on the cards.
- The additional politics. As a coder I guess I like to keep my head down. Not interested in playing a political game or over extending myself. These travel situations force you into situations where you’re bound to have a few of those meaningless polite conversations that really get you nowhere in the long term and no new “real” friends.
- Lack of your comfort items. The place we’re staying at now is self catering, Took a dump only to notice no toilet spray. Got out the shower only to notice no rag to wipe the floor. Since the guys who booked the place didn’t get it right, one of my co-workers ended up being booked in a kids room – you know the ones with bunks?
All in all, I guess this won’t be the last trip I go on, but yeah not exactly a thrilling, adventure. Business travel sucks.