The Other Side of Business Travel

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I love to travel and the way that I’ve made my way through the world is via my job. Whether it’s Human Resources or blogging about work, my career takes me to great places. I meet interesting people and I always break away to see something authentic in the area.

Lots of people complain about business travel — the long hours, the nights away from the family — and they are right. It can suck. Those complaints are always boring, though. If you want to hear what it’s really like to travel, here’s the scoop.

  • It’s tough to smell good when you travel. At home, you have access to your normal products and toiletries. Thanks to the TSA rule where you can only carry on a limited amount of items in a ziplock bag, I never bring the products I love (lotions, perfumes, blah blah blah) because I have to pack the essentials. So lame.
  • Your back always hurts. You go from a crappy airplane to a crappy car rental to a crappy conference room. I do pilates and yoga and cardio — and I still throw out my back every stinking time I get on a plane.
  • Travel throws off your poop cycle. I don’t know about you, but I have a ritual. 10AM, baby. You know what I was doing at 10AM, last Tuesday? Sitting in a budget meeting — not on the toilet. Suddenly my week was off and I felt awful. No amount of Benefiber makes it right.
  • Clothing options suck and business travelers usually look dumpy. Accessories? Interesting fabrics and textures? Not a chance. Doesn’t pack properly in the suitcase. Give me a polyester blend that doesn’t wrinkle and give me some Hanes Her Way.
  • You never get a good breakfast. The Hampton Inn does a nice, free buffet. Unfortunately, it’s often 10AM before I remember that I didn’t eat.
  • When you travel, your skin hates you. Thanks to air conditioning and dehydrated airplanes, I am either too oily or too dry. My skin erupts. I look like an angry teenager.
  • You get desensitized to people having sex in hotel rooms. It’s no longer interesting, funny, or gross. It’s just a noise — and it usually ends in about three minutes. You learn to ignore it and that’s kind of sad.
  • People say, “Oh you travel for work? I could never do that.” I hear that constantly. Shut up. If someone pays you $10,000 to show up at an event, you would do it. You would show up for $5,000. You would show up for nothing and pay your own airfare if you thought it would help your career.

Travel is interesting and rewarding, but no one talks about the true nature of the beast. If you have sensitive skin and you like to poop on a regular basis without the aid of a fiber supplement, business travel is probably not for you.

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