Category: Travel

A Big Easy Birthday

Jackson Square

Way back in early January, I organized a quick trip to New Orleans for my birthday. I’d been wanting to re-visit NOLA for awhile and experience some more of the food, music, and atmosphere of the French Quarter. After a quick wedding trip a few years ago, I’ve had it on my travel wish list to go back. My birthday was a great excuse, and I managed to round up Curtis, my brother, and Tyler, a good friend, to come along with–even though it was right after the holidays. That’s the problem with an early January birthday… everyone is usually travel and spent out to be interested in doing something out of the ordinary.

The weekend went off great. We found some amazing food, cigars, coffee, beer, and music… exactly as I’d hoped. All within the French Quarter and no car required. As a bonus, the weather was brilliant. I left loving New Orleans even more than I had before, and can’t wait to go back to explore more.

Oh, and I also got myself a snazzy new hat.

2014-01-05 14.35.12

On The Road

Folks who don’t travel often for work have the mistaken idea that being on the road is glamorous and interesting. While there definitely are some interesting moments, most of the time on the road is full of decidedly un-glamorous hours, days, and weeks.

EVAC

EVAC

Travel for vacation is simply not even close to the same thing. Travel for vacation is about choices… the people you’re with, the places you’ll visit, the food you’ll eat, and the activities you’ll do. Travel for work, on the other hand, is about none of those things. At best, when traveling for work you can choose a decent place to eat and which hotel chain to stay.

Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe

Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe

Still, I try my best to take advantage of work travel as much as possible. For the first few years of my career, I worked on projects in Seattle, Lake Tahoe, and Amsterdam. Recently I’ve been able to visit Singapore. If I can manage to put some bumper days around the trip, I’ll venture off and explore a local site, find the best coffee shop in town, or go for a bike ride.

In between those amazing opportunities, though, are day after day in tiny towns in the middle of Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio, Connecticut, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Illinois. Fly, drive, work, eat, sleep. Visit the same chain restaurant for a week in a row; desperately wishing for a simple bowl of cheerios.

Hunting for Work

Hunting for Work

What I have the hardest time with, though, is disconnection. When I’m gone from home, life continues for my friends and family. Parties are had, new friends are made, and new jokes are going around. But for me, it’s like time has stopped for a few weeks. I’ve learned to be extra out going when I return… invite myself to things, create events, and call up lots of folks. But still, there’s a tinge of feeling that everyone has gone on without me.

This all sounds like I’m complaining. I’m not. I just don’t want people to think that work travel is glamorous and cool. I post a few pictures on Facebook or Instagram of unique things I see, but most of my time is spent in a server room in the middle of a factory with my hair net on. Definitely not Instagram-able.

Where'd I park my car?

Where’d I park my car?

The interesting parts are far outweighed by the bland hotel, the lame continental breakfast, and the hours in the airport waiting for the connection.

Most of all, though, I really miss all the time I could have spent with friends and family.

Brew Pub

Brew Pub

As seen in Mt. Joy, Pennsylvania.

 

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