I have to do a bit of travel soon for work, and I’m not looking forward to it.
It’s not that I haven’t been through the routine before: in fact, for a few years I was away from home for work probably three or four months out of the year. It got so that the check in counter attendants at some airports recognized me as I walked up, and “bumped” me into first class…that was nice, if uncommon. I’m not complaining about the travel, at least not really: some people face daily travel as part of their work routine, and I’m very fortunate that I’ve been able to make career choices that have reduced this to the bare minimum for myself.
But at the very root of things, I think I’m someone who really, really likes his routine. When I travel for work, my stress level shoots through the roof: every little thing, like what to eat, whether it’s safe to walk a couple of blocks to a convenience store, or whether my toothbrush is where it should be, takes on menacing overtones.
Oddly, I am much less upset by vacation travel. I’ve pondered about this quite a bit, and I think I’ve figured out a couple of reasons why this is so. If I’m on a vacation, then I can defuse the pressure by
a) not having to be at a specific place at a specific time with specific resources ready; this combination of things is *always* part of business travel
b) being able to take along part of my “home” in the form of my wife, who can be there to anchor me
I think I’ll survive this trip, but I’ll be much happier when it’s done and I’m back home.