This morning, I’m sitting in a secure facility wearing a visitor badge and a bright-red lanyard labeled “Escort Required.” I’m here to take part in a Software and Supply Chain Assurance Working Group meeting, and it’s the first time I’ve donned my monkey suit and hopped on a plane to travel for business in at least six months.
While getting ready this morning, I realized that I’d forgotten to bring a brush (or comb) or any cufflinks for my French cuffed shirt, and that I brought navy blue socks to wear with my black suit.
I scrambled around my ample hotel room in a naked frenzied panic to shower, shave, iron my shirt and remember how to tie a half windsor so that I would have time to gag down some powdered eggs and rubbery bacon from the hotel buffet before hopping into the back seat of a black SUV to be whisked off to a drab gray government contractor facility to participate in a two-day “meeting of the minds.”
Travel for business?
What’s funny is that for over a decade, travel by mega-jetliner for business has been my modus operandi. Although progressively less in recent years, I’ve spent a fair bit of time taking off my coat and shoes and removing my belt buckle, money clip, coin, keys, wallet, purse so that I could opt-in to a free body massage from the TSA before jetting off to my next destination elsewhere around the globe.
Yet, after just a few months of living simply on the road, full-time RV travel has taken over my brain, apparently occupying many of the same neural pathways that used to enable me to pack my suit without wrinkles and remember my comb. Of course, that’s a pretty fair trade, and despite the fact that my hotel bathroom this week is almost as big as my entire motorhome, I can’t wait to get back to my ‘home on the road’ and hang this monkey suit in my tiny, half-height RV closet.
Business for travel?
I used to really enjoy traveling for business, and occasionally a small part of me still yearns for TSA Pre√, tubes of hummus in the Sky Club and a top 3 spot on the Medallion Upgrade waiting list. Looking back however, it occurs to me that it wasn’t business travel that I enjoyed, it was just travel. Business merely made my travel pragmatic.
Live to travel? Travel to live!
Now that I’m traveling full-time (for fun and profit), I realize that all of my travels up to this point were just a warm up for living life as a traveler. I may travel full-time for the rest of my life… I may not. But one thing is certain: travel is in my blood, and whether I travel for business or pleasure, I’ve got a lot of traveling – and a lot of learning – left to do.