Why add extra activity to your pain-in-the-arse business travel? Why put more pressure on yourself and try to fit in additional commitments when you’re out of town trying to get some work done? Maybe you’re trying to get a TON of work done and you’re stressed, and you hate being away from your:
…and you’ll have to bring extra clothes to do something fun, and and and… Your excuses (and mine) can be endless.
All business travelers will reasonably have these feelings (at least sometime). But if you have had even a small bite from the travel bug, you will regret that you took that trip and JUST did business. You will regret the sights you missed, the once-in-a-lifetime experiences you avoided, and the people you didn’t meet.You know all that stuff about how traveling makes you a more rounded person, a better conversationalist, and causes you to reach your ideal goal weight (well, maybe not that last one). But you’re tired and in work mode, and not at all motivated to add some fun to your business life.
One of my greatest recent inspirations has been a website I’ve found by Alastair Humphreys called, not surprisingly, alastairhumphreys.com. He talks about taking “microadventures” and the idea hooked me immediately. Alastair (who has done adventures HUGE and small) believes lives are enriched when you take time from your usual routine and fit in a small adventure. Take a bike ride to a stream and dip your toes
in, sleep on a hill in a bivvy bag; and get up in the morning and go to work. Or, if you don’t feel like communing with nature, go have a wine tasting at that new winery in town. You don’t have to block out large chunks of time to put some adventure into your life. I love applying this idea to business travel–why not have a microadventure while I’m in a new (or even a familiar) place for business?
If you have time, PLANNING IN ADVANCE to add fun to your business travel will help tremendously. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote “To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.” I like the arriving part the best, but I have to admit that anticipation is a great thing. Think about how the anticipation of a trip with some added fun will enhance the quality of your life for months or weeks or days or hours before you leave. Read up on your destination, online or off. Look at videos and pictures of your destination. Call for information. Plan to get a rental car instead of taking a cab from the airport, if you want to venture outside the city center. Get your fun travel juices flowing and stoke that flame (I’m mixing my metaphors but you get the idea). If it’s reasonable for your business itinerary, make some reservations. Get some skin in the game before you get on the plane or train.
If, like Catullus, once you arrive at your destination you are “tired with labour of far travel” and just want to sit on the couch (or the bar stool at your hotel), that’s understandable. If you’ve made reservations and/or paid some money for your fun already, you will be more motivated and inspired to get moving. Sometimes you have to push yourself up and just make yourself go do something fun. It’s like exercise–you’re too tired to want to do it, but if you make yourself do it anyway you’ll usually feel so much better. And life is short–you’ve heard that one before.
Add some adventure to your life before you’re too old, or too unhealthy, to get out there. Don’t end up forever regretting that you traveled to a great place (or even a mediocre one) and missed its unique gifts.
Here are some additional websites that motivate me to fit in some fun business travel:
- www.nomadicmatt.com (one of my favorite travel sites, which inspires me each time I view it; tons of information and ideas for travel in the US and around the world);
- https://sherrillmadden.wordpress.com (this woman in her 70’s is kicking her bucket list; she will inspire you to get up and go); and
- www.remoteyear.com (these people travel the world WHILE WORKING; it’s a grand dream and will give you ideas for your own fun business travel)