I still remember as a kid when I would see someone walking through an airport in their business clothes, obviously heading somewhere important, I would think to myself how someday I hoped I could have an important job like they did where I would be jet-setting off to important meetings. It just appeared to be such a glamorous lifestyle… “Appeared” would be the operative word there.
My very first time I traveled for business I felt so important. I had my briefcase and my pantsuit and I held my head high as I walked regally through the airport. I literally felt like I had arrived in my professional life that day… “that day” being the operative phrase here.
Fast forward a few years to a totally different picture. I am rushing through the airport covered in sweat as I rush to get to the boarding gate with only seconds until that dreadful door closes and I will end up spending yet another night stuck in an airport sleeping on the nasty carpet where heaven knows exactly what nastiness has touched that carpet before me…feet throbbing from running in heels, papers flying everywhere because I didn’t fully zip my briefcase after being strip nearly searched at the security gate, and wishing to high heaven that I could just be back at home…
I don’t know why traveling for business had seemed so glamorous and important to me when I was a kid because what I learned after years and years of business trips is that a typical business trip consists of: packing a suitcase, a car ride to the airport, a walk through an airport after stripping partially down and enduring a pat down by an overly aggressive TSA agent, a taxi ride to a hotel where you only have time to go right to the room to get a few hours of sleep, a taxi ride to a business office or convention center where you go directly to a meeting and spend time staring at the four walls of a room, a taxi ride back to the airport, and then a run through an airport so you don’t miss your flight or a missed flight where you are stranded overnight waiting for another flight, a bus ride to get to long term parking at the airport, a car ride back home, unpacking a suitcase, and then dealing with all the missed emails and phone calls and mail that came in while you were away.
The most glamorous thing about a business trip is when you walk in the front door of your own home…sweet home…there is nothing quite like coming home.
It felt so good to walk in the front door of my home tonight after being away on business the last four days. There truly is no place like home…
~Amy Rees Anderson