Notes on Travel: Road Warrior Style

April 13, 2010


It’s conference season. That means that it’s time to pack up and hit the road. As of last Saturday I will officially be gone every week for some period of time through the end of June. Mostly. There’s not a big enough break to count some of the weeks.

Right now I’m in Baltimore covering two conferences that just happen to fall in the same city at the same time. I’m pretty sure that means the apocalypse is near. Strap in. Tomorrow I head to Richmond, VA and I am taking the train down there. A first for me!

I’ll admit I haven’t traveled like this in a long time. I enjoy conferences – I like the people and the content for the most part. Because I’ve been off the travel circuit for many years I am having some real ah-ha and even some “first time” moments. These are some notes I’ve jotted down over the past several days.

1. Always, always, ALWAYS wear shoes that are easy to get off and make sure you have on some sort of sock. Standing on the floor of the airport in bare feet is a SKEEVE-FEST.

2. Never ever eat airport food that has had to be handled by a human hand or needs to be cooked or refrigerated. Bagged food only lest we tempt the food poisoning gods. (I pissed them off once at a Burger King in Hawaii, apparently, and paid for it the entire flight to LA. BAD.)

3. You can never have enough reading material. Buy the extra magazine. Download the extra book. Reading speed and time have an inverse relationship up in the air it appears.

4. When the guy in the window seat farts and you are on the aisle, that middle seat buffer capacity is just worthless. Try not to inhale.

5. Hotel pillows are too tall. My neck is never at a comfortable angle to sleep well.

6. If you’re making noise and waking my ass up at midnight out of a decent hotel pillow affected sleep? It’s a sure bet I’m calling the front desk on your ass.

7. It pisses me off that housekeeping continues to put the TV remote up by the TV. I’m tired. I want to lay down and watch TV. I do NOT want to have to get up and get it. LEAVE IT ON THE G-DDAMNED NIGHTSTAND.

8. Thoughts from the first time I drove through an extended tunnel:
“Cool. It almost looks like a video game.”
“Hey, this is eerily like the footage from when Princess Diana was killed in that tunnel.”
“Does this tunnel ever end? I’m feeling a little trapped in this tunnel.”
“Okay, NOT FUNNY any longer. Where’s the fucking sunlight?!”
“SUUUUNNNN! Oh, thank G-d.”
“Huh. That was a tunnel.”

9. I need to develop an iPhone app for conferences. Specifically for those that have to stand in booths and watch the attendees walk by. Might as well put some of that judgey-ness to work.

10. The quality of conference give-aways has gone way down. What the hell am I supposed to bring back for the kids? SHIRTS?!

11. There comes a point when you are just ready to be home – and sometimes that has 2 more days of travel beyond that point. That is a bad feeling.

Tomorrow I will return a rental car, ride a train for the first time and eventually get on two planes the next day to come home.

It’s gonna be a long two days.

UPDATED: Also! THIS. The faucet in my bathtub at the hotel. I know you know what I was thinking. And don’t lie. You were TOTALLY thinking it, too.

Bathtub Phallic Faucet

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15 Responses to “Notes on Travel: Road Warrior Style”

  1. stephanie Says:

    I am a recent convert to train travel. The leg room is so nice! Wave as your train goes through DC tomorrow. 🙂 (At least, I assume a train from Baltimore to Richmond would.)

  2. lee ann moore Says:

    I have lived this dream.

    We decided that conferences are so boring that we have to have a game or activity in our booth – last 2 years was the Wii, this year popcorn, next year – it is a toss up between bowling for boring (attendees are the pins) or my favorite (although already voted down once for sheer weirdness) was a Create your own Venn (a la Jessica Hagy style on a whiteboard.

    • Pammer Says:

      I’m thinking something like the old Boardroom Bingo. That used consulting lingo — this might use typical people you see at conferences. i.e… SwagWhore, etc.

      I think I’m on to something. Get me an app developer NOW!

  3. Elizabeth Says:

    That bathtub…I was totally thinking what you were thinking. 😉

  4. Kim H. Says:

    You succeeded in making two new parents laugh until we cried with this post… we needed that!

  5. Cyndi Sutton (aka Cynthia) Says:

    Through your Twitter page, I discovered your blog. Hee-larious! Love it!


    **I thought the same thing you did about the bathtub.**

  6. elz Says:

    I’d expand your list to include-always wear socks and shoes when traveling AND when on jury duty in Harris County. Because tip toeing around the screener at the Criminal Courthouse is just all kinds of SUPER ICK!

  7. hope Says:

    dude, who’s your new boyfriend?! does he have a brother?

  8. Jonathan Says:

    The bathtub picture is brilliant 🙂