Friday, April 25, 2008

Planes, Trains, Automobiles

When I was a young, shy thing, way back in high school, I studied French passionately (is there any other way to study that language? especially when you're a teenager?), dreamed of traveling far past the confines of my parents' uber-strict household to points overseas, and planned to major in International Business so that I could do so. I rarely traveled anywhere as a child (long drives to suburban havens like Tanforan or New Park Mall notwithstanding), so traveling for work seemed to me at the time glamorous, sophisticated and exciting.

Now that I actually do travel for work, I realize that business travel is not all it's cracked up to be. Granted, I'm not flying to Paris or Tokyo for my business trips--most of my travel is in-state--but even after being in the Big Apple (probably the most exciting place I get to travel to for work) this past week, I'm weary of even the idea of travel for my job. (Not to mention, my legs feel like spaghetti because I feel like I've been sitting in moving vehicles of some kind or another for most of the past week). It's tiring, takes a lot of time to prepare for, stressful and not always fun. I also have done a fair share of traveling for personal reasons recently, so I've just been on too many planes, trains and automobiles for my taste. I just don't think the human body was meant to travel at 500 mph in giant steel machines. (Of course, if I was just jetsetting all over the world with an unlimited budget and got to go to relaxing places like tropical countries and beach resorts, I might not mind). Actually, right now I'm blogging I think for the first time from an airport (Phoenix International, which thankfully has free wifi that's pretty fast, since my flight back home is delayed).

On the other hand, I get to go to new places, get to learn more about people from different parts of the country/world, visit my many relatives and friends who live outside the Bay Area, and hone my travel-writing skills with my reviews of hotels and such on TripAdvisor and Yelp.

This last trip was to New York City for funder visits (we really only had two, but that was cool because it meant I got to NOT be too stressed out in already overly-stressed Manhattan), and then to New Jersey by train to visit my sisters. And while New York is definitely a pedestrian / public transit kind of place, for some reason, people don't seem to walk much in Jersey, because I feel like all I did the past couple days was sit on my ass and eat.

I'm still perfecting my travel-prep skills, and I actually like reading that silly SkyMall magazine--did you know that you could buy something called the 'Kitty Litter Wizard' that actually cleans the soiled, non-disposable kitty litter 'granules' for you so that you never have to touch kitty litter again?--so maybe I'll someday get used to traveling. And I don't have to travel for work nearly as much as other folks in my organization. But suffice it to say that I'm tired, I'm cranky, and I want to sleep in my own bed, dammit!

Ahh, flight should be boarding soon.

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