Preparing to Travel

It’s just gone 2pm. My other half is at a rugby tournament with Miss 15, Miss 18 is in her room filling out various health and safety assessments for her new job, Miss 13 is in the lounge playing monopoly with a friend that has stayed with us the entire weekend, and I’m packing a bag to travel to the other end of the country for the better part of the week. Oh – and the clocks went forwards this morning, so getting up at 8am wasn’t really sleeping in after all.

I need to get to the railway station by 4pm. The first train will take me to Maidenhead, then a second to Paddington, the underground through to Kings Cross, and finally onwards to Leeds in the north of England. I’ll be staying in the Holiday Inn Express at the “Armouries” – a huge museum dedicated to various methods of fighting and killing each other the years (fun!). I’ve stayed there countless times, and never set foot in the museum itself. It’s always shut when I walk past.

It always amuses me (or rather annoys me) when people presume that travelling with work means seeing anything of the world. Over the next few days all I will see is railways stations, packed trains, my hotel room, a number of conference rooms, and some busy roads I try to cross in a major city without getting run over. Oh – nearly forgot – I’ll also see the supermarket just along from the hotel, and the pizza place around the corner.

I’m always a little torn when travelling with work – while staying in my room with pre-made food from a supermarket is an attractive option (in a “can’t be bothered to deal with the world” kind of way), I know that sitting in a restaurant alone will provide endless stories to tell on the blog – even if nothing happens, you can always imagine the back-story of people that cross your path.

Anyway. Time is marching on. I should make sure I’ve packed everything.

3 thoughts on “Preparing to Travel

  1. Ah, safe travels!

    I’ve only been fortunate enough to have one job where I got to travel on business for our annual meeting.

    The first year I got to attend the meeting was in Anaheim and ohhhhh how I wanted to go to Disneyland, but I couldn’t afford a ticket.

    Two of the times I got to go the meeting was in San Francisco so I planned my flights so that I could have a free afternoon before the meeting (I forget if the meetings ran for two days or three days) and a free afternoon after the meeting to explore the city, ride cable cars, trolleys, street cars, even BART. I also took a boat ride under THE bridge and around Alcatraz and I toured a submarine and some kind of a ship. I ate clam chowder on the wharf and ice cream at Ghiradelli.

    One year the meeting was in Sacramento. Again, I planned myself an entire afternoon to explore Downtown Sacto, walk around in the Capitol building, ride a street car (in the wrong direction!!!) and tour the Governor’s mansion.

    I don’t have a spouse or kids so I can see how it’s not always possible for other business travelers to give themselves the luxury of extra free time in a city to explore, but if it’s ever possible to do so, please do so. πŸ™‚

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  2. Before spouse and kids I went into the USA for business a few times… one time I was in Newark (New Jersey) and they put me into some dumpy hotel that had a tray of pastries crawling with cockroaches in the lobby at breakfast time. I remember thinking, I work for a billion dollar conglomerate and they put me here? I was thoroughly unimpressed and wrote up a report with the details. Next time I was in Wilmington (Delaware) and the hotel was better, but it didn’t have a restaurant in it (or it was shut for renovations). Only place within walking distance was a McDonalds with an armed guard at the entrance.

    Glad I’m not doing that anymore…

    My all time favorite hotel was the Metropole in Brighton near London. That was when I was a flight attendant. It was always the prefect layover…I should google it, see if it still exists.

    Happy travels. πŸ™‚

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