Words by Tara Pepper

I have to travel for my job. When I tell people about it, they always say how exciting it must be to fly all over the country and through the United States. I’m here to tell you that there’s absolutely nothing glamorous about business travel. Let me tell you why.

Trip #1: Amsterdam, Netherlands
A while back, I was working for a company that was expanding internationally and they sent me to Luxembourg for four days to work with the Rothschild bank. The plan was to fly to Amsterdam then take the train through Brussels to Luxembourg. The first glamorous thing about the trip—the 7? hour flight to Amsterdam in coach. If you haven’t flown much, 7? hours is tough.

Then I got to spend half a day there. The highlight of that was the hour I got to spend in the Van Gogh museum. Yes, just one hour. Why? Because the co-worker I was traveling with had no interest in joining me but wanted to move on in an hour—and he was my boss, so what could I say? It was the fastest trip through a museum I’ve ever done, but it was beautiful.

Next step: the train. The company told me that I would check my luggage and it would follow me to Luxembourg… not! I brought a big suitcase because I thought I might do some shopping. I didn’t know that I was going to have to schlep my monster suitcase up and down stairs and on and off trains. It was difficult! I spent a few days with my customer then dragged my bag back on the train to Amsterdam and then back on to another 7? hour flight home. Fun? NO!

Trip #2: Brisbane, Australia
There’s really not much to say about this trip. I went to Brisbane to work on a demo to a potential customer. I was there for 28 days—28 days!—away from Bobby and the boys. Of those 28 days, I had two days off—that’s it. I spnt the majority of the time looking out the window of the office I was working in, from sunup to sunset: 12-14 hours per day. And I haven’t mentioned the brutal flight… it took me 28 hours to get there and 32 to get home. Glamorous business travel? Definitely not.

Trip #3: San Francisco
As I’m writing this blog, I’m exhausted from my latest trip. I spent four days last week in San Francisco at a convention. The flight wasn’t too bad—only about 4? hours—except that on the way home, my seat was in front of the exit row, and those don’t recline… my tailbone is really sore!

Did I see anything in San Fran? No, just the inside of a hotel. Food? Asian three nights in a row and two of those nights at the same restaurant! At least it was good food. I wasn’t there long enough to have my body switch to Pacific Time, so every morning I woke up at 4:00 a.m. and that was it for sleeping. Didn’t matter what time I went to bed. So I’m home now, wiped out and battling jet lag. And of course, it’s back to work tomorrow.

The next time someone says how lucky I am that I get to travel all over the place, I think I’ll remember to tell them these stories! I do have to say, though, that I’ve had some fun business trips as well. The best was probably the one to Fort Collins, Colorado, where my customer was also a stunt pilot and she took me up in her two-seat plane and did some flips and spins. Exhilarating! I did get to spend some time in Melbourne, Australia and do a wine tour—now that was fun! So there have been some good memories but really, the majority of the trips are just like those ones above.

Anyway, if you’re heading out of town this week, safe travels! Try to enjoy yourself, no matter what! Next week I promise I’ll have something fun to report to you! Until then…