It's a mixed bag, traveling for work. Sometimes I get super lucky, like the time last July when I stayed in a cute little cabin on White Pass, only steps away from the Pacific Crest Trail. Then there are the other times. Like this week.
Reno. I dislike negativity but I have to work hard to sum up much enthusiasm for the place. We stayed in a casino, full of blinking slot machines and the haze of cigarette smoke. Women who had inexplicably forgotten their pants strolled around. People who looked hours away from bypass surgery lined up for the buffet. When my co-worker tried to go for an outside run, she had to quickly sprint from a crime scene. The office we held our meetings in was located in an industrial zone where the only place to walk for lunch was a batting cage place. (People pay to hit balls in a cage. Who knew?)
Work travel for me is challenging. I don't eat the same and I can't exercise the same. Fortunately, the casino redeemed itself by having a lap pool, and I soon fell into the routine of swimming, which I hadn't been able to do since September. (No pool in town) Swimming without a wetsuit and actually being warm was a novel experience. The woman who opened up the pool in the morning greeted me with, "Hi, Cuteness!" A man with flippers asked me if I was training for the Olympics. What's not to like about that?
I have to take a step back and think about what city folk would think if transplanted suddenly to my town. I can hear it now:
"Seriously. I hear cows."
"Yikes! Those are wolves howling outside the door!"
"Was there a Carhartt sale or something that these people couldn't pass up?"
"The headline in the local paper is 'Good Hay Crop'?"
We all have our place, and mine seems to have narrowed with age. I've never really been a city person, but I couldn't really tolerate it now. I like unlocked doors and neighbors who come over when you're setting up a tent in the rain to see just what the heck you're doing. I like walking down the street after dark without worrying about sketchy people. I like being able to go to the grocery store after a workout and not getting weird looks.
The way I survive work travel is making sure I know where my next yogurt is coming from. Where I can get some exercise. Trying to appreciate the city I am in--sometimes failing miserably. And being glad I can drive for the required two hours from the airport, over Rattlesnake Grade, and pull into a small town where I don't know everyone, but I'm getting pretty close.
Do you travel for work? Is it fun or an exercise in survival?