biz travel

Tomorrow I’m off to Boston for a few days. And then I think I’m done traveling for awhile — at least for work. Nearly everyone I talk to who used to be a Facebook friend says, “I never know what you’re up to. It’s not the same on your blog.” Well, I’m sorry about that. I’ll see what I can do. For now, at least you know: Boston.

Compared to my boss and most of her direct reports, I hardly travel at all. I can’t quite believe I’m saying this but, it’s enough travel for me. The past six months have taken me to D.C. (twice), Austin, Chicago, Indianapolis, Boulder, Tampa. And now Boston. (With a twinge of regret, I skipped trips to Portland, Vancouver, and a return to Boulder.) I’ve learned a lot and met many new people. It’s all good! But I’m ready for a break.

In my new position, I’ve quickly learned the downside of traveling as a member of the production crew, rather than as a guest participant. The location becomes another remote office, more or less. It’s missing certain key amenities — my dual desktop monitors, IP phone, an ergonomic chair, and the Windows version of MS Office.

I have less time or opportunity to interact with close colleagues or network new connections than I did with University travel. It’s lonelier, in that regard. It’s also difficult to remain highly productive; forget about doing “Great Work” while on the road! Of course, work does not abate while I’m standing in line at security or driving to and from the airport. It’s just piles up, impatiently waiting for me and my weekend.

But there is an upside, too. This has been among the most interesting six months of my career! It’s refreshing to step outside the box I’ve created the past fifteen years and test myself in a totally new environment. It’s fascinating to explore from the inside an organization I’ve long respected from the outside. So much talent! And it is a huge relief to step away from the fray at the University for a time.

So don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to Boston tomorrow. I may clench my teeth in flying the puddle jumper but the Adirondack views will be stellar. That’s something. And when I return on Wednesday night, I’ll be glad to be home. Sometimes that’s the best part of travel, eh?

At least until the next trip. Come to think of it, that won’t be long and it’s just for fun. Next up: Roma!

~René Morley

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