Do you travel for work or pleasure? Why not both?
I recently came back from a work meeting in Miami, Florida. Given that I couldn’t feel my feet in the car (the radio said something like -30 Celcius as I was driven to the airport) – I was a very lucky person. Four days to bask in the warmth and sunshine that Miami had to offer! Only problem was, I didn’t see much beyond the confines of the conference room! Grant it – it was not snow and ice out there – but the lush, tropical greens on the other side of that glass – that was just cruelty! A real tease as we studied power point slides and argued the merits of the various topics of discussion. Lunch outside on the patio was a treat. We just needed the 3 hour lunch so that we could really enjoy it. Definitely no patio lunches for us at home at this time of year.
The conference was at Doral Golf and Spa – a Marriott resort close to Miami International Airport. The room we had (I shared with a colleague) was spacious. The view from the room overlooked the golf course – a picture of serenity with all that perfectly manicured green grass. Sadly, I took very few photos while here – very unlike me! We were sequestered into our meeting rooms all day, with evening functions all night. In essence – we had one hour between the two halves of the day to relax, unwind, and take care of any customer requests that were left on voice mail.
Crazy!!! Imagine, being in Miami yet not seeing anything beyond the hotel walls! So, the question is – do you travel for work or pleasure? Can you combine the two? I love getting out and exploring the world – can’t get enough of it! Yet, on this occasion, I may well have been locked in the basement – for I saw very little! I didn’t even pack a bathing suit – I really didn’t see the point!!! Turns out, I had time for a very fast swim in the pool before catching the shuttle back to the airport! There I was, yoga pants and top, walking into the pool as I just couldn’t pass it up! (Sorry – no pictures – you will have to use your imagination here!)
What do you do to make your business trips more enjoyable? What if there is no room in the jam packed schedule for exploration?
I try and make the most of any travel opportunity – even when there is no time to get out! Sneakers and yoga pants in the bag – at least I can usually get a morning walk out before breakfast early in the week – later in the week, I am usually more tired!!! I am not a machine after all! Must remember next time – a bathing suit takes no space – throw it in!!!
I have also learned – it is better to take the later flight option – unless you have a direct flight, you lose the day anyway – may as well get home in the evening and have a chance to explore in the morning! Chances are – the time missed at home will soon be forgotten – my yoga clad swim will not!
When possible, I usually try to extend the trip! I was lucky enough to have an action packed weekend in Queenstown (NZ) when in the region for a work conference! Thrilled to have had the chance to see Milford Sound. Make the time if you are heading that way – I know I wasn’t disappointed!
The other advantage of going early, especially if you are crossing time zones, it is a great way to ease yourself into the meeting! A few days of relaxed pace before the frenetic pace of conference – a true blessing! What about you? Do you combine travel for work with pleasure? Head off a little early or stay in town a few days after the meeting?