Bored with Business Travel? Try Being Wealthy!

I don’t travel a great deal for business. In fact, when I do “travel” it involves driving to another site that is 15 minutes away. So, I am definitely not an expert on business travel.

Still, I was intrigued by this NYT headline: There’s Simply No Excuse for Being Bored on a Trip. We do love to go strange places, so I was hoping I could learn something.

John Heaton’s article begins:

FROM time to time, I hear business travelers complain about how unexciting their trips are. This is nonsense, for the most part. Business travel can be great adventure if you’re curious.

I was with him at this point. Then he goes on to describe how he stays in the native hotels and peppers people with questions. (Does he speak all the languages he is questioning people in? Or does he have the luxury of traveling with an interpreter? I’m feeling skeptical so I’m voting for the latter.) I was starting to dismiss him at this point. Then I got to this paragraph:

For the next two hours, as we pored over maps, he told me tales of the archipelago and uncontacted tribes. His stories were so compelling that I decided to change my travel plans. For the next two months, I crisscrossed the islands, hardly seeing another white face. The highlight of my trip was being the only outsider to attend the funeral of an important Dani chief. What started as a business trip ended in a real adventure.

Yes, I can afford to do that. Can’t you? Just take two months off work so you can crissross islands.

So, while you are having a 6 hour layover in Pittsburgh, remember if you are bored, it’s not because the airport is boring, it’s because you are! Or, you are not wealthy enough to avoid business trips that involve layovers in Pittsburgh. I’m betting it’s the latter.

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9 thoughts on “Bored with Business Travel? Try Being Wealthy!

  1. What… you can’t just arbitrarily take two months off and rearrange your whole life to hang out at funerals?

    Seriously though.. you would be amazed at how most other countries besides France – have a huge segment of the population who speak English. A lot of tourist dollars depend on it. I would venture that English is now spoken less in the US than it its outside.

  2. You’re probably right about the English. The most exotic destination I’ve been to is Toronto, Canada, so I’m definitely not a world traveler.

    The funny thing is, I agree with his premise–there are interesting things everywhere. (Heck, we’re the ones that spent our honeymoon in rural Utah.) He was just so darn condescending about the whole thing.

    Wouldn’t it be great to be able to take 2 months and just travel places? Ah, to be independently wealthy.

  3. Snort. Most business travelers I know aren’t bored. They’re tired, uncomfortable and getting behind on their work, but they aren’t bored.

    And I’d like to know how this two month thing works–even assuming you had the money you sure wouldn’t have a job when you got back. “Hi boss, I’m just going to wander around for two months. . .”

  4. And what about your spouse? “Hi, Honey! It’s me. I decided to take an adventure. I’ll be home in two months!”

  5. Actually, the Houston airport is fairly entertaining, if you ride around the place on their monorail. Particularly if you stand at the front and lean over and put your hands on the windshield – you can pretend you’re flying! “I’m the king of the world!”

  6. The Detroit airport is interesting as well. And you can get great bratwurst at O’hare. I’m all about the food.

  7. Business travel can be fun when it’s an interesting destination a/o the client site/office doesn’t expect you to be there 7/24.

    For the most part, I’d enjoyed all of my business trips including the ones, close to home, since it gave me a chance to venture into areas, in the neighboring state, during the regular workweek.

  8. ” I would venture that English is now spoken less in the US than it its outside.”

    Wow.. English has always been spoken more outside the US than in the US. England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and much of Africa, Caribbean, INDIA a hugely educated population in English medium schools, before the US existed….

    Business travel sucks. This year I have been to Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, Singapore, Chile, Australia, Germany and counting… 5 months away from home and missing family. It sucks but beats sitting at a desk 9-5.

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