The plight of business travel

I would usually write personal travelogues titled ‘A day in Thimpu‘. But I’d rather use something like ‘Singapore in a day’ when writing about business travel. The pun, only to demystify business travel along with the craziness & hazards that surrounds it. As soon as one steps in IT, the first thing they want is to get onsite and I felt the same way. But the excitement only lasts the first few trips. This one is about one such trip to Singapore last month, where I took a late night flight after a day’s work, and headed straight to a meeting on landing. I’ve¬†done such meetings multiple times, in¬†every direction, in every continent, and have kind of mastered it.

Stretching out
Stretching out

Since I don’t fly business (and luck never favors an upgrade), I try opting for an emergency row seat. I have a trolley bag that levels with the seat and affords my own little bed in coach. Over time, I’ve learned that being¬†low¬†on food & alcohol ¬†keep you comfortable.

Most airports in Europe have paid arrival lounges to freshen up after long flights, without which you fallback to good old restrooms (in Australia for instance). I have miniatures of most toiletries that pass security, since most lounges are located before baggage claim. Once fresh, you head out straight to scheduled meetings or a day-long workshop.

Heading back
Heading back

I prefer taking late evening flights where available, to avoid wasting an entire business day traveling. I love the connection from Singapore that arrives at 10 pm to give me¬†a good night’s sleep. Other regions don’t have that option, and need a stay-over. By now, I can tell approximate timetables for every airline landing in Mumbai.¬†Since¬†a lot of the big birds arrive between 930 pm & midnight, getting a taxi becomes bit of a challenge, especially since you can’t book one online when starting at the airport.

Sounds exciting? As I said, yes, and while you’re still young. Soon, the mind switches to optimization – how you can make it quick, comfortable, create checklists. And in the end succumbs to avoidance when it starts hitting your well being. That’s where I am.

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