Lanyards; these are given as a form of identification in the congresses I travel to. They are much more than just a fancy piece of vinyl that is held at the neck, they are more like badges of honor. Something you receive for spending hours in airports, cramped in coach seats, waiting in line to be strip searched by TSA and not to mention the ridiculous work hours while under the influence of jet lag. In airport bars you can make strangers in to friends within a hour but you’ll forget who they were in minutes. Traveling for work is a twisted love story of random events and sterno heated chicken kabobs. A never ending tale of fatigue driven lunacy and time zone lobotomy.
Dull moments can last forever or never happen – at the same time. The hotel staff are the ghost of service; always moving tables, setting up food dispensaries and distributing linens – they are often seen but rarely present. The pungency of taxi drivers, sounds of the street philosophers and the sights of community college bar maids all play a part in this act; a perpetual sequel to a play that has yet been written. The immune system is always under siege and the feeling of “almost sick” is often standard procedure within these grounds.
It’s not romantic, polished or divine. Your never in a place it’s more of a state of mind. Keeping the brain true to the task at hand while dealing with fatigue, hotel nutrition and a hangover can be a challenge but after awhile it all goes numb. Thursdays are Mondays, Fridays are Tuesdays and today will happen sometime tomorrow. Try waking up in a cold sweat because you're late for the meeting only to find out it’s 3am because your mind thinks it’s still in another time zone. After the panic subsides you toss and turn trying to get back in to a hold of sleep only to be awaken again by environment unfamiliarity and the adultery happening next door. Hotels are only familiar due to repetition, the smells and paid smiles are often the same. Bad air fresheners’ and stale cold air being pumped through the vents are just part this element. The rest made up of controlled situations with an uncontrollable circumstance.
The experience of the traveler is feeling out of place; and that’s core of why I’m here. It’s something you look forward to as much as you want it to end, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Until Next time.