After the conclusion of the Olympics I started a new job at a sports software company called fuseSPORT. And while I generally enjoy traveling, I was gone for 13 out of my first 23 days on the job – it’s very hectic due to the fact that I was also still completing my training and working my day to day on top of being in conference and event mode!
My new boss and I (after knowing each other for a week) spent 10 days pretty much joined at the hip, followed by a brief break and then another 3 days on the road again. It could have been a disastrous experience but instead turned out to be quite wonderful!
There are three things I realized that made a huge difference in having a positive business trip experience: unpacking completely at each stop, making time to be a tourist, and indulging in the festivities but still keeping everything under control.
1. Unpack Everything
I think I read an article about Taylor Swift once a long time ago talking about how she always unpacks her things wherever she is staying, no matter how short a duration, to feel more at home and to stay in her routine. Before then I had always been too lazy and would live out of my suitcase. But I’m telling you, unpacking makes a huge difference! I’ve really gotten in to laying out all of my toiletries too, which is probably as nerdy as it sounds, but it makes me feel so good.
2. Be A Tourist
This isn’t always possible, depending on what you’re doing and who you’re with, but I’ve always made a huge effort to do at least one touristy thing while in a new city. Which usually involves eating at some restaurant I’ve heard about. While in Nashville we lucked out and had almost an entire day so we hit up the famous Loveless Cafe (BISCUITS!), the Belle Meade Plantation, and Tootsie’s downtown (along with a few other things along the way. In Oklahoma City we made a point to go see the OKC bombing memorial. Then in Minneapolis (our shortest trip) we took a trip out to the Mall of America where we proceeded to ride all of the rides – and I won a free round of mini golf by making a hole in one!
3. Indulge (A Little)
I often have a sort of new city FOMO (fear of missing out, just in case you’re unfamiliar with the term) where I think I have to eat all the foods and drink all the drinks. Especially if they’re free. So going on trips to conferences where there’s a multitude of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snack breaks, and happy hours can be a little challenging for me. Indulging too much can be bad for two reasons.
One, eating too many unhealthy, rich foods can make me feel bloated, lethargic, and overall just a little out of it. Not good for events that require lots of event prep and networking. I’ve really been trying to make an effort to eat healthy during those times where the food isn’t really worthwhile (like skipping the dessert at a keynote lunch or choosing eggs instead of pancakes at the continental breakfast) and then letting myself get the house specialty at a landmark restaurant.
Two, partaking in to many libations can make for a sticky situation when your out with coworkers and trying to decide whether or not it is appropriate to dance on an elevated surface. While I’m lucky in that I’m not much of a drinker, in the last few weeks I have been too may many events where I have been slightly embarrassed for people and have vowed regardless to never be “that girl.” Plus, you can always tell the next day who might not be feeling 100%. My general rule of thumb is if I wouldn’t want my parents finding a video of me doing something on the Internet, I probably shouldn’t be doing it. And that includes drinking so much at the hosted bar that I take my shoes off (which has thankfully never happened).
While I do love to travel, it will nice to be home for a little while. I have one more trip to visit my family for Easter and then some time to really buckle down and settle into my new job. However, we are an Australian founded company so I’m hoping for a trip Down Under later this year!