I seem to have been traveling a lot lately. Sometimes that has been personal – to see friends. Sometimes that has been business - to meet up with slaves in other cities.
Back in the day, I was based in London, working in the software industry, with customers all over the United States. And there were some years where I would visit the United States nearly monthly, visiting four or five cities over a working week. And one year in particular, I was here 20 times. More than a quarter of my year was consumed by travel to the United States.
One side effect of that is I have a gazillion airmiles – which I am now starting to use to travel around the United States and (even) to Europe. I was also a super platinum level frequent flyer – which meant I could use the First class lounges and had a flunky greet me at checkin – although that still didn’t really alleviate the irritations of travel (see below). But those privileges are very quickly taken away as soon as you stop travelling – after only a few years I am back down to the basic level.
But travel quickly loses its glamour. Very quickly it becomes a series of irritations with lines and waiting – from checkin, through security, in the lounge, while boarding, through immigration, waiting for luggage etc. And then each stop on the business trip starts to look increasingly similar – from picking the rental car up at the airport (more lines!) to checking in to the hotel (more lines!) to finding the customer location the next day in some anonymous business park to heading back to the airport (and more lines!). I was spending time in some wonderful cities (New York, San Francisco, Seattle) without ever actually seeing them.
But now… I travel less frequently (at least compared to that peak frequency)… And when I do I travel in style. So for example, I just spent a few days in Los Angeles, at the request of a regular slave, where I flew first class (which ameliorates some of the lines), had a town car at my disposal to ferry me around (although I worry about the carbon footprint) and stayed at a 5 star hotel (so comfy) – all paid for (of course).
There is a side of me which hates leaving home… leaving San Francisco and my lovely safe life here. But I also rather love traveling – providing it is sufficiently comfortable.