It’s been quite a busy week – from Monday to Saturday a different city every day. That’s a lot of hotel full English breakfasts (alas I don’t have the will power to only have fruit if someone else has kindly prepared a huge buffet) and hours on trains.
Travelling for work isn’t, in my experience all that glamorous. Inevitably I’ve found myself at all hours of the day being tired, cold, slightly peckish with my transport delayed. At this point my sense of humour starts to fail. This was the situation I found myself in on Friday.
I’ve learnt over the years to have an emergency snack hidden in my bag and always travel as though I’m about to trek to the Arctic (woolly gloves in summer are not unheard of) Usually I also have some mints and a book to read so hours can be whiled away when the laptop battery has run out (this seems to be a pre-requisite for delayed travel). I also obsessively pack headphones so I can listen to music, pack as little as possible and always wear comfy, warm shoes.
All of these points help maintain my sense of humour and smile. But for me the real key to maintaining my sense of humour is to view travel as an opportunity for catching up and switching off. Travelling, even when not luxurious has been crucial at times to develop ideas, read journals or simply catch up on sleep. I’ll admit to making the odd final tweaks to presentations as well.
I’ve learnt over the years to accept the unpredictable variability of travel. Uncertainty can be tamed. Preparation makes me better able to roll with with incomplete, messy information to get the best result. To get home. But being Bayesian at heart I know my approach to being happy when travelling can be improved – why not share your key tips for happy travelling?