In my old professional life I spent a lot of time in hotels. I was on the road a lot. Sometimes travelling thousands of miles by car a week. Sometimes I’d be gone one or two night a week, and other times I’d be gone 4 nights a week.
I always enjoyed the new scenery. I loved seeing remote areas where nature is abundant. Especially during the summer when the weather was good and driving was easy as the days were long so there was lots of sunlight.
I despised winter travel – I hate being on the road far from civilization during cold days and dark nights.
The hotels are usually decent, but not always. In fact, one time I stepped in the room, turned around and marched out to the front desk and demanded a new room that had been cleaned (I’ll spare you the details, I’ll just say there were used feminine products in the bathroom and that was just the beginning of the problems). And thanks to a former colleague’s paranoia, I now include a bed bug inspection before I climb into bed.
I learned the difference in good hotel gyms and bad hotel gyms. And good hotel pillows/beds versus bad pillows/beds.
The breakfasts in the hotels are always the same and are greasy and gross. If I’m lucky there will be a couple pieces of ripe(ish) fruit and some camomile tea. If I am unlucky I’ll be stuck hungry and hoping to find somewhere decent for lunch.
But for me, the absolute worst part of this type of travel was the nights away. I hate sleeping in hotels by myself. I miss Mr. MPB and I miss my dog. And I just cannot relax enough to get a good night sleep.
And then, I discovered that things could be worse when I was traveling. Having a miscarriage in a hotel room is far from ideal. Visiting an emergency room thousands of miles away from Mr. MPB to find out our second baby was dying and scrambling to get on the next flight home without really understanding what was going on – also not ideal. I became petrified of being away from home and losing another baby, I started refusing to travel overnight for work. I became so scared that the travel might be causing the miscarriages (it wasn’t, but there was no telling me that while we were in the thick of it). And so I’ sit hear realizing that tonight is the first time I’ve been away over night without Mr. MPB since our second miscarriage.
In my new professional life, as a self-employed consultant, I have a lot more say on my work and therefore my travel. If a project will require too much travel, I wont do it. I’ve learned what really matters to me/us, and we know that extensive travel is just not an option anymore.
But this week, right now in fact, for the first time in well over a year, I’m in a hotel again. I spent my day driving and my evening in a grueling meeting, but it was good and productive and things are generally good. It’s just been a horribly long day and I didn’t even get to my hotel until after 11pm. I’m sleepy and yet realize I’m unlikely to sleep much at all tonight – not a great combination for tomorrow.
I’m actually sitting in the hotel room as I write this. The hotel is pretty new so I’m not worried about spending the night in a dive. The bed bug inspection proved pointless (thankfully). It’s a decently comfortable king size bed. I’ve checked to make sure the door to the room is locked at least 3 times. And now I’m hoping to fall asleep sometimes before I have to get up in the morning for my next meeting at 8am.
It’s funny, I’m sitting here and I feel rather thankful that I don’t do this as much as I used to. I’m thankful that I don’t live in hotels like I used to. I’m thankful most mornings I have my full wardrobe to choose from, not a few items wrinkled in a bag. I’m thankful that so far self-employment is working well for me.
And most of all, I’m thankful that I’ll be back home sometime today!
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