Business travel is an interesting thing. For those of us who travel extensively, it is clear that business travel and leisure travel are very different events. The difference is the stress level. An overload of working business travel can make you feel like you are forever being pulled away from home and rest. For longer trips, you learn that the world will not wait while you are gone, and unfinished personal projects will freeze where you left them.
Rather than focus on the difficult side of travel, I have elected to see the trip as a part of the bigger picture that brings me closer to my goals- whatever they may be. I choose to bring meaning to each trip I take, looking for a new sign or lesson along the way. Any moment can have a subtext with different levels of meaning among the signs and hidden messages. Of course, sometimes a glass of water is just a glass of water, but the trip definitely becomes more interesting.
The reason for the trip is not always what it appears to be. It could be the business meeting, but it could also be to learn (or to teach) something other than the obvious. This view gives every event potential. On this last trip, the business meetings brought me little new information- but I was able to meet with an old friend where both of us were able to listen, laugh and help each other. In another instance, I was in a long session, getting my second cup of coffee trying to stay focused, and I found that I was sitting next to someone who was new to the business-travel-conferencing arena. I learned that I take much for granted, and that I have been around longer than I care to admit. New people don’t carry the historical baggage of those who have been around a while. I learned that I need to make it a point to periodically look at events through fresh eyes- and lighten up a bit.
When I returned home, my perception of my surroundings was a little more broad. It was clear that life is not a business trip where all the problems are meant to be resolved by others in three days. It is an ongoing journey where the solutions come from the most unexpected places, and the answers surprise you.