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Diary of a Business Traveller

Diary of a Business Traveller

Since we commenced our business travels a few weeks ago, I’ve had a lot of people exclaiming their envy over what I’m doing. And while I feel very blessed with the opportunity to see different parts of Europe thus way, I often joke to my family that in some ways this is no better than my old weekly trips to the mining town of Karratha… Here are some snippets from my recent travels…

Sunday 3pm, Amsterdam to Heathrow
It’s a sunny weekend in a Amsterdam and I’m grabbing a taxi to head across the Channel to London. Not my favourite way to spend a Sunday, that’s for sure! I arrive at Heathrow, and then spend more time catching the train and tube into the centre of London than I did on my flight.

Sunday 6pm, London Bridge to Gatwick
I am fortunate to be able to catch up with one of my best friends for dinner, before spending another hour or so on the train out to Gatwick Airport, where I am staying. Why stay at Gatwick but fly into Heathrow? Because my client is at Gatwick, but due to this week’s complicated flying schedule (next flight is to Milano Linate) I needed to fly into Heathrow…

Sunday 11.30pm, Hilton Gatwick
Arrive at the Hilton Gatwick, only to join ten others in the queue for reception. I finally get my room key, and find once again I have been given a room a fair hike from reception. What is with my luck with hotel rooms these days? Why am I always so far away?

Monday 8am, Hilton Gatwick
I walk to the lobby for breakfast. As I leave my room I glance down at my stopwatch, and decide to switch it on. Was I exaggerating about my room being really far from reception? No, I decide, four and a half minutes later when I reach the lobby.

Monday 9am – 6pm, Reigate
Workshop time – it’s a busy day of facilitating discussions and taking notes… As I scan my inbox at the end of the day I think how quiet it’s been in terms of emails… Then I remember: today is a public holiday in the Netherlands.

Monday 7.30pm, Hilton Gatwick
Think it’s all wining and dining in the finest restaurants on these trips? We are so exhausted and too far from the centre of town to even leave the hotel: we grab dinner at the hotel restaurant, debriefing on the day and what we can expect tomorrow. Finally we head to bed …

Tuesday 6.45am, Gatwick Airport Car Park
I’m up, and ready to run – training never stops. But where to run? I jog out of the hotel and randomly decide to go left. Within five minutes I end up at Gatwick Airport itself, running through the car park. Bad choice. I make a loop and end up back at the hotel. By now, traffic has picked up, and turning right is no longer an option. So I repeat the Airport Loop, twice more. Not my most inspiring run…

Tuesday 8am, Hilton Gatwick
I meet my colleague in the lobby to check out.

“Where we you last night?” she asks.

“What are you taking about? I said good night to you at 11pm.” What more of the night was there? I wonder.

“The fire alam? 3.30am?” she probes.

Turns out part of the hotel was evacuated in the middle of the night because of a fire alarm. Only part though – not the part I was sleeping in – so far from reception… Thank goodness I missed that moment to celebrate the glamorous life of business travel!

Tuesday 5pm, Heathrow Airport Security Queue

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