If you have ever travelled for business, then you know how it works.
All the hassle of travel without the benefits of enjoying the location you are visiting.
“How was New York?”
“Oh, it was fine. I saw the inside of a plane, the inside of a cab and the inside of a board room”
It may as well have been in Croydon.
Business is what you do, it’s what you must do and hopefully what you want to do. But work is hard, you may enjoy it but it’s not the same kind of enjoyment that you get from indulging a passion. Sure, you may get a buzz from making a sale. But is it the same rush as going on safari, flying, sailing, sunning, eating… Enjoying yourself.
Life is for living, not to make other people money. The regrets you have are more likely to be things you didn’t do rather than experiences you gained.
You can control the blur between your private and professional life. Get it right and you may find yourself the envy of your peers.
“How was New York?”
“It was spectacular. We saw a Broadway show, we ate at Per Se, we won the pitch”
Life is good.
Why completely compartmentalise the parts of your life as if someone else is in control? You are responsible for your actions. Why would you not take advantage of every opportunity?
Being a bit tired because of life experiences is a better position to be in than well rested and bored.
Ok, so, is it unprofessional to enjoy yourself on a work trip?
You may need to ask yourself some serious questions about your employer if the answer is yes.
Is it appropriate that you work 100+ hour weeks? Is it fair that you are in cape town but can’t go and play golf?
If you find yourself not having time to indulge those passions because things (work) keeps getting in the way. Then you aren’t getting your work life balance right, and because you have to work, you can bring some fun into your routine. It’s your decision to not make time for yourself to do those things you enjoy.
Your company is flying you out, flying you back and covering business expenses. It doesn’t make a difference to them if the flight back is Sunday night rather than Friday…
The business part of the trip is complete, and you can make the most of a couple of days exploring. Having fun, without the expense of getting yourself there and back in the first place.
Regrets to avoid:
- Not playing golf in the Algarve when doing business in Lisbon
- Not eating seeing the Mona Lisa after your conference in Paris
- Not seeing the Sagrada Famila after a successful pitch in Barcelona
- Not skiing the Matterhorn after a meeting in Zurich
- I could go on…
Where was your last business trip? Did you take advantage of your situation? Did you eat at Pasteis de Belem when you were in Lisbon? How was the sport fishing when you set up new offices in Miami?
Or did you enjoy the hotel room, Netflix and a trip back to the office?
Next time you are asked if you are travelling for business or pleasure? Try not to smirk.
We can do both.
Despite being a city dweller (in my case London) I have always been a very keen pursuer of country sports, particularly fishing and shooting. I began to find that it was difficult to get bespoke trips and holidays across the world based on these particular interests. I felt sure that I would not be alone in struggling to find very specialist, bespoke travel services. This was particularly as I often liked to combine business trips with my personal interests so I needed a specialist who was knowledgeable about both and could understand and accommodate my needs and wishes. At that time such a thing did not exist and that is why I decided to set up Independent Travel Concierge.