Today I took my first business trip since my 1998 jaunt to a printing plant in Winston-Salem, NC as the then-yearbook editor at Northwestern. My big adventure today wasn’t so big – a day trip to Milwaukee for a land trust conference via Amtrak. Woo-wee.
I never really experienced the highs and lows of business travel – the late-night sing-a-longs in a lonely hotel lobby I’m assuming you people do, so this experience was quite the novelty. Even after spilling a cup of coffee on myself in the wee hours of the morning on the train, I still chuckled when Jeremy texted me that both kids were awake and ready to start their day at 5:40 a.m. Ah, peace and quiet, how I’ve missed you, gentle friends.
And it was a really productive day – I attended two great sessions that hopefully will help me grow professionally and, in turn, help my organization. I also met some nice people and – Jeremy – if we’re ever in Missoula, Montana, I have a friend we can stay with.
Yet my mind always goes back to my first and most dear profession: Motherhood. And in honor of my good friend who’s going to be a first-time mama soon and is a seasoned business traveler, I present without further adieu:
Universal truths about motherhood and business travel:
- No matter where you are or what time you woke up, it’s magical to watch the sun rise.
- Always wear black; it hides stains (please see coffee spill above).
- Anti-bacterial wipes are indispensible.
- Calories still count so make good food choices.
- You can never have too many tissues or napkins (please see coffee spill above).
- People get grumpy when they are hungry and tired.
- Playing nice always gets you further – you never know when you’ll need an ally or a buddy to help you out.
- Make sure your batteries are always charged.
- Expect and welcome diversions from the original plan.
- A beer at the end of the day never hurt anyone.
What would you add? C’mon, give me your best.