In my previous life as a newspaper reporter and editor, I took a similar yearly trip to the New York Press Association’s training conference. So, clearly, I am no stranger to business travel (and I only work for companies that send me somewhere cool, at least once a year).
My experience leads me to believe that most business conferences, seminars, and other similar events are all the same.
In addition to learning and networking, there is always the possibility that heavy liquor consumption, hookers, drugs, strip clubs, all-night parties, sex with strangers, sex with people you know but would never have sex with unless you were drunk, and hanging out with the occasional farm animal will come into play.
Okay, I wouldn’t know anything about that last one, but in my two decades of business travel, most of the other stuff may or may not have happened. Like, this one time? When I was in Saratoga for a newspaper conference? I drank gin all night, smoked weed in an alley, made out with a young photographer in an abandoned office building, and then got mugged/beat-up on my way back to my hotel.
Who the hell gets mugged in Saratoga?
That’s EXACTLY what the police officer asked.
Now, before anyone gets their panties in a knot, here’s my disclaimer:
I am NOT accusing ANYONE of participating in ANY of the illegal, immoral, or awesome activities listed above, and I have NEVER participated in ANY such activities while “on the clock.”
I can see it now, some asshole is gonna be all like, “Oh my GOD, see? He gets sent away on business trips and all he does is participate in orgies with farm animals and hookers. He should be FIRED!”
Seriously? Get a fucking life, dude.
Anywho, that Saratoga story pretty much sums up my EARLY experiences with business travel.
My more recent experiences?
Not so much.
|Room with a view.|
Here’s a tip: NEVER eat in a hotel restaurant, the prices are ridiculous!
We went back to the room, showered and headed out for a night on the town. Our original plan was to go bowling, but after walking the streets of New York for a few hours, we decided to just have dinner and go back to our room.
We were in bed by 10pm.
The Girlfriend placated my desire to do some bar hopping on the way back to the hotel and, after consuming three too many beers, I passed out around midnight. Admittedly, I had a bit of a headache in my first class, but it was nothing that a greasy breakfast sandwich and a pint of orange juice couldn’t take care of.
On Tuesday night I avoided alcohol altogether, opting instead for a casual dinner, a great Broadway musical (because, duh, I LOVE Broadway show tunes), and desserts from Pie Face. We were back at the hotel around 10pm, eating mini-pies in bed, and just bullshitting.
The Girlfriend fell asleep soon after and I laid in bed watching episodes of Family Guy. As I started to doze off, I thought about how the scene wasn’t much different than a weeknight at home back on Long Island.
“Fuck,” I thought, remembering the good old days of all-night partying. “I am SO. Fucking. Old.”
I thought about the countless men around the world, traveling on business, some of them dropping hundreds on lap dances from perfumed girls with fake tits as Beyonce plays in the background (because Beyonce makes the perfect strip club music), some of them paying for blowjobs from one of the hookers in wigs that loiter around hotel entrances, some of them throwing up on the sidewalk, boning their mistress, or making out with some random stranger in the filthy bathroom in a dive bar.
I looked over at The Girlfriend, so peaceful and beautiful as she slept, and I suddenly couldn’t wait to get home and see the kids... see our kitties... and continue living my beautiful life.
At that moment I realized that it wasn’t about getting old...
I was just happy.
I was content.
I shut the television off, closed my eyes, and thanked God for everything I have.