Traveling isn’t all glamour and glitz. Traveling for work can leave a massive void in your life. There are no beers with a buddy on a random Tuesday night or casual walks with the dogs. For every Miami, New Orleans and Savannah, GA there is a small town in a fly over state that’s lucky to be a dot on a map. Finding ways to pass an often depressing amount of down time on the road can be a key to staying sane. Below are some ideas that I live for keeping busy on the road and entertaining myself. One of the perks of a large territory is that you are often on a relaxed schedule when traveling from one meeting to a new city to stage for the next one. Don’t hesitate to stop in the small towns and check out the antique shops or have a homemade pie.
Recently I have gotten really into collecting and trying new bourbons, but finding rare bottles near home can be difficult for several reasons. Utilizing my time on the road has allowed me to find bottles that would take me months to get at home. But hunting for bottles accomplishes a few things for me. First, it gives me something engaging to do in my down time, going to each liquor store around me and searching the shelves for that elusive bottle. Second, it’s a unique way to explore the cities around you, by driving store to store. Finally, in some instances, you can find bottles rare enough that they are worth flipping for a profit on secondary markets.
This is just an example, but there are plenty of interesting things to find in most cities if you get out of the souvenir shop. I even went on an antique store kick for a while.
Similar to the collecting angle this particular activity does quite a bit for you. It allows you to explore new cities and landscapes on beautiful courses. I love going out to a course after a long plane ride and walking 9 holes. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise after 4 hours in a sardine can. This was cost prohibitive for me at first, as my company would only pay for one checked bag, but once you hit status on an airline, your first checked bag will be free OR you can check out my tips for packing light and how I only travel with a carry on now and avoid the issue all together.
A miserable hobby for most but a great way to explore a new city while getting exercise. I trained for a half marathon while living out of a hotel in LA for 3 months and got to know the area around Manhattan Beach intimately on long runs in the evening. This isn’t as applicable for those suburban and airport hotels, but when staying downtown anywhere, I encourage you to grab your Aasics and hit the sidewalk in the evening.
I recently invested in a camera slightly nicer than my iPhone. There are plenty of breath taking views on the back roads of America that you will want to appreciate again and share with friends and family. After passing enough small town store fronts, abandoned manufacturing plants, ocean sunsets and cityscapes, I decided that I needed a better way to documents my sights and appreciate the beauty around me. You will certainly come across some sights that are worthy of coffee tables books and framed prints. Take your own and make it personal!
Got any other ideas to add? Please share them in the comments!