Just got back from Toronto business trip. I never used to go on business trips. I always imagined them to be a luxury plane trip to a distance vacation spot, two hours of actual work and glad-handing, and then a couple days expense account relaxation.
Wrong wrong wrong.
A late afternoon plane trip from Winnipeg to Toronto, landing tired and hungry. We checked into our hotel, dropped off our baggage in our rooms, and asked a hotel staff member for any good places to eat in the immediate vicinity. He suggested a few, but as we followed his directions, we realized we should have been more specific in our inquiries... it was 11:00pm and all of the places were closed! Luckily, a nearby pub was still open, and had generous food portion. Had a very good philly melt!
Then came work! Up before the sun, and eight to ten hour meetings in a room full of very smart people, organizing, discussing, planning, etc. Taking notes, crossing out notes, writing on white boards, writing on pads of paper... it doesn't sound difficult until you have to do it for a long stretch and with such intensity. By the time we'd break for lunch or for the day, you're hungry, tired, and your head is exploding with new ideas!
We cabbed directly to the hotel from the airport. The pub (which we thought was so nice we ate there twice) was half a block from the hotel. The meetings were held in the same hotel. We broke from the last meeting and jumped immediately into a cab to the airport for a flight back to Winnipeg. Apart from a short stroll down Yonge St, I'd almost believed Toronto was only a movie studio backdrop outside my hotel window.
And, honestly, I prefer it that way. I didn't go out on an expense account to fool around. I went to meet smart people and trade ideas. Even the flights consisted of a laptop and project planning. Work work work. Not what I imagined, and I'm all the better for the experience! :)