Jenna is leaving for her first business trip tomorrow. She is headed to St. Louis for a three-day training. I bet this is the first time she will have a hotel room all to herself. No brother to share a bathroom with, and she doesn’t have to hear me snore in the bed next to her. Her job will cover food and travel; she will have to remember to save her receipts and submit an expense report.
Wow! Baby’s first business trip! So bizarre, and yet actually happening. She is already well-traveled, having spent part of her summer in Israel and on her own in Greece. When he returned from that trip, she told us she had become just like her Dad, a Type-A traveler who has her paperwork at her fingertips and makes sure not to pack an entire tube of toothpaste in her carry-on bag.
My first business trip was to Portland, Oregon. I worked in a publishing company as an editorial assistant and was tasked with organizing a retreat for 30 teachers to learn about a pilot program called “new math.” I planned the logistics for the trip and answered everyone’s questions beforehand. I was thrilled when my boss asked me if I also wanted to attend. At that point, I had never been west of anywhere. My family stuck to east coast vacations.
Portland was awesome. We were in the Mount Hood area, which was breathtaking. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time ensuring the food and the buses arrived on time, so I didn’t get to explore beyond my hotel. I realized on that trip if I wanted to be a tourist in the places where I was traveling, I’d have to go a day or two early or stay after the conference ended.
My next business trip was to San Diego. I arrived two days early and hopped on a double-decker tourist bus to see the sights myself. I remember feeling so grown up, and for the first ten years of my career, I traveled around the country to Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Toronto, Orlando, Las Vegas, and many more cities in between. When I came home, I gave my parents cool refrigerator magnets as a souvenir from my adventures. When I go home to visit them, they serve as colorful reminders of where I’ve been.
So where did you go for your first business trip? Let me know in the comments.