Another First

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. 



5 comments on Another First

  1. Victoria+Juster
    July 23, 2023 at 2:35 pm (2 months ago)

    How exciting for Jenna! I remember how independent I felt on my first trip. In the dead of a Minnesota winter, grey skies and below zero temps, I got to go to Miami Beach! Loved getting in few days early to explore the city.

  2. Janice Gill
    July 23, 2023 at 2:13 pm (2 months ago)

    I’m in the never-had-a-business-trip corner. Care and education industries tend not to!
    I’m a bit of a homebody anyway, where home is the British Isles.

  3. Martha
    July 23, 2023 at 8:43 am (2 months ago)

    How exciting for Jenna! Since I owned and operated my own interior decorating business, I didn’t have any business trips to go on. However, through a contest one of our suppliers had for being top in sales for blinds and shades, I won a cruise for two to the Bahamas. Hubby and I had a wonderful 4 days and while it wasn’t a business trip it was because of my business. Does this count? LOL

  4. Tamara
    July 23, 2023 at 3:28 am (2 months ago)

    How awesome that you made it a point to do sightseeing before or after your business trips!
    I had to think long and hard in oder to come up with my first one. You see, working in Switzerland, even if it is for an international company, typically means you work for the HQs. Switzerland = tax paradise for corporations. So people from branches had to travel to us. Plus, Travelling within Switzerland can be done by car or train. You go there, it may take 2 – 3 hours, but you usually return the same night.
    I think the first business related trip by plane was for my 2 weeks long Starbucks immersion. To me it was more like a vacation. I mean, think of it, we stopped every couple of blocks to visit a store, we visited the roasting plant, we toured the support center, where the meeting rooms were called Guatemala Antigua or Verona.

  5. Alice Gerard
    July 22, 2023 at 9:56 pm (2 months ago)

    I don’t think that I’ve ever had an actual business trip I have traveled for a lot of different reasons, and I’ve been able to write about my travels and adventures, but I don’t think any of those trips qualify as a business trip!

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