When I was a kid, I used to think of business travel as something glamourous. Planes, hotels, taxis, sushi, bellhops, room service, and Keebler Elf sized shampoo. After getting a job that sometimes requires me to travel, the gloss has faded quite a bit. For starters, as we talked about the other day, the planes suck. The taxis tend to frighten and smell, you never know which place is safe for the sushi, bellhops have gone the way of the full serve gas station, room service menus have prices so high that only dogs can hear them, and the shampoo isn’t even worth stealing.
The only saving grace to all of this is the almost science fiction level of connectedness that came upon us so gradually that I’ve forgotten how I got by before. I used to wander streets aimlessly, get lost continuously, rely on the concierge’s taste in Chinese food, and actually read the complimentary paper they leave outside the room in the morning. Sometimes I would know someone in Randomville, but as many times as not you would get shanghaied into seeing a live performance of midgets having sex with goats on fire.
Now, my phone can tell me if a restaurant is worth going to, has maps to show me the options in the neighbourhood and how to get there, and if I still want to see the midgets I can choose a theatre and showtime based on type of goat.
How did you handle travel, getting around, getting entertained, and getting fed in the days before smartphones and the Internet?
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