The Glamour of International Business Travel

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If you’re a regular at The Rock and Roll Mom, you know I have to travel a fair bit on business.  So I’ve seen my fair share of travel drama.  Its inevitable really.  Rarely does any amount of travel go by completely without a hitch when flying is concerned, especially when you throw in a connection or two to make things interesting.  If you’ve been reading my blog you’ll also know that I’m not a carry-on only sort of girl so throw in a piece of luggage or two and you’ve got the potential for a perfect storm!

With the Shorties, my goal is to always be gone for the least amount of time possible.  This often means taking some pretty crazy travel options to be able to get home as soon as I can.  I’m most proud of my New York for the day trips.  With the help of Cathay Pacific, I can leave Vancouver at 10pm, land at New York JFK at 6am.  Take a car into the city, have a quick shower and then hit the ground running with a day full of meetings, press or even a TV taping (luckily the late night shows usually tape around 4-6pm).  Then I head back to JFK around 8pm to fly back to Vancouver on the red-eye arriving at 2am.  I can sleep in my own bed for a few hours before the kids wake-up.  Genius!  I love it!

But you know, life isn’t always so simple.  Throw in a delay or two and the best laid plans go out the window.  I had one particularly harrowing adventure as I was heading to NYC for a major, 2 day press hit for a news magazine show for one of our clients.  This time I was routed through Toronto.  Some nasty weather in Vancouver delayed our departure and I missed the connection to NYC.  I had a very early start the next morning in NYC with an interview scheduled to take place in my hotel suite.  Luckily I was rebooked on a flight leaving Toronto at 6am.  No problem!  My bag went missing at this point so I was sent off to the hotel with a “Comfort Kit” consisting of a size XL men’s t-shirt, some shaving cream and men’s deodorant around 2am.  After a couple of hours of sleep (if you can call it that) I packed on back to the check-in counter, smelling like a dude in yesterday’s stinking, sweaty airplane clothes.  Luckily my bag was there and rechecked and I was off.

Arriving in NYC at 7am I headed into the city with the rest of the rush hour traffic.  I raced up to my room to shower off the eau de Dude and rinse out my sweaty bra in the sink.  Just as I put down the curling iron the camera crew arrived to set up.  I wrung out my laundry from the sink (I always travel with laundry detergent for moments such as this) and much to my horror realized this hotel room did not have a closet, just a wide open rack to hang clothes.  I found a little perch in the corner of the room to lay my old bra to dry behind the suitcase.  At this point, the crew had effectively taken over my suite – cameramen, producer, lighting and audio guys, publicists – and horror of horrors the esteemed journalist who would conduct the interview had moved a chair to that exact corner of this vast 2 room suite and was now resting his feet next to my dripping bra.  Lovely!

Another time, I was pregnant with Shorty #2.  We were doing a shoot for a TV commercial in Buenos Aires.  It was January so in the dead of the Argentine summer.  I was routed from Vancouver to Toronto, Toronto to Santiago, Chile and then finally Santiago to Buenos Aires.  After landing in Buenos Aires I had that horrible sinking feeling that can only come when you are the last person standing at a an empty baggage carousel, watching the same remnants of packing tape and yarn go round and round, ever hopeful that by some miracle your bag will appear from nowhere.  It was not be, I was 5 months pregnant and I had an early meeting with ad agency the next morning!  The next flight from Toronto wasn’t arriving for at least another 24 hours!  Luckily, shopping malls in Buenos Aires are open at 8pm on a Sunday night!!!  The lovely production assistant took pity on me and brought me to the nearest mall where I managed to scrounge together a wardrobe for the next couple days.  I almost kissed the bellman who arrived the following evening with my bag in hand.

Sprinting through airports to make connections, facing full security patdowns (like can I have a cigarette afterwards kind of patdowns), neverending waits for delayed flights, lost (and found) luggage.  All par for the course when you travel.  On my last trip as I stared down an air-traffic control strike that started while I was en route, I just kept thinking “Oh well, maybe there’s a blog post in all this…”  Looks like there was.

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