The Loneliness of the Not-So-Long-Distance Traveller.
Overall, I travel rather a lot for work. But each trip is not particularly long distance, compared with going to say, India or Australia. For one job, I do tours of English locations such as London, Cambridge and a number of other places, as well as my teaching. For the other, I go to Paris, Cologne, Aachen, Lille, and various other places in France.
I came back on Saturday night after my last trip of this year and I decided to tot up how many hotel rooms I have had this year, and it came to twelve.
That consists of 2 in Austria this February, 1 in Paris in March, 1 in Caen(Normandy) in May/June, 1 in Paris also May/June, another 1 in Paris in June/July, yet another Paris one in October and finally one in Lille this weekend. Plus 4 rooms at the Leicester travel lodge at either end of various trips, because since apart from Austria, all my trips are done over land via coach and the early start (1am in one case) mean it’s not feasible to get from my home on the east coast to the Midlands(or wherever) that morning.
Generally, however stressful these work trips are, and however tiring, I do enjoy them but there are moments when I get back to my hotel room at night and just feel so lonely. I’m the odd one out; the kids have their mates, the teachers have their colleagues and usually, the two drivers have each other to share a quick beer at the bar with.
But the loneliness doesn’t last long. In fact, it lasts about as long as it takes me to get ready for bed and fall asleep.
I’m also pretty stoical about the long hours, the delays and the endless small problems that occur en route; there’s nothing anyone can do about this sort of thing and it is pointless to whine and whinge. With one exception, the hotels I have stayed in over the last few years have been acceptable and the beds comfortable, but you know, they are all starting to look exactly the same!
Anyway, that’s it for this year, travel wise, and that’s probably just as well with the weather problems. I’m digging in and staying put now for a while!