Dylan once said to me that I have the coolest job because I get to travel. In some ways he is right. I have been to a great many places and seen many things that I wouldn't have been able to otherwise. I've been very fortunate to have been able to travel so much. I've been to every continent except Africa (and I even had some chances to go there) and Antarctica. I've seen some of the most popular landmarks in the world (eg., the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, Rialto Towers, the Petronas twin towers, and others.) On this trip I will be able to add downtown Tokyo and perhaps the great wall of China. I am indeed blessed. Because my international trips typically involve seeing the vendors we use, or vendors that are trying to get us to become clients, I am often very well hosted - going to nice restaurants, being taken to see the sights, etc. And, because of company policy, we typically stay in very nice hotels. In Delhi, I am staying here.
That's all the good parts - the parts that Dylan thinks he knows about...but he doesn't really know any of the bad, so here goes:
1) Flights and layovers. There is nothing glamorous about 14 hours flights in coach or 10 hour layovers. I've done both and they SUCK.
2) Heat. I've been to places so hot that it was 100 at 7:00AM.
3) Fatigue. The expectation is that your regular day job will continue to get done. This means that you do your 8-10 hours (why you traveled) and then another several hours catching up on all that US work. Being sleep deprived and working at night is a particular challenge.
4) Homesickness. The worst of all travel maladies. Sometimes I miss Angie and the kids so much it physically hurts. I'm trying not to think about the last week of this trip. I've never gone that long and I'm not going to like it.
Am I lucky? You bet. Will I stop? Nope. Can it be a pain? Absolutely.