I have just returned from a week in Glasgow, Scotland. The trip was for business and took me there for 8 days, including a weekend. It`s my third time in lovely Scotland and had very little free time to explore. It was a very good trip – one that focused on business.
My primary motivation in life is friends and family. There is nothing that is more important to me (even though I show that in odd ways from time to time :)). Sometimes this means work becomes a priority as it is something that helps me interact with friends and family and certainly opens many opportunities for experiences which can develop me further…for friends and family.
It is because of this that I found business travel to be deflating for some time. I value the present a great deal and knowing that I was away from those who I hold dear was a tough deal to accept. I would make the most of it and have a lot of fun but there was still a hollowness that I was missing out on times with people I held dear that I would never, ever get back. The emotion was different than simply missing people – it was one of missing out.
I tried something new about 4 years ago and it`s made a massive difference on my perspective and added a lot of enjoyment to these trips (and my return) since. It`s something I wholly recommend to those of you who travel on business – it can also be applied to traveling for pleasure.
In order to reconcile that I am missing out on time with friends and family in the present, I purchase something that I either couldn’t or wouldn’t at home to share with those who are dear with me later. Essentially I am trading a present sacrifice for a future experience that could not have happened without the sacrifice itself. This means that I will get to do something with people I hold dear and they get to experience something they may not have otherwise because I went on that trip.
The most common things I purchase are food and drink related. I really like to try to acquire flavors that are local or unique. Regional chocolate is easy to pick up at airports and things like coffee and tea can have interesting interpretations from all over the world.
Alcohol is a favourite. It`s portable, often includes a wonderful design element, shares well and lasts a long time – if not, forever.
This trip has seen a bottle of Edradour Scotch added to my collection. They pride themselves on being Scotland`s smallest distillery (they employ 3) and produce 1-3 casks of Scotch per week. The bottle I purchased is a hand-numbered bottle from a single cask was aged from May 28, 1996 through August 18, 2009. It wasn`t the cheapest bottle (around $100 Canadian) and I would never spend that type of money on a bottle at home – and that`s part of the point!
When I can`t find something regional, I revert to Scotch. We`ve built a collection of about 12 bottles over the years. We have tasted them all and have yet to finish our first bottle – I`m not the world`s biggest Scotch drinker. I remember the trips the different bottles came from and the memories I`ve had sharing them with those dear since then.
Anyone do something similar (or willing to try?) Are there any other food related traditions some of you apply to business (or personal) travel? Anyone have a taste of a region they want to share?