File this under the category of "things that appear to be glamorous but really aren't".
When I travel I rarely to never sleep well, especially on the first night. For the record, most of my business trips are a day or three; fortunately the days of week long treks are very rare these days. Anyway, it doesn't matter what hotel I am at*...well for the most part...because the result is always the same: I don't sleep well. Oh, and the expectation is that, no matter how well I sleep or don't sleep, I still have to be at 100%. I know, cry me a river, but still having the pressure to perform (whatever "perform" means for you or me) is made far worse when you didn't get more than two hours of sleep at a clip the night before.
So what's with hotel rooms and me? We'll I have a few ideas.
1) Uneven temperature. Is it me or do hotel rooms have two temperatures, hot and cold?
2) Loud temperature. When the heating and/or cooling system does kick in (momentarily making it too hot or too cold) it usually manages to do so with what appears to my ears to be a mini-sonic boom.
3) Noises in general. Look, I kind of hate sleeping to begin with, and as a result (or because of?) I am a very light sleeper. I've heard people in adjoining rooms having conversations at 3am. I've heard drunks rolling down hallways at all hours. In Hartford I've heard all manner of sirens and the like at all hours. In Newark? Well, I try not to be surprised at anything.
4) Preparing. When I travel I usually have a particular "thing" to do; it can be teaching a class, participating in a seminar, participating in staff meetings or something similar. It almost always requires participation on my part, which tends to suck up what little mental firepower I have, and then some.
5) "On". Regardless of what I am doing...or preparing to do...when I am traveling I am pretty much "on", even when I'm in the hotel room alone. Yeah, I try to relax, but that's a relative term when you're sitting in a hotel room and you're surrounded by work stuff.
Now I fully and completely acknowledge that I am extraordinarily lucky to have a job, let alone a job that allows me to see such glamorous places like New Jersey and central Connecticut. I don't take it for granted. But it's far from glamorous, and truth be told, I prefer to stay at home more.
As Butthead would say, "Hehehe, he's old". Of course Beavis would reply, "Yeah, yeah, old".
(*) Hotels are odd things; I've stayed at some that cost over $200 a night that were just barely better than some that I've stayed at for less than $100 a night. In the end, what matters is a reasonably comfortable bed, decent TV & a CLEAN bathroom.
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