No matter how frequently you do it, it’s always a tough transition to leave home and go on the road. Different, of course, if you’re going on vacation, where the goal is usually to forge a break with your homebound routine. When you go on the road professionally, however, I’m betting that the goal is usually to change as little as possible. (I’m starting to feel like William Hurt in the movie of Accidental Tourist, without the advantages that Kathleen Turner or Geena Davis might afford.)
First, you’re working, and your primary impetus is to be the same as or better than you would be at home in that regard. Second, there’s the lifestyle issue. If you’re physically active at home, you have to forge an exercise routine on the road, often in hostile conditions. Whether a hotel is smack downtown, or (more likely in this day of reduced travel budgets) in come god-forsaken suburban strip development, it’s difficult to map out a running course and actually put on sweats, saunter through the lobby of either dapper urbanites (the Four Seasons downtown location) or tipsy Willie Lomans (the Fairfield Inn in the strip development) and run your 2 - 4 miles.
If you are a gym habitue at home, you have the added chore of finding a facility that’s a) open and b) will let you in as a casual participant. Some hotels have an exercise facility that has some form of universal weight contraption. I will use these if they don’t look like they’ll collapse and crush me, although it’s probably a comical sight to watch me puzzling over the mechanics of the thing, trying to replicate, on a machine the size of an apartment dishwasher, the workout I get an my Nautilus club back home. Other hotels have liaisons with a nearby Y or Gold’s gym.
For a long time, coffee was my biggest challenge. I need/require/cannot function without at least a double espresso in the morning. At home in Seattle, where there is an espresso cart or shop every half block, even in the aforementioned godforsaken suburban strip developments, this is no problem. Plus, I have a shit-kicking espresso machine in my kitchen. When you leave the coast for an engagement in one of the red states, pickings get pretty slim. 3 or 4 years ago, I resolved this by purchasing a really sweet little espresso maker from Capresso as a travel companion. It has a compact footprint, about the size of a 3-pound Folger’s coffee can, makes a hefty double-shot, and has enough left in the tank to make a nice head of milk foam. Since I prefer non-fat milk in my coffee, powdered milk worked fine and obviated the need for a refrigerator in my hotel.
The Capresso and I were together everywhere - Fresno, Toledo, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Atlanta, Dallas, Orlando, Spokane, Grand Rapids, Charleston, SC, Fayetteville, NC, Irvine. The steamer wand finally fell victim to airline baggage handling, and I haven’t been able to find or fashion a repair. Fortunately here in Milwaukee, a pie-eyed entrepreneur has set up a dandy little espresso shop 2 blocks from my client, and I stop there each morning for a quad-shot macchiato. As I usually have the place to myself at 7:30 am, I fear for its long-term prospects, and will actively pursue a repair or (sniff!) replacement of my faithful Capresso when I get back to Seattle.