Frequent traveller: Fools rush in
I have an announcement to make. I, the notorious globe-trotting singleton, have found a man. And no, it wasn’t online. Our eyes met across a hotel bar during a rare few weeks back in London. It’s early days, but he’s younger, hotter and less prone to making me burst into tears than the ex, so things are looking rosy.
So rosy, that after a particularly soppy Skype chat, I invited him to accompany me on my next business trip to Dubai. He said he’d love to, and my heart leapt. No lonely nights in my hotel room, no solo dining and no disgraceful minibar raids to pass the time. The solitary lifestyle of a jetsetter can take its toll, and since I’d met my home-grown hunk, I’d actually been contemplating giving it all up – well, slowing it down a bit.
As I tossed my most alluring bikini into my Louis Vuitton holdall, I congratulated myself on following my heart, and being so willing to share my world with someone else. Later, I would not only look back on this moment and wonder why I hadn’t chosen a bikini that actually fitted me, but also what on earth I was thinking.
When we met at the airport, my hopes were high. But as I released myself from his embrace, I gasped in horror. I’d just got a proper look at his choice of outfit for our business class flight. His football shirt, ankle-flapping combat trousers, a bumbag fastened around his waist, and on his bare feet – Crocs.
I don’t know what disappointed me more about his attire – the sheer lack of fashion sense, or the fact that it exposed him as a business travel pleb. While flying in the front needn’t mean getting suited and booted, I personally believe you shouldn’t look like you’re heading off for a boozy week in Magaluf. What did he think this was – a holiday?
My instinct was to march him straight into Harrods and rectify the situation, but instead I took a deep breath and considered that it was too early on in the relationship to tell him what to do or how to dress. So I kept my mouth shut, and we headed to the lounge, where I knocked back a stiff drink to numb my embarrassment, and waited to board.
Unless I have urgent business to attend to, I always look forward to a bit of downtime when I fly. I catch up on the TV and films I never have time to watch, enjoy a glass of wine or two with my meal, have a little nap, and look out at the clouds, embracing the chance simply to sit and think.
It turns out my beloved does not share these travel habits. No, he’s “not really a film buff”, he “can’t sleep unless he’s in a bed” and hates silences – even comfortable ones. Instead, he thought the journey would be a great time to get to know one another better – a sweet sentiment, but not one that I shared. So as he nattered away about his childhood and extended family, I felt as if he had gatecrashed my party. Except that I had invited him.
Once we landed, the journey to the hotel was slightly better – he stared out of the taxi window in silence, captivated by the towering skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road. It was quite endearing, and I switched gears a little – it reminded me of how I’d felt on my first ever business trip.
Sadly, this feeling was short-lived. When we checked into our suite, I realised we were going to have a problem. Running to the bed – not out of unbridled passion for yours truly but so he could bounce up and down on it like a kid – he then leaned over and pressed all the buttons in the control panel, the blinds jerking up and down and the lights flashing on and off. He stripped to his boxers and tossed his clothes across the room, an unmistakable stench coming from those nasty Crocs. Grabbing a beer from the minibar, he lumped himself on the sofa, put his feet on the coffee table and switched on Sky Sports.
Once again, I felt as if someone was trespassing on my life. I had a meeting in an hour and this was usually my quiet time, when I pottered around and enjoyed a final bit of peace before the work began. While that may sound anti-social, it was what I had become accustomed to. When I’m away on business, my time is me time – and I like it that way.
Don’t get me wrong – having my man with me did have its obvious perks, and I didn’t end up murdering him. But I commend those of you who regularly take your spouse away on business. While it’s nice to have a companion, your work trip can turn into their holiday all too easily. Next time, I’m booking the time off and we’re heading for a desert island. And I might even bring a bumbag.
ADD A COMMENT »