Thank you for sharing!
Whatever people are saying in social gathering, we all have our best and worst times… This is life. And I believe we need the worst ones to realise how much the great ones are great!
Now being on my own (professionally speaking!), I can make my schedule and I try not to travel too much. My ideal is a long haul journey per month. The advantage of this is I still enjoy it very much! Now I understand this strategy is not possible for all…
Friends: if I have some in that city, of course it is great. But as it was mentioned, it is not always the case…
SkypeOut: if the internet connection allows it, great to call the family at a nominal fee.
iTunes US account. Each time I am in the US I buy prepaid cards for an iTunes account I opened there (so I have two accounts). I therefore can download a lot of stuff including the latest movies from anywhere around the world! Something you cannot do on BBC for instance. Actually I usually have a movie or two on hold in my laptop just in case…
TED.com: best speakers on great topics for free. 20 minutes max per speaker. Just fabulous.
Good food & wine: over the years, I accepted the idea to go to a good restaurant with either a book, my iPhone (the Economist app allow me to read it offline – just great!) or even my laptop and treat myself. In Bangkok, my favourite one is the Vertigo (tel: +66 2 679 1200 – located on the 61st floor of Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathorn road – closed when it rains since it is on the roof of the hotel – there is also a bar there if you just want to enjoy the view).
Just some ideas. Hope this helps.