Lately I have been doing a little traveling for the day job. Nothing extravagant, just some overnight trips that require long drives over wide expanses of Idaho. On the last trip I started thinking about the way I react to such trips. Part of me is a little excited, there is the beauty of the open road, seeing new places or old places, different places than the ones seen yesterday. There is the break in the routine. All that is nothing to sneeze at.
But another part of me thinks its a pretty big hassle, and a lot of driving (or waiting in an airport) that can get pretty excruciating--especially on the home leg of solo trip. I miss the familiar places and the familiar faces, I even miss the routine a little bit. I get behind and the effort to catch up is annoying, especially when it could be spent tying flies or dreaming of trout. All those things, well, they are nothing to sneeze at either.
As anglers, we travel. And generally, I love it. Fishing trips are unlike work trips because of the anticipation, the scenery, the companionship (well, except on the solo trips). And, oh yeah, the fishing. But there are enough similarities to make a comparison applicable. The beauty of the open road, the new and/or different places, the severe break in the routine,* the coming back to a giant backlog of work and honey-dos, all that is similar to a business trip.
*Perhaps the single best part of a fishing road trip for me, as a working stiff, is that my routine goes from a very structured day of working in a cubicle maze under fluorescent lights wishing that I was fishing, to actually fishing (more or less nonstop) under a massive blue sky hoping that somehow time stops for about a month so.
Anyway, some part of me is happily conflicted about fishing road trips. Sometimes I don't really want to leave the home waters--places I know and feel confident--to face waters where a skunking is a real possibility. But then another part of me wants to see every trout river in the West and fish them all (and by West, I mean the Western Hemisphere). Part of me doesn't enjoy the seven hours of driving and the gas station hot dogs. But then another part of me loves the open road and the lack of schedule and I feel--for a week at least--like I am 18 again (even if my stomach does not).
Its an inner struggle, I suppose. But one I am happy to take part in because there are no wrong answers. Home waters or new waters? Yes, I'd love to.
And another thing that this business travel has reminded me of--the coming home part is excellent. Especially if there is someone waiting for you to walk in the door. That seems pretty universal.