cupcake-atmBusiness travel, under the best of circumstances, is disorienting.

  1. You relinquish control when you travel. You can plan and prepare for diversions, but your destiny isn’t in your own hands.
  2. Someone is always pushing alcohol. Whether it’s a business dinner or a cocktail party, there is always an opportunity to have an extra beer or a third glass of wine.
  3. You spend a lot of time alone. Some people talk to strangers. Others play Two Dots or read a book. A lot of people sit on airplanes and think about life.

When you mix a loss of control with loneliness and alcohol, things can get ugly. Trust me. I once had to clean up my colleague’s vomit in her hotel bathroom. On the other hand, one of my friends once removed me from a cocktail party and took me to a cupcake ATM to sober me up.

(Cupcakes are better than puke, btw.)

Many of us shame ourselves into behaving on a daily basis. We keep our heads down and tell ourselves that the stakes are too damn high to deviate from the norm. But when we are far away from home — and when we think nobody is watching — the allure of being in a new place (and with new people) can trigger behaviors that don’t always make sense.

Whether you are about to visit #shrm14 or you are simply traveling to a business meeting in Minneapolis, this week, you could do worse than having a plan of attack while on the road.

  1. Always have a buddy who knows where you are.
  2. Stay two drinks behind the drunkest person in the room.
  3. Call home twice each day. It’s good to be reminded of your values.

Have a great week. If you are at SHRM, will see you in Orlando. Be safe and make good choices.