Daily travel perks

OH MY GOSH! I hate traveling.

* Okay, I feel as if I should start off this post with a disclaimer. I know my blog has been filled with negatively lately. I am sorry about that, but not sorry enough to pretend to be any less than what I am feeling in the moment I blog. If it's too much for you and wish I could just shut up, I apologize. Feel free to wander around the internet for awhile and maybe in a few weeks I'll be a little bit more upbeat. I hear there are a lot of cat videos you could check out. Finally, last disclaimer, today is actually Easter Sunday (one where it snowed and then was in the high 50s the rest of the day) but I am not actually going to talk about that at all. Okay back to the actual post. 

I should clarify because what I mean when I say I hate traveling is that I hate traveling for long periods of time, I hate traveling alone, and I hate traveling for work. This past week I was in NE, MN and IA for work (and then ended the week with my brother's family in IL). Although I am not exactly sure, I believe that my stress, anxiety and exhaustion from constantly driving and constantly talking to strangers (who all asked about the Excel shooting) literally made me physically ill. Talk about "faking it until you make it" in real time. I was at a work event on Tuesday evening and right when it was over, went and got sick in bathroom. Awesome. And then I had to go spent the night at a constituent's home.

But I am back now and I can look back on my trip and say things were fine. (Although that does not belittle the fact of how much I love being home again).

A couple posts ago, I wrote about my tips for traveling as an introvert (most of those I was not able to follow this time around).  However, every time I travel alone for work, I feel as if I gain more ideas on how to make my time less emotionally (and physically) miserable for myself.

So without further ado, here are my travel perks from each day of my work trip.

Seward, NE
Day 1 Friday, March 18 - Panera Bread. Seriously, how I have never made eating here one on long work trips a priority. I know it's a chain and thus I should be more hipster and like local cafes, but let me tell you friends, out in the wild, wild west, there are very little options and the local scene (if there is one) is not all that and might only take cash and might take a lot of hunting to find since they most likely do not have a web presence. On my first night, I stopped for the night in Sioux City, IA. I got take out from Panera and ate it in my hotel room watching random March Madness games. I think I am just going to eat at Panera bread for all my suppers on work trips from now on. The food is comforting, but also light enough that crunching on lettuce is so refreshing after a long day in the car.
MCC Event, Mt Lake, MN
Day 2 Saturday, March 19 - Harry Potter. Don't even hate, haters. For my long drive, I requested several audiobook via the e-library. I was able to download the first Harry Potter book for Saturday and let me tell you, it made all my car time on Saturday a retreat. I also had some serious downtime between visiting a constituent until the evening event would start. So, as one does in a very small down, I parked in a random church parking lot, reclined by seat and listed to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and ate a couple thin mint girl scout cookies. That was probably the best part of my day. I seriously only want to listen to Harry Potter books now when I drive anywhere.
All my Grandma's thread
Day 3- Sunday, March 20 - March Madness. Okay so Sunday was technically not a work day for me because I took the day to go visit my Grandma in Waverly, IA. However, what my Grandma and I surprisingly have in common is our love of the NCAA Men's basketball tournament. We spent almost the entire day watching Basketball. And even though I did not care about the games, it was amazing. I just laid on her very comfy couch and watched UNI throw their 12 point lead away in 40 seconds. I was a little bit nervous about this visit because my Gram and I have never spent that much time alone together, but of course it was fine. And we had basketball to enjoy together.
Day 4 - Monday, March 21 - The High Ground Cafe in Iowa City. Okay so by Monday I was not feeling the best. However, since I had some downtime, I found a coffee shop and caught up on my emails. Minus the turning in my stomach at this point, it was a nice time. I love working in coffee shops. However, on work trips, whenever I've tried doing this in the past, it has not worked out as great because I am very nervous about needing to get to my next thing that I don't enjoy the hour or so I have in the coffee shop. Maybe it was because I wasn't feeling well and didn't really know it, but I managed to be in the moment and didn't worry at all about my upcoming evening events. This alone was a huge victory. And actually, for the majority of the trip, I was really able to take one day at a time. I didn't really have the mental energy to do anything else, but, hey, that still counts.

So I don't officially have one for the last day of my trip. At this point I was definitely sick. However, the people I was staying with were actually friends of my parents and were very gracious about giving me space. And while I would've preferred being sick along in a hotel room, if I had to be sick with constituents, these were probably the best people to be with.   Also, did you know they made mini saltine crackers? I didn't know that. I got a box before I headed to IL that day, which were so much easier to eat in the car then those long packs.

In conclusion, my travel advice is this, eat at Panera when you can find one, work from a coffee shop if you have time and there is one, and/or listen to Harry Potter in the car if there is not one. Oh and buy mini saltines if you have to drive while sick.

As I mentioned earlier, I did go to IL too and mostly took pictures of my cute nephews and niece. But more on that later. In the meantime, enjoy your Easter! I hope it was less snowy than ours.