Most people who don’t travel for work assume that life on the road is full of steak dinners, bottles of wine, and plush hotel rooms. I once took my wife on a trip to prove that most work travel is more likely to include gas station sandwiches while running between meetings, an alcohol-prohibited expense policy, and a middle seat in the rear of an airplane.

As stressful as the journey can be, it is the destination – the opportunity to collaborate in real-time with my clients – that I thoroughly enjoy. But I also waste no time before or after the meeting exploring the surrounding areas. This provides an appreciation for my client’s community, exposes me to new scomes, and makes the trip even more personally and commercially productive.

Statue of Liberty as viewed from Ellis Island

My appreciation for exploring while traveling on business started several years ago with an itinerary that originally included a red-eye to New York City followed by a one-hour meeting and a late night flight home. Proof that “day trips” can be outright exhausting.

Right after landing the meeting was cancelled. Instead of getting frustrated and promptly returning home empty handed with my co-workers, I decided to visit Ellis Island. After finding this unique view of the Statue of Liberty from the immigration building, I suddenly realized how trivial my own travel challenges are compared to journey so many have taken, and how exciting it can be to get “out of the office” and explore the destinations I visit. I vowed to do much more exploring while “on the road” for work.

Big Basin Redwoods State Park

I once walked through these towering redwoods in Big Basin State Park in a business suit and leather dress shoes before making a short 45 minute drive to a meeting in downtown San Jose.

Downtown San Francisco from Treasure Island

After a quarterly business review ended early, I took an Uber over to Treasure Island for sunset. A Cliff bar from this overlook vista was much better than any fancy downtown San Francisco restaurant.

Footprints in the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, Death Valley

I love visiting nearby destinations before or after an industry conference.  After 3 days of standing on the hard concrete floor of the MGM Las Vegas conference center, I thoroughly enjoyed walking on the soft sand of the Mesquite Flat Dunes in Death Valley –  only a 2-hour drive from Vegas.

Then there is my own backyard in Steamboat Springs, Colorado – an obvious place to host clients and co-workers to make sure everyone can “see the forest for the trees!” It’s also fun to see the HR department question an expense report to Bike Town USA!

I love bringing my camera along to these destinations so I can print the photographs to hang in my own house and share them with others.  I donate 100% of the proceeds from all print sales to either a local charity or one specified by the purchaser. You can visit scottbideauphotography.com for more images taken during my travels.

So this Thanksgiving, I thank each of my clients for the opportunity to visit your community, photograph the beautiful landscape, and then help my community while helping your company.

If interested, I’d love to have you join my next “Out of Office” excursion!