I traveled a lot for ten years. Lots and lots, over 1.1 million mile sin ten years. During that time I stayed in a lot of hotels. I normally tried to stay in Marriott’s because, well because of this story. The first time I went overseas was an interesting trip. I had a “child” passport when I was in Thailand. A Child or Minor passport (in the US) expires when you are 18 years old. But, by the time I was traveling internationally again I was a few years past 18. I ended up filling out the passport application so that I could travel to teach a class in Amsterdam. When I was 11 years old, I had no problem sleeping on the plane. I figured it would be no problem a few years later to, well sleep on the plane.
Boy was I wrong. I couldn’t sleep at all. As you get older your circadian cycle gets more and more set. So traveling internally without preparation can be tough. I slept about an hour on the way to London, then not at all on the short flight from London to Amsterdam. In retrospect, I should have done the direct flight from Chicago to Amsterdam, but I was being a good corporate citizen and took the cheaper flight!
I was fried when I got the hotel and thought, well I have nothing to do, I will take a nap (I was two days before the class started on purpose). My coworker wasn’t arriving until much later that day, so I laid down and went to sleep. I was really tired. I was asleep for at least 3 hours. I regretted that the next day but the sleep was interrupted by a noise.
I was startled awake and suddenly confused.
I couldn’t for the life of me, remember where I was.
I picked up the hotel phone and called the front desk.
I said “where am I.” in retrospect a literal question. I got a literal answer
“you are in room 1012 sir.”
‘No, what country am I in?” I asked the follow up literal question
I hung up and sat there for a few minutes. Then I remembered why I was in Holland.
In the future, I learned a few tricks for international travel.
1. Make sure you leave early in the morning and do not sleep until you are on the transatlantic portion of the flight.
2.Get out and walk when you get to the hotel!
But the first time was the hardest. I do know where I am now!