On the Road Again
Several years ago, I woke up in a dark hotel room with a sudden jolt and panic—like when you realize you left your keys in the pocket of your jacket that’s hanging in your closet at home or might have left the stove on at 350. I had absolutely no idea where in the world I was as I’d been ping-ponging from city to city on business over the past few months. I switched on the lamp, looked at my phone, and realized I was in Guangzhou, China, staying at the new W Hotel. Pretty much sums up my life for the past eight years, working for a global hotel company and traveling to open new hotels, launch brand programs, or meet with colleagues. My communications work took me from Singapore to Dubai, Milan to Bangkok, Vienna to Santiago (that was an actual route once) and on and on... Or sometimes just down to Atlanta or over to LA.
Coming from a small town in East Tennessee, I relished discovering new places, meeting people totally different from me, picking up pieces of historical or cultural fact, and really getting to understand the nuances of a destination. Yes, it was sometimes exhausting and draining, and often when I’d be back home in New York, at dinner with friends or sitting in a meeting at the office, my mind would be in another time zone or wondering when my next flight would take off. I became addicted to the excitement of travel and figuring out my next adventure, whether for business or for fun.
I am grateful for the incredible experiences the hospitality industry has given to me, often allowing me to stay in 5-star properties and be well taken care of by our teams around the world, but I am so excited about this next trip, which over the course of a year will take Martin and me to off-the-beaten-path campsites in the mountains of New Zealand, provincial cottages in the south of France, and farms way out in the Japanese countryside. This new journey will be at our own pace and schedule as we spend time getting to know the world around us… and ourselves.