It hasn't just been hot lately, it's been African Serengeti hot. The idea of escaping 108 degree days to spend a majority of my time in a big, climate-controlled convention center sounded somewhat appealing. But, I'm in Seattle for the DMAI conference and it's 70 degrees with occasional light fog and a slight breeze coming off Puget Sound. What to do?
Like trapped fourth graders in science class, we'd look out the windows just longing to be outside. Do I play hooky and skip another session on the value of mobile in the travel space? Or do I find some clients and play a round of golf in the Washington woods? Or better yet, do I host a party outside on the docks so that we can all take in the sunset while ferries cross the sound down below? Yes please, to all of the above.
Knowing you should be inside while longing to be outside can create internal conflict, but it can also present opportunity. Work your booth, attend relevant sessions and make the most of your breaks. That's how the travel industry works. We surround ourselves with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves. Those that work hard on the inside know when it's time to play and show their truest selves on the outside. There's always room for both.
Top 5 Things Ted Learned About Travel On This Trip:
1. The Space Needle is not the most photographed image in Seattle. It's actually a Pink Elephant Car Wash sign. (God Bless America!)
2. Seattle's annual rainfall is actually less than that of Chicago, Houston and New York. I know, right? I had to look it up twice.
3. A duck boat is a six-wheeled amphibious truck designed for combat. Renting two of them to shuttle clients across the bay probably wasn't what they had in mind, but we'll go with it.
4. Skipping the right sessions and not getting caught or fielding disapproving looks from the goody-goodies is an art. The key is to look really busy on your phone, shake your head a lot and walk out of the center at a brisk pace.
5. If a deer strolls onto the golf course during your shot, you can pick up your ball and score a par for the hole and just watch the deer. I encountered nine deer that day. Round of my life.
The joke around Seattle is to keep telling visitors that it's always rainy there and you're lucky to catch even one nice outside day. That way the Emerald City doesn't get overcrowded. Seattle is a city centered within a beautiful wooded park and deep blue bays. If you think it's busy inside, then go outside. And don't knock the weather – think of all those people who wouldn't have anything to talk about if it didn't change once in a while.
"Sully, where did your ball go?" - Josh
"Over in the woods where that big deer is staring at me." - Me
"You going to take a stroke or just drop from here?" - Josh
"I'm sure I would have chipped in from there. That's par." - Me
"Again?" - Josh
Additional photos from this journey can be found by clicking here FlickrTravelWithTed