My legs are tired from walking through airports and my eyes are dry from the recirculated cabin air. I've been traveling all day and I want nothing more than to fold myself into a pile of soft sheets. But there will be thirty six hours to this particular day. From the terminal, I'm walking to my rental car, meandering between endless rows of parked vehicles. The air is hot and humid - the recent tease of autumn lasted only momentarily, and the wet breeze only makes it worse. I eventually happen upon my assigned vehicle. It's a generic, boxy little thing - white in color and uninspiring in every way. By this, I am not surprised. I throw my roller bag in the trunk and get behind the wheel, wiping the tired from my eyes. Slowly, purposefully, I slide my dark sunglasses on and pull out into the light. The day's half over, but I'm just getting started.
I'm 600 miles from home but it might as well be a million. I'm a creature of habit and I miss my known environment. To compensate, I search for familiarity, driving twenty minutes out of the way just to visit a Starbucks. With coffee in-hand, I carry on with my business, moving from Point A to Point B. The rhythmic sounds of pavement seams stuttering underwheel as I drive to my appointment. Hours later, the day stretches on like elastic. Endless meetings, handshakes, and action items. Productivity is high, but I catch myself wondering if the day will ever end. Eventually, it does, and I find myself walking down another nondescript hotel hallway; one that looks identical to the one I stayed in last week since I'm loyal to the chain. I touch my key card to the NFC lock and hear the tumbler turn over. Inside the room, I am immediately enveloped by the familiar aroma of industrial cleaners and fresh linens. Through the bedroom window, the golden late-day light streams into the room and onto the bed. I drop my bags and kick off my shoes. With the day behind me, I slip into the light, and fall into the arms of sleep.