As I got off the plane last night in BWI Airport, it was quiet. Deserted. What a contrast from when I left on Sunday afternoon - the hustle, bustle of Thanksgiving weekend travel (really...what was I thinking agreeing to go on a business trip the weekend after Thanksgiving???).
However, it was not the only contrast that I had observed this past week.
First of all, the contrast of being alone in a hotel room versus being at home. In some ways, it was nice not having household responsibilities to worry about. My time was my own - I didn't have to juggle my time between the schedules of my wife and kids. In some ways it was very nice, but on the other hand gets lonely quick. Whenever I'm on a business trip I try to spend the least amount of time that I can in the actual hotel room.
Most of the time I'm out of town, I try to go to an Israeli Dance group - and this week was no exception! I met up with a few people that I knew - and met some other dancers as well. Israeli Dancing in a different city is always a great experience - the familiar music, everyone moving together as one large group and the social aspect of meeting people with a similar interest definitely makes me feel more at home while on the road. On my hour-drive back from dancing in LA to my hotel in Irvine, I reflected on the contrasts between my two current hobbies - Israeli dancing and running. Israeli dance groups are almost always at night (and many groups go until midnight or later) while I usually run early in the mornings (it's hard to dance one night and run the next morning...). Israeli dancing is an activity that involves interacting with lots of people while I'm usually running alone or with one other person. Apart from the fact that both are physical activities (dancing is more anaerobic - normally there's a good 30 second break between the time one dance ends and the next one starts - where running is continuous aerobic exercise for a long period of time), these two hobbies seem to be on opposite ends of the spectrum from one another.
There is also a big contrast between the project I'll be working on in SoCal vs the one I recently completed in the DC area. My current project is all dealing with live equipment - so all activities must be done at night (I'm hoping I won't need to be working at night with our crews most of the time!). Also, since it is established equipment in our customer's network, they already have their way of doing things. I felt my role this week was more to find out what the current processes are so I don't step on too many toes while starting out. My last project was a completely new build. Work was done during the day and I could create the way of doing things with my team. This new project will be different, but I'm up for the challenge!