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Road Warriors

  1. Aug 5, 2006 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    - People who make their living by traveling.

    Astronuc, I know that you travel quite a bit. I'm sure that you have a few stories?

    Do we have any other road warriors here?

    What goes on the road stays on the road, but you can tell here at PF. :biggrin:

    I did about 100,000 air-miles per year for a few years but try to stay at home now. Recently I've gotten sucked in again and spent about 3 of the last 4 weeks down south. It's tough to walk away because one can make a tremendous amount of money on the road, but it really takes a toll. Many of the long-timers that I've met pretty much live in bars. They send their quarter-million a year to the wife, work eighty hour weeks as the norm, and drink alot. I once met a guy from Switzerland who hadn't been home in over five years!!!

    For me, besides being away from home, the worst part is having to do the buddy thing. Engineers, sales people, managers, mechanics, electricians.... you name it, they always want to hang out and drink, and I don't drink. :rolleyes: [see the "more great movies" thread :biggrin:]

    Oh yes, and I really, really, really really REALLY hate airports and hotels. It has completely killed my desire to travel for fun.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
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  3. Aug 5, 2006 #2

    Astronuc

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    I haven't been putting in the mileage the last few years, but I frequently travel to clients' sites, home office, and conferences/meetings.

    I have air mileage in 6 or so frequently flyer programs, but now I prefer one airline and its partners, but prefer to keep mileage on one airline.

    Business travel will likely pickup.

    I have one friend who spends about 50% of his life on the road - and it sucks.

    It's nice to go to different places in the world, but it's not as much fun when it means being away from family. On the other hand, some of the best trips I've had were in Japan, and out in the hinterlands. One of the most interesting dinners I've ever had was on small riverboat which served traditional local fare. As we ate dinner, some local fishermen rowed by and we watched them fish with cormorants. The birds would dive underwater, pop up with a fish, flip the head up and swallow the fish. After a few times, a fisherman would pull the bird to the boat, tip it upside down, and the fish would drop out. I think we ate some of those fish. :biggrin:

    I don't go to bars, although I'll enjoy one or two drinks, and that is usually with a meal.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2006 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    About the time I found myself having Thanksgiving AND Christmas dinner with the folks at Frito-Lay, I had had enough. :biggrin:

    I stick pretty close to home now but it seems that I can't completely avoid travel.

    One does get to see a lot and meet all sorts of interesting people, but then again, its often tough to do much besides work. If I'm there it usually means we are in the chaos of a start-up. I once spent a week about thirty miles from Niagra Falls - in Rochester - and never got to see the falls. But, I have met a few people who love to travel and make the most of it. You can definitely see the world while making great money as an engineer. And no doubt, the better companies treat their road warriors very, very well. Eat the best food, always drive a new car [a different one every week], stay at some of the best hotels...
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  5. Aug 5, 2006 #4

    Astronuc

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    That's part of it too. It was fun for a few years, but the novelty soon wore off. I still like international travel though, but not too frequently.

    I like small hotels or guest houses myself. There is a really cool little Gasthaus/Hotel in Dusseldorf within walking distance to the train station. I love to fly into Dusseldorf and take the train from the airport to the the Hauptbahnhof, then walk a couple of blocks. Dusseldorf is a really cool town.

    In Japan, I really enjoyed Osaka and that area. Lots to do there, including a really neat aquarium. Shikoku Island also has some neat places to visit. It was there we had the interesting dinner on the river Hiji. The Japanese spoken there was a rural dialect. It was very cool. :cool:
     
  6. Aug 5, 2006 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    My only international travel for work was Peru. We mostly stayed in the hotel under the protection of armed gaurds since engineers were a target for kidnapping/ransom at the time.

    Its a long story, but at one point everyone on the plane thought that we were being taken hostage. It was quite a trip.

    ...and then the strangest thing. Upon my return to Atlanta, not only was I interviewed on the evening news as a man on the street in regards to the Bosnian crisis, I also ran into a large group of physcists who were returning from a conference. I was told that dark energy was real. :surprised
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  7. Aug 5, 2006 #6

    brewnog

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    Nope not had the joys yet. I'm due a stint in Applications & Service within the next 6 months so should begin to get out to some customers around the world. I'm really looking forward to it, but from what I see of some of our older applications engineers it's better to get it out of the way when you're younger, more enthusiastic and not as tied down. Bring on the travel!
     
  8. Aug 5, 2006 #7

    Pythagorean

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    The Alcan

    I took a trip up the Alcan a couple years ago. I was transporting a truck from Washington State through Canada, through mainland Alaska, and across the Shelikof Strait on the Ferry to Kodiak Island.

    We broke down in Fort St. John, the customer service was excellent at Canadian Tire, there, but the hotels (especially the one with the Canadian Biker Bouncers and strippers) were pretty rude. Apparently, the last mechanic to install a transmission did something screwy and we blew our torque converter (had to see what the truck could do), but Canadian Tire made sure the previous mechanics were charged for the work replacing the torque converter. After that, we took turns driving and peed out the window, we were done enjoying the road trip.

    Driving through the Yukon is the awesomest part of the drive. The geology there is amazing. And I've never seen a lake so big it made a beach, before (I've always lived on the coast)

    Saw lots of black bear and moose, but that's common in Alaska anyway, so it wasn't especially thrilling. The spruce beetles frighten and intrigue me more than anything.

    Alaska State

    I go to school about 600 miles from my hometown and island, Kodiak. It's always 10 hours of driving and 13 hours of ferry trip whenever I want to visit home. It's now officially less expensive to fly, and I'll probably be visiting on a plane my next time back. There's lots of impressive scenary and all, but I've done the trip on wheels about 10 times now, I'm ok flying past it now.
     
  9. Aug 6, 2006 #8

    Astronuc

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    When you're young and not tied down, that's the time to travel and see the world.

    Man that sounds nice! I adding this to my to do list. :biggrin:

    Returning from Japan once, I was in a plane, which was flying over Alaska and Yukon just as the sun was rising. Awesome! The colors were so intense, and the land was so beautiful!
     
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