The gourmand traveler in me feels blessed when at times my work demands tour and I take this as chance to use the time out of office for fueling my passion of travel. But, it was until my last November’s official trip that I thought of jotting down the benefits of work-travel.
- Opportunity for recreation
Just imagine you’re being sent on official tour to a city where your favorite rock band happens to perform in the evening !!! Cool, isn’t it? You can take this as a chance for your rollicking affairs.
In my case, I got the opportunity to be part of India Cake Fest 2016 held in Mumbai, which gave a platform to students and local bakers to get exposed and showcase their talents in the bakery industry. It fell during the dates of my trip.
Being a passionate homebaker, what more I needed.
- Meeting up people
I always believe nurturing new relationships add to healthy human experiences. An official trip offers you interaction with new people.
As I think back now, travelling on a Mumbai local train or bargaining at fashion street or the kaali-peeli ride from Colaba causeway to Nariman point at midnight wouldn’t have been fun if it weren’t for my bunch of amigos I met at my official trip.
I was in my mid-twenties’ crisis when I met these people who were in their late thirties but carried themselves as jolly teenagers. I used to feel old until I met them who made me realize age is just a number.
Most importantly they gave me reasons to jot down my next two travel benefits.
- Introduce your taste buds to many flavours
If you’re an experimental ardent foodie, then this kind of job is a blessing for you. Visiting different places let you know the culinary trademarks of the places.
This trip of mine introduced me to different eateries and joints that formed the food culture of Mumbai.
Juhu Chowpatty – The food stalls of Juhu Chowpatty have churned out one of the outstanding street food of India – Bhelpuri. It has set as the benchmark for all other bhelpuris in the future.
Colaba causeway – A major land link between Colaba and Old Woman’s Island in the city of Mumbai holds some of the iconic eateries.
Café Mondegar – Who says only tranquility and calm can doff the tiredness of the day. Come to Café Mondegar where you can feel the mood of cheer by the sight of bustling mixed-aged crowd and the sound of music wafting out from the jukebox.
It was love at first bite when I first tasted the onion rings with schezuan sauce. Not to mention the hotness in chilly garlic sausages that went superbly well with my pints of beer.
Bademiya – The sight of oil dripping, hot and spicy Desi food being devoured by people holding plates in their hands or at the car bonnets is not uncommon in this eatery’s alley. Try the Mutton Keema with roomali roti and you’ll know why this tiny roadside stall, which is filled with smoke and offers no place to sit, is legendary in street food cult.
Eddies Bistro, Bandra West – The demure husbander of European viands in the heart of ‘queen of suburbs’ Bandra , Eddies Bistro is an example of ‘café meets the bar’.
The miniature lamb burger and chicken roulade were the perfect accompaniment to the fine wine served. You won’t realize how pleasantly your evening will pass just by savoring every bite of your food.
TAP Resto Bar – Leaving Mumbai without digging into seafood isn’t possible.
Deviled prawns with two house-special cocktails – Bull Frog and Seven Wonder were my company the night before my flight departure.
A fiery yet smooth concoction of Vodka, White Rum, Dark Rum, Gin, Tequila, Triple Sec, Whisky and Orange Juice – Seven Wonder hits the back of your throat without deterring you to appreciate the irresistible drink.
- Knowing places
The best part of work-travel is that you can tourist places. Besides, if you’re a history buff or shopping aficionado or a souvenir collector, exploring a new place is a bonus point for you.
As far as I’m concerned, sighting the historical Gateway of India at my company’s expense is what my work gifted me.
- No run-of-the-mill weariness
Once in a while you need a break from your routine chores of your humdrum existence. There is no need to worry for food to be cooked or dishes to be cleaned or laundry to be done.
My life couldn’t be better when my evening is spent reading my favorite book and getting my food and wine served at my table while my manager sings to me instead of switching to boring motley TV soaps.
- Whet your adaptation skills
The quality that is admired profoundly by your employer, family and friends is your ability to adapt with different situations. Your work-travel does put you in some unwarranted and uncalled-for situations like – your flight being cancelled or have your luggage misplaced during transit ( and end up going to office in ripped jeans and T-shirt that you wore on flight !!!) and much worse, inhale ‘fart-induced’ oxygen inside an airplane.
If Charles Darwin would be alive, he would have mentioned ‘work-travel’ to be one of the key points in his evolution theory of ‘survival of the fittest’. 😛
- Frequent Flyer Points
Oops! How can I forget the obvious perk of work-travel – the opportunity to augment your FF points? If you’re invariably flying from one location to another and you’re adhering to your preferred airline, the points will bucket up. What ensues is an opportunity to exchange them for upgrades and free flights, just like I did while flying from Dehadun to Delhi at only ₹900 and from Kolkata to Jorhat at only ₹1400.
- Stories to tell
Last and not the least, you would come back not only rich in professional skills but in travel experiences. Soak up those experiences – they’re memories in the making. And that’s what life’s all about.