Six weeks in a row of travel

When I unlocked the front door on our darkened porch Thursday night–and, as if by magic, the power came back on–six consecutive weeks of travel went into the books.

View of Toronto from a departing airplaneIt all seemed like a reasonable idea upfront, not least when it appeared I’d have a couple of weeks at home over that period.

In an alternate universe, a spring break trip to see Bay Area and Boston relatives and then the IFA Global Press Conference in Spain would have been followed by week at home, then more than a week of additional downtime would have separated Google I/O in Mountain View and Collision in Toronto.

But then I got invited to moderate a panel at the Pay TV Show in Denver, with the conference organizers covering my travel expenses, and my Uncle Jim died. The results: 4/13-4/21 spring break, 4/24-4/28 IFA GPC, 4/29-4/30 in Ohio for my uncle’s funeral (I had about nine hours at home between returning from Spain and departing for Cleveland), 5/6-5/9 Google I/O, 5/13-5/16 Pay TV Show, 5/20-5/23 Collision.

I’d thought having the last three trips only run four days, with three days at home between each, would make things easier. That didn’t really happen, although I did appreciate having time to do all the laundry, bake bread and cook a bunch of food during each stay home, then be able to check the status of my flight home the morning after arriving at each destination.

In particular, my ability to focus on longer-term work and try to develop new business took a hit during all this time in airports, airplanes and conference venues. And because Yahoo Finance elected to have staff writers cover I/O and Collision remotely, so did my income.

Meanwhile, I can’t pretend that I’ve been following the healthiest lifestyle, thanks to all of the eating and drinking at various receptions. Consecutive days of walking around with my laptop in a messenger bag left a softball-sized knot in my left shoulder to complement my sore feet. And I’ve woken up in the middle of the night too many times wondering where I was–including once or twice in my own bed at home.

So while the past six weeks have taken me to some neat places and connected me to some interesting people, I don’t need to repeat the experience.

My MWC mileage, as quantified by a Jawbone Up

For years, I’ve wondered how many miles I walk through convention-center halls when I’m attending one conference or another. Now I have a much more accurate sense of that, courtesy of the Jawbone Up wristband that I took to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress trade show after reviewing it for Discovery News.

Jawbone Up MWC dataMy feet got their most intense workout on Monday the 25th, when the sensor-laden wristband recorded me taking 20,475 steps–10.63 miles, in its estimation. As you can see in the screengrab, the Up app’s interface doesn’t scale for those kind of figures; should I file a bug report, or would that be an obnoxious form of bragging?

(Timestamps to the contrary, I was not stumbling around in the pre-dawn hours. I just forgot to switch the Up to Central European Time, six hours ahead of Eastern.)

On Tuesday, the Up indicates I took 17,882 steps and traveled 9.25 miles. I eased up a bit on Wednesday by clocking 14,694 steps and 7.61 miles–most likely because I blew off MWC for a couple of hours to visit Antoni Gaudí’s dreamlike Casa Milà apartments. Like you wouldn’t do the same thing!

I apparently slept poorly on the nights I remembered to switch the Up to sleep mode: three hours and 48 minutes on Monday, 5:09 on Wednesday.

Sadly, even with all that exercise I came home a few pounds heavier. Large quantities of free food provided on an unpredictable schedule lead one to treat each press-room snack, hospitality spread and reception as if it will be your last for the next eight hours.

After the jump: my Flickr set from the show and the trip.

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