Hello my darlings,
Touring is something I both love and fear.
You see, I adore travel; most especially road trips. Driving cross-country allows greater flexibility and choices of destinations, plus I can change/alter my itinerary as needed without incurring extra travel expenses. It also enables me to bring with me as many creature-comforts or personal items as I feel like packing and hauling about. I'm sure my vehicle HAS a weight limit, but I have yet to exceed it.
When flying? Oh, I've found myself redistributing the weight in my bags at the counter or even needing to buy an extra suitcase IN the airport more than once.
It's little wonder once you understand my packing philosophy is: "It's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it!".
This is my motto for afternoon picnics and extended international trips alike.
Another favorite saying of mine: "Low maintenance is for rookies!".... although I don't really believe that one is universally true. It's just how I personally do things.
In other words, packing light is NOT an option (for me).
But driving hundreds of miles, occasionally running into bad traffic or inclement weather, does take a toll. Not to mention that I typically give in to temptation and eat fast food, junk food, and well..... everything we KNOW we shouldn't be eating, on the road. So when I arrive at my destination, not only are my joints stiff & creaky, I'll often have heartburn and jitters from greasy french fries followed by my after-dinner sugar binge of whatever came out of the rest-stop vending machine. LOL.
All that aside, driving is my preferred method of travel when working. I love seeing the landscape change during my drive, I can make notes of interesting places to stop on my way home, and of course either extend a visit or depart early, as needed. And let's not forget that during my stay in each city, this mode of travel means that not only do I have my vehicle with me for sight-seeing and errand-running, I also have everything I've brought with me! Which includes extra bedding, a case of bottled water, my portable coffee-maker (yes, really!), snacks & microwavable meals, full size bottles of shampoo, lotion, and the all-important hairspray! Although I have lugged all of this along in my checked luggage when flying, packing such things for road trips is simpler as I don't need to worry as much about leaking bottles or breakage.
So that covers the first part: getting there. And a little bit of the second part of any trip: being there. I'm there, and I've got what I need to get through my visit in comfort, if not style. Now on to the main focus: meeting people and getting to see some of my surroundings!
If I didn't enjoy meeting new people, this would absolutely be the wrong profession for me; however, while I do enjoy it very much, new cities virtually always mean that each date is a new acquaintance. At home, I have my regular friends and repeat visitors mixed in with the fresh faces, which is very comforting to me. There are a few I've known for over a decade and although we do have the provider/client dynamic, I like to think we're also friends. I'm always open to new friendships wherever I find them. However, there are still those pesky butterflies that come to settle in my stomach, whenever I'm meeting a new gentleman.
No matter how long I've been doing this, they just don't go away. And having those first-date flutters literally every time I open the door, for days or even weeks, can fray my nerves if I do not take steps to prevent that.
For me, this means adequate amounts of downtime, or as I like to call it, "quality time with myself" lol.
Whether I'm going to a baseball game or touring a local distillery, this is all "me time" for not only relaxing, but also recharging my batteries. This is just one of several reasons why you won't typically see me available in the evenings: it is the time I set aside for fully unwinding where I do not have to be "on" for anyone. ;-)
Sometimes I go out to do touristy things; other times I remain in my hotel room with a TV dinner & a book. Either way, this is more important to me than trying to be the super-accommodating lady who can make herself available at all hours. There are plenty of providers like this and it works for them; no need to question me about my schedule when you can see someone whose availability does suit you. (kisses)
So this brings me to another issue when travelling: explaining to potential clients that I am not what they assume. No, I'm not available 24/7 during my visit and No, I won't accept as many dates as wish to book with me. The thing I love most about being an independent provider is that I make my own schedule and I'm my own boss. I set my pace to what is comfortable for me, and allow myself plenty of opportunities for real travel FUN during my free time. And yes, this is far more precious to me than "squeezing in" one more client for the day lol.
Seriously, please don't use that phrase!
One last thing: I get spooked more easily while travelling than when I'm on my home turf. So please please please be as circumspect as possible in everything you say and do! Don't make guesses as to where I'm staying, use hobby-slang or acronyms in any messages or contact, or deviate in any way from what I've laid out on my Etiquette page. Being a little too casual or indiscreet will likely result in an end to all communication from me.
If your behavior is squirrely enough, I might even cancel my visit (or if I'm already there, leave early) and blacklist you on the appropriate provider resources.
Sound paranoid to you? Well paranoia is in the eye of the beholder. Think about this: I'm a woman travelling alone, in a city that is unfamiliar to me when I get a late-night text of just one word: "Available?" then when I reply the next message asks, "So you're staying at the No-Tell Motel on Hwy 69?".... and that is indeed where I happen to be. Yikes! Getting freaked out about that isn't reasonable??
Come ON! The person who did this wound up emailing me a couple days later, explaining that he's seen several touring ladies who ALL stayed at that particular hotel, whose location is very convenient for him.
I don't know you from Adam and I don't know this is the provider-go-to hotel, so that text scared the crap out of me!
So yeah: Don't do that.
But all in all, I love to travel and the touring-provider gig allows me to do just that. The upsides far outweigh the negatives or I wouldn't be doing it. ;-)
So here's hoping you and I get to meet somewhere along the way....