If prostitution is indeed the world’s oldest profession, then it stands to reason that the brothel predates the hotel. There’s little difference between the two actually and when you consider that interstate and intercontinental travel were once far less accessible, and of far less concern, than having a place to eat, drink and get laid with (some) discretion and detachment, it makes perfect sense that the hotel business owes a certain debt to hoe (retail) business. Throw planes, trains and automobiles in the mix and you have a new frontier of travel psychology to explore. So is “home court” really an advantage or are we just playing a different type of game when we’re on the road?
The “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” mantra isn’t limited to Sin City anymore than LOVE is limited to Virginia or Sunshine to Florida. It seems that most people have a more casual attitude about their “affairs” when they’re a few zip codes removed from the home front. A perfect depiction of this was ‘Up in the Air’ (film) which was based on a Walter Kim novel of the same title. But rather than entirely spoil that story for you I have a few anecdotes of my own that I’ll attach to a few quotes from the film, thanks to a recent business trip to the fine city of Atlanta.
1. You cannot spend 24 hours in Atlanta without someone mentioning the words strip club or pole.
I slept most of the flight but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t still dreaming when I heard the Captain say something about Magic City in his pre-landing overhead address.
“At what point were you going to stop and go back to what made you happy?”
2. You will overpay.
Even the finest hoe tells hotels are known serve gastro-mediocrity. While that explains why I typically stick with the basic burger and simple cocktail or beer at the lobby bar, it doesn’t quite explain the $80 tab.
“I don’t spend a nickel, if I can help it, unless it somehow profits my mileage account.”
3. You will overindulge.
Resistance is futile–binges are inevitable. You will eat, drink and be merrier than you typically ever would at home. And if you’re not careful, you’ll gain as many pounds as you do hangovers (or vice-versa depending on what is worse in your case).
4. Sex may be on the menu…but is rarely a wise choice.
Just like I would strongly advise against ordering sushi/sashimi from any place that doesn’t have (real) chopsticks, there are other decisions in life that should come with a one-word warning label stamped in bold: REGRET. Be ye reminded that much of the ogling flattery that occurs on travel is due to the fact that: a.) it’s assumed you’re not from ’round these parts b.) “they” may not be from ’round these parts c.) your travel attire has been carefully curated d.) hormones know that they’re away from home e.) you don’t have to make the bed, change the sheets, clean-up the mess or repair the damages. The fact that I was offered more unsolicited sex in six days than in the previous six weeks is a good indicator that I wasn’t in “Kansas” anymore. The fact that I passed on it is good indication that I wanted to make it back to Kansas without any undesirable souvenirs.
“This morning. Your new friend. Did you wake him up for an awkward goodbye or did you just slip out and make him feel like a whore?”
5. LOVE to leave…hate to stay.
Know that no matter what your purpose is away, how long your stay or how much you may be enjoying the trip, when your heels click thrice and land wheels down on your friendly neighborhood tarmac, you have a life that matters to the people in it. Getaways are a great–and necessary thing, but the thing is, they’re meant to be temporary and to put home sweet home into better perspective.
“Make no mistake–your relationships are the heaviest components in your life. All those negotiations and arguments and secrets, the compromises. The slower we move the faster we die. Make no mistake–moving is living. Some animals were meant to carry each other to live symbiotically over a lifetime. Star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not swans. We are sharks.”