I recently traveled to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for a client event. Our program puts on events in multiple cities each year and these trips typically include working from sun up to sun down, followed by a client dinner, followed by collapsing into my hotel bed and falling asleep to Big Bang Theory reruns on TBS. That’s why I knew it was bad news bears when I started to feel feverish on our second flight from Toronto to Edmonton.
By the time we landed, I knew I was ill. Chills, lower back pain, tightness in my chest. I powered through dinner, took the Emergen-Z packet I luckily had in my makeup bag, and prayed for the best.
In the morning I drank down some Alka-Seltzer Plus Daytime medicine I found at the bottom of my toiletry bag (🙌🏻) and headed out for job site visits with my team. Somehow I got through the day, interviewing workers and uncovering some great nuggets for our client’s blog. We made a pitstop at a pharmacy for some DayQuil/NyQuil, and then I promptly passed out over my room service dinner.
The next morning was our main event, but I had to sleep in and cab it over later after set up was complete. (I’ve never felt like more of a bum, but health has to come first!) During the main event I helped run the swag table and greeted guests. I have to say, the men in Edmonton are snazzy dressers! Slim, tailored suits, elbow patches, and Mad Men-style glasses. I never would have guessed it, and I loved it.
After the event, we had a little pocket of time to eat, so I grabbed some poutine from The Canadian Brewhouse food truck we had on site. The cold/flu destroyed my appetite, but a few bites of those salty, cheesy fries were heaven.
I had to skip dinner again that night and crawled back into bed. I would say getting sick on a business trip belongs on the list of things that are The Worst. Especially in the field of PR because our business trips are never leisurely. We’re there to run events and manage media relations and interview people. We have no choice but to power through!
What I thought was the flu ended up being bronchitis and a sinus infection that lingered on for five weeks. FIVE. So although this was a terrible experience, I learned that you should always pack the following on a business trip:
- A hoodie (you never know when you may get the chills or have a chilly hotel room)
- Airborne/Emergen-C (take before getting on all flights)
- Cold/Flu medication of your choice
Let’s hope the next one goes off without a hitch!