The Guy has been a long-term international business traveller for 14 years. He has covered six continents and flies internationally almost every month. He still holds over a million frequent flyer miles in his frequent flyer account. Please enjoy this week-in-the-life of The Guy, living the working/traveling life in Australia.
Day 1: Saturday
7am: “Ouch, that blinking hurt!” The radio alarm clock has just gone off in my Brisbane apartment hotel. I’m not very used to this bedroom layout; there are walls either side of the top of the bed for storage areas. The table for the alarm clock is at the bottom of the bed so I switch head to toe to switch off the alarm. Then as I swing out of bed I stub my toe on the wall beside the pillow.
“Ouch, there’s blood, yes definitely some blood”. The nail on the big toe is cracked and I just know it will be coming off soon in a few days.
7:30am: After a very cautious shower I have breakfast; this is a chance to catch up on e-mail and get the address for my day trip.
8:30am: Sat Nav in hand and hire car keys in the other I head off north of Brisbane and head to the Steve Irwin Zoo, more commonly known as Australia Zoo.
9:30am: Arrived and just through the queue to get in. Getting a little confused by the basic site map. I manage to get my orientation so I can catch all the timed shows through the day and see a lot of animals.
11am: Come across a couple of middle-aged people from my homeland (the UK). They have their team colours (rugby league team that is) of the Wigan Warriors. They are in the country for the World Club Challenge featuring their team next weekend. I’m walking around in my team shirt of Wakefield Trinity Wildcats so they know my allegiance.
3:15pm: Leave the zoo and head back to Brisbane. It’s been a scorching day, around 35C during the height of the day. I need a shower!
Day 2: Sunday
9am: Check out and leave the Brisbane hotel. I drive to airport, refuelling when I’m less than 10 miles from the car rental return centre.
9:50am: Check-in for my flight to Melbourne with the check-in kiosk machines. I verify that my frequent flyer number details are registered correctly, can’t forget those all-important frequent flyer numbers. The Qantas check-in machine offers me earlier flight options so I take the 11:30 rather than the 12 midday flight. I’m also able to change my seat at no charge so go for seat 1A (I’m flying Business Class).
10:10am: I go through security and am I little surprised they didn’t pull me over for a random explosives test. They often used to pull me over; maybe they know now that I’m no danger? I find a chemist to get wrapping and plasters to put on my poor toe. I’m limping a lot more today than yesterday; it is throbbing a fair bit.
10:25am: Arrive at the Qantas Club Business Class lounge to have a late breakfast and read a free newspaper.
11:10am: Board for flight. Only four people in total are sat in Business Class. I enjoy the waiter service of a light lunch and coffees.
3pm: Exit Melbourne airport, straight to the Hertz car rental area. I see my name on the TV screen for Hertz No. 1 Club Gold members and go straight to the car. No queuing and being annoyed at the counter staff as they constantly try to up-sell when all I keep saying is “No” to everything.
3:40pm: arrive at my Melbourne apartment hotel. Make sure my frequent hotel loyalty card points with Accor are recognised. Then rest in the room to watch the Auckland 9s on Foxtel.
6:30pm: Go out to an IGA Express to get provisions for the apartment hotel room. I’ve been travelling on regular business trips for more than a dozen years. I’m sick to death of eating out every night, it is unhealthy and you end up losing all your free time in the night waiting for the waitress to bring you your bill. Self-catering in an apartment is much more liberating and gives me free time to do what I want. And also more time to catch up on e-mail and blogging.
Day 3: Monday
8am: Get up and have breakfast.
9:15am: Leave hotel so I can drive to work. My colleague said not to arrive before 10am as he was not ready for me yet and had a few things to clear before I arrived.
6pm: Leave work and drive back to the apartment arriving close to 7pm due to traffic on the roads.
Day 4: Tuesday
7:30am: Call down to Reception to ask to have my car ready for 8am (Valet Parking).
8am: Arrive at Reception to find my car is not ready. Receptionist says they need someone to fetch my car, would I be going to breakfast in the meantime? Er no, I’ve already had breakfast; I need my car now to get to work.
8:07am: I receive the keys to my hire car.
7:30pm: Back from work now. Been a long day so head out and walk around Melbourne CBD. Grab myself a traditional Aussie Pie for tea, an authentic “Gourmet Aussie Beef Pie”. Hm mmm gotta have some pie.
Day 5: Wednesday
7:30pm: Uneventful day at work. Only just got into the hotel after what should be a 45-minute drive back yet it takes two hours due to traffic delays. Spend a lot of the time in the car listening to Australian radio. Even at this time of day it seems to be radio stations full of presenters with egos, lots of talking and commercials but very little music!
I end up listening to Kyle and Jackie O who are interviewing someone from Game of Thrones called Rose Leslie (she sounds very posh). I’ve never seen Games of Thrones; bit difficult to get into serial dramas when you are moving from place to place all the time. Anyway, it seems pretty popular here in Australia. Judging from what I can gather on the radio it is just full of people getting it on with each other and lots of spite and revenge. Am I correct?
Weather is abysmal, very wet and windy so I think I’ll stay in tonight.
Day 6: Thursday
8am: Leave the hotel and take the short walk on foot to Southern Cross Station on Spencer Street. I don’t need the car anymore and I’m going to catch the train to work. I’m now going to be working in an office west of the city. From 12 years’ experience of visiting Melbourne I know that the train is the quickest and cheapest form of transport to and from this place of work. Also, coming from that direction you can be snared up for an hour in the CBD travelling one mile (as I’ve found out the past) for the evening rush hour.
So I now have a Myki card (equivalent to a Melbourne oyster card) and can hop on and off the trains, trams and buses with ease.
8:30am: Arrive at my new work location and lose most of the morning just chatting and catching up with people. Everyone always seems genuinely excited to see me when I arrive and I’ve made connections with so many here.
7pm: Work day over and I’ve already been back in the hotel around an hour. I’m now meeting up with my colleague who has just flew in today from Tasmania. We take a short walk and enjoy the delights of Hardware Lane whilst enjoying a Thai meal. Washed down of course with some authentic Aussie beer.
Day 7: Friday
7am: I’ve already been up a little while and just about completed my morning getting ready for work routine. I use my VPN connection to log in to my UK-based subscription site showing live TV and sport. The rugby team I’ve followed since childhood (Wakefield Trinity) are live on Sky Sports and I have just enough time to watch the first half. We have an awful game. Play poorly, concede lots of penalties and one or two refereeing decisions don’t go our way. We end up losing the game and I got up planning to watch it.
8am: Meet my colleague and we head off to work via the train again. With these Myki cards I really do feel like a local.
6pm: It’s the weekend! Back in the hotel and planning for a big night out in Melbourne. Dinner on the Southbank then let’s see where the night will take us. Enjoy an evening full of the bustle and life of a night in the city and I even get to see Super Mario play the electric guitar!
The Guy’s forthcoming travel plans include India, Norway, Canada and the US. He recently released the kindle book “A Brief Introduction to Airline Frequent Flyer Schemes and Which Ones You Should Join”. It covers a range of ways to earn frequent flyer miles with or without flying, and helps you decide which are the right programs for you.