Ballad of the Road Warrior

The secret pleasures of the business trip
Photograph by Coppi Barbieri/Trunk Archive

More sedentary friends gasped when I told them last fall that I was about to embark on a 56-hour set of flights from Santa Barbara to Hyderabad (and then fly away after fewer than 72 hours there). Upon arrival, I knew I’d encounter information booths with no people in them, roads with no signs, and taxi ranks with no taxis. Yet the only one not deterred by the prospect of the lightning business trip was myself, for one simple reason: I’d taken such journeys many times before. Here was a chance—though I wouldn’t tell this to friends too loudly—to be loose in the world, out of radio contact, pampered by kind strangers, and in the thick of adventure for days on end.

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