Discovery and business travel

by Steve Brock on November 11, 2010

Chicago's Wrigley Building at dusk

I arrived the evening before my meetings and immediately took off down Michigan Avenue. I'd seen the Wrigley Building numerous times on previous trips, but not against a sky like this one. Magic.

Last time I commented on the Tips for Meaningful Business Travel that I had just posted here on The Meaningful Traveler. One additional point to note about business travel is that despite the limitations on free time and personal transportation that often are part of a business trip, you can still discover something new.

You just have to make a bit more effort.

Keep in mind that discovery is personal. Not only in the sense that God provides sights and experiences on a trip intended just for you, but also that discovery itself is relative. You may go to a place that thousands or even millions of others have visited before, but that location is still a discovery for you.

Crown Fountain Chicago at night

Several blocks further down Michigan Ave. I "discovered" the Crown Fountain at Millenium Park. I had never seen this before at night. Amazing.

Business travel can actually make discovery even more meaningful because you don’t expect it. Sometimes discovery sneaks up on you. You uncover places and sights you didn’t even know existed. And when you do it on a trip where you thought you’d be in meetings the whole time, the experience is all the richer.

One example of this occurred for me a few months ago on a trip to Chicago. I discovered new things and saw familiar sites in new ways.

I’ll let the photos and captions explain what I discovered on this business trip.

Rush Street home

On my last day in Chicago, my meetings didn't start until 10:30 a.m. so I took the morning and wandered down Rush Street to this beautiful neighborhood I didn't even know existed.

Flamingos at the zoo

I kept walking and came across the Lincoln Park Zoo which was open, free and filled with delightful discoveries like these flamingos. They weren't on the meeting agenda that day, but they made that day special.

Church and buildings in Chicago

This image taken near my hotel captures my morning of discovery in Chicago: A blend of old and new, sacred and secular all intermingled on an unexpected trip of discovery.

If you found this interesting, why don't you share it with others?

  • Mike

    So glad you got back to Chicago. Great town. Your tips for meaningful travel was wonderful. Could have titled it “tips for a meaningful life”. Really nice job. Loved it.

    • Thanks, Mike. Glad you liked the tips. What would be your own best tip for meaningful travel?

  • John

    Chicago is such a beautiful city and I am glad you had time to find some of its hidden gems on your trip. I hope you can get back soon and continue exploring.

    • Thanks, John. I think the best part of that trip wasn’t just the beauty of Chicago, but the sheer joy of being able to carve out an hour here and two hours there just to see it. It feels like a surprise gift and when the day is nice and the city is lovely, all the better.

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