So lately my job has taken me on the road a lot. This is nothing new. It’s part of my lifestyle. As a consultant, it’s not unfamiliar for me to sleeping in a couple of different hotels a week. Oftentimes, I have woken up and not been 100% sure what city I was in. This is not due to roommates like Johnnie Walker or Jack Daniels, but to the fact that I have just pulled an 18-hour meeting in an office building, with not much fresh air and certainly nothing surrounding me to make me recognize what city I was in. So after a very long intense work day, I am usually not in any mood to get into a rental car to drive unfamiliar streets back to my hotel and order room service which usually arrives after I have fallen asleep from exhaustion.
Over the last few months, I have discovered a new way to lighten and brighten up my trips away from home. Instead of catching a smelly, beat up taxi with a driver that has the personality of a doorknob from the airport, I have been using UBER. Uber is a transportation network company that sources individual who are looking to make extra cash with their luxury vehicles. I hail a vehicle using the app on my Smartphone and usually within a few minutes, I get pinged back showing how far away the car is that will be picking me up. I can track it’s progress online or just relax at the bar until the vehicle has arrived, when the app texts me saying my car is waiting. I walk out to curbside and see where the driver is waiting for me in a newer luxury vehicle. I have the choice of sitting up front with the driver or sitting at the back and being driven. I can enter my destination on my app and the driver knows automatically where to go.
Now this really isn’t such a revolutionary idea. I mean business travelers have been arranging limos to pick the up for ages. That is a sterile, formal uncomfortable environment for me. I like the experience of meeting a local who knows the city and is ready to talk about it. Most every Uber driver I have met and driven with, is a chatty amicable personality that loves sharing his knowledge of the city I’m visiting. I have uncovered hidden gems based on the recommendations of these people. Instead of visiting the corporate, generic name brand restaurants and bars, the drivers have directed to me more local environments that are far more welcoming and relaxing than the stiff tie world I surround myself in. Uber is not only reserved for airports. I can hail them from my hotel, workplace or restaurant. I have yet to wait more than five minutes for one to arrive, and their simple payment method is so convenient. No money is exchanged. It’s all done through the app. Swipe of the screen and I am on my way.
Uber has made my travelling experience way more enjoyable and stress free. Now I need to invent the one for motorcycles. I would love to be able to hop on the back of a bike and sneak through that rush hour traffic.