Greenville, S.C. I’ve spent the last 48 hours in the southern, upstate city of Greenville, S.C. I made the trip for work; I’ve brought a new team member onboard and Monday was his first day with the company. I am excited about the skills he brings to the team and I think he’s going to be a great asset. I’m hoping he’ll become acclimated fairly quickly. On Monday I also added three folks to my team, as their previous team and our team merged as a result of a recent company acquisition. One of the team members drove from Birmingham, Ala. to Greenville for the trip. I had talked to him on the phone; meeting him in person was a great way to start the ball rolling for the larger team. I’ve excited about the opportunity. While I’ve always enjoyed my time in Greenville, S.C., and I’ve spent quite a bit of time down there for work trips (and a few trips to fly with a flight instructor down there), I’m finding I’m not as keen on travel away from home for work since moving to Chicago. I never expected to fall in love with The Windy City when Earl and I first talked about relocating earlier this year. Now I find difficulty sleeping without the rumble of the Brown Line ‘L’, muffled by the white noise of a fan, passing by the building every so often. I’ve also been spoiled by the Purple mattress we purchased when we moved to Chicago. Traditional mattresses and box springs seem so lumpy and unforgiving. First world problems, right? One of the beautiful things about traveling from work with Chicago as your home city is that it’s pretty easy to get from point A to point Z in one hop. Layovers are becoming a thing of the past for me, and that is a delight. Flying to Syracuse (on an airline) always felt undignified. The flights were usually relegated to one of the dingiest, smallest gates in the connecting airport and people just seemed to struggle with the whole boarding process when headed to SYR. Folks bound for O’Hare seem a little more airline savvy. Maybe it’s the wonder of flying out of a smaller location to the third largest U.S. city or perhaps folks are more apt to be going “somewhere” instead of headed home if they’re connecting in Chicago. My brief analysis of flights to Chicago as home has seen less hassle at the gate of departure and more on-time flights. Maybe my tendency to now fly United instead of Delta has helped with this situation. I had a small personal victory this evening when I boarded UA 4612 and saw the same flight crew as I had on the flight to Greenville on Sunday. The names of the pilots in the flight deck were the same and the Flight Attendant, the friendly Emily, had taken care of our safety and ancillary needs on the flight down. She offered beverage refills on both flights. Being a remote employee, it’s always good to see my colleagues and some of the folks on my team. It reinforces our professional connection, boosts my moral and makes me feel less disconnected. I work with good people. I’m very lucky in that regard. I’m sensitive to office chatter when I’m working at the office and have a hard time tuning it out. This morning I listened to two ladies talk about their favorite cities across the country. Baltimore, Denver, and Boston were all mentioned with high regard. Both agreed that Chicago was their favorite.