Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President, Business Development, Radisson Hotel Group on what life is like as a business traveller in the region.
A Belgian national, Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President, Business Development, looks after Radisson Hotel Group’s strategic growth across the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa and recently expanded his leadership into French Speaking Africa.
Based in Dubai, this position of course comes with a lot of travelling, something people often define with leisure and discovery but when travelling becomes a weekly habit, this is no longer a vacation but rather a vocation.
Your routine turns out to be a constant exploration of tricks to ease the journey; almost a mind game in taking the right choices to keep yourself entertained, given the often lonely commute.
It starts with the carry-on, your ultimate best friend; it must be light, big enough to carry your life but small enough for you to hold on to it. At times, it will remain waiting for you ready to go and thankful for not carrying any dust on its back as it has no time to rest in the closet.
Then as air miles accumulate, you develop new skills that for sure deserve certification.
You quickly become an expert in folding your clothes, if not you, your partner is and that becomes their symbolic contribution to what has become your weekly ritual.
Your judgment of time is better than any Swiss standard, able to snooze few times in the morning of early flights and still make it conveniently on the last call at the gate.
Then comes the art of queuing and human profiling. Your ability to assess the fastest lines at immigration or security control turns out to be your personal challenge but also a moment of wonderings.
Except you, everyone around seems to be a first time traveller having no mercy to the race of productivity you are part of and it is almost like they are traveling abroad but left their common sense at home. You could eventually win a competition for unpacking your life and everything you wear in less than a minute but for the rest, it is like they thought they were part of a magic show and could take out of their pockets a never ending amount of objects, wondering if a white rabbit is yet to appear too.
Once this is done, you have accustomed yourself to jet lag and airports so well that sometimes you feel being a pilot would have been a better justification of your absence.
To keep the connection with friends and family, you share pictures of the few things you will see on your trips but often only from the plane, the taxi or ultimately the hotel room. Many would envy your destinations but reality is that the sightseeing doesn’t exceed the horizon from the window.
Then finally your assessment of hotels shall be considered for compensation as a mystery shopper. From the comfort of the mattress, soundproofing, list of TV channels and quality of the breakfast - you can easily become the largest contributor on TripAdvisor but also a design expert.
Have you ever wondered why switching off the lights in a hotel room is a mystery same as finding an electric plug next to the bed? It is like if the ones who sometimes designed them felt we were all seeking to play in an escape room and we had to figure out our way to sleep.
So for those who believe that frequent flying is a joy in essence should reconsider because nothing feels better than coming back home.
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