Traveling for work can seem incredibly glamorous to those of us who never go anywhere but the opinion of an avid traveler can be a very mixed story. At Playback Now there are several team members who spend a lot of time on the road. Conferences are held all over the country and you must go where the associations send you to capture the recordings that keep the learning moving long after the conference has ended. Many of the locations blend together, the busy tasks of the event merging with the settings in which they take place but occasionally, it takes them to somewhere truly special.

We sat down with Playback Now’s Doug Martin to hear about his travels this year and his recent trip to (say it with a sigh) Hawaii.

Question: What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Doug: I enjoy the fact that every place we go is different. Every show and how each show works at the different venues we work is unique. We go to the convention center in Orlando several times, but rooms we are recording are different, layouts are different, our booth can be in a different location, etc.

I must admit that I also like the actual travel aspect of my work. It can be stressful (trying to catch flights, weather, TSA at the airport, etc.), but it brings out the adventure in me. I get to travel to cities around the country, sample a little of the culture, the food (a big one for me), sports. I try to walk around the cities I travel to and visit places I have not been. If time allows, I sometimes travel a few days early or stay a few days after a show ends and turn a work trip into a work/personal trip.


Question: Do you enjoy traveling now more or less than you did before you started traveling for work?  Did you always want to travel?

Doug: I enjoy it more now than before. I’m sure part of that is because of all the different places we go. I also enjoy traveling by plane, which I had never done before I started working here. I have always had a travel bug, so this kind of work is right up my alley.


Question: Did you travel much as a kid?  What was your favorite childhood family vacation?  Where did you go and what do you remember most about that place?

Doug: We traveled at least once a year while I was young, but they were all trips by car. My favorite childhood vacation was to Washington, DC. I remember going to the monuments, including going up to the top of Washington Monument. We also visited Luray Caverns, traveled on the famous Skyline Drive, and visited Natural Bridge in Virginia. All of these sites were beautiful.


Question: Where are you most excited to visit this year? Is there an old favorite that you are looking forward to or a new location that you are excited to see?  What sets this location apart or most intrigues you about it?

Doug: This will answer both questions. I recorded a convention in Maui this February. I went out a week early and stayed a few days after it ended. My girlfriend had never been to Hawaii, so it was fun to experience it with her. We booked some tours, hung out at the beach or the resort pools (watching the Super Bowl poolside was a lot of fun!!) We went to a few places that I had not visited in my previous trips to Maui (there’s that adventure thing again).  One thing I really like about Maui is it has both remote and commercial locations. If you want to be alone or alone with someone, there are many places you can go where you will be the only person/people around. If you want to walk shops, eat at a busy restaurant, or take a tour, you can go to Lahaina or Kihei. There are very busy beaches or beaches where the locals go. I love the diversity of the island.


Question: What was your favorite, all time, outing while on a location?  Where did you go and what made it so special?

Doug: This may be recency bias, but my trip to Maui in February was probably my all-time favorite trip. I visited some amazing places while we were there…We did a whale watch tour; watched the sunrise at Mt. Haleakala; drove to Hana, Charles Lindbergh’s grave, then circled the rest of the island (some of this included very narrow dirt roads along cliffs); stayed at a few beautiful resorts; enjoyed a luau; hung out at a few beaches. We had some great food while we were there. Of course, being with my girlfriend was what made it so special and memorable.


Question: What location would you most want to return to for a personal vacation? Why? Do you think you’ll do it?

Doug: I have only been to Honolulu once for a conference and I would love to go there for vacation (noticing a theme here). I love the beach, and Waikiki Beach is amazing. I also want to go back to Pearl Harbor. I have not been to the Dole Plantation, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and I would like to hike Diamond Head. I think a visit to Honolulu is in the future.


Question: Do you have any “for luck” type traditions that you have made part of your pre-show routine? 

Doug: I really do not have any real rituals I do before a meeting, aside from praying before my flight that we get to our destination safely and praying that I do everything to the best of my ability.