I used to travel a lot and I mean a LOT. Back in the days, there were months when I’m in the airport every Monday and go home every Thursday. I can recognize the voice of the pilot and the flight attendant remembers my drinks. I used to not mind it, after all, I don’t have any obligation at home, living in a cheap room at the time and started earning miles and hotel points that I used for my vacation. It went on for 5 years and then all of a sudden, I do mind it.
I had my “yuppy” moments and traveling for work just sort of add on to this feel. All of a sudden, I no longer stay in a hostel, my rental car is upgraded, and I’m taking car service to and from the airport (before Uber became mainstream). My friends even think it’s fun and I’m “lucky” that I get to travel. But really, after a while, it gets tiring.
People don’t realize that you actually work more hours when you travel for work. A typical 4 weeks project will need to get done in 2. Traveling is expensive for the company so projects better get done quickly. My routine consist of gym, work, hotel and dinner (repeat that 4 times every week).
Again, it was ok in the beginning. I don’t have a lot of responsibilities and I get to eat out on really good restaurants. I still didn’t mind it when I moved up. I get to show the place to a new colleague, and I can see the same excitement that I had when I started.
And here’s the tipping point – a big con
One day, I was visiting my parents and I notice my little sister. I am 12 years older than her and she’s consider our baby. I thought, wow, she got taller, maybe about an inch. And then, I realize that it’s been 6 months since I visited my family. For some people, this might be normal, but I live 45 minutes from them, so there’s really no excuse. I used to help her with her homework and visit every week. When I asked her, she said that I’m probably tired from work and she doesn’t want me to go all the way to our parents place. My father, mentioned that I lost weight, and said something about my second glass of wine. Don’t get me wrong, they are proud of where I was, but I can see the concern on my father’s voice and I knew that they are on the verge of losing me.
My relationship outside my family are also not established. Most of my friends in college are now living out of state, or out of the country. My 2 best girlfriends (thank goodness) kept up with me. My first relationship ended after 3 years. I’m sacrificing my relationships for my career. My hobby consisted of collecting points (not that bad!) and counting restaurants I’ve eaten. I realized that I’ve never really discovered myself.
It didn’t take long to get a job. I just have to entertain calls from recruiter. A couple of weeks later, I interviewed and got a new gig. It’s a stop on a freeway. I needed that.
I still travel for work, but everything is plan. It’s not every week and I can say no, without feeling guilty or scared that I won’t move up fast enough. I listen to my body and I give priority to my friends and family at all times.
Do you travel for work? Do you like it?