Ok, so I admit, I travel way too much. Unfortunately for my work, its required.
I have told this to countless people… Traveling for work is not glamorous !
To give you an example of a typical work week for me. It starts Sunday, yes, Sunday. Most people aren’t really concerned about work Sunday, but I am. Truth be told it starts Saturday evening when I print my Boarding pass(es). Sunday is then a mixed bag day, how much can I plan to do while still feeling somewhat civilized and human to get on a flight. I usually leave the house in the late afternoon. Which means, I don’t eat dinner at home, I don’t get to watch Sunday night TV (when all the good shows are on), nor do I get to sleep in my own bed.
I have to select a wardrobe that will be sufficient for the week and will hopefully be appropriate. I pack, and make sure I have all the items necessary (ie: passport, wallet, laptop, clothing and various paraphernalia) I make my way to the airport, I have to go through security. Yes, being subjected to some paranoid idiots delusional process that makes no sense whatsoever. Then only to wait for a plane that will hopefully be arriving on time so that we can depart on time. I typically do a scan of the boarding lounge… why ? Who is going to be seated next to me this time. Do I get the small infant that likes to kick the back of my seat, or do I get the entire row to myself ? Do I get some smelly drunk guy, or in the case of one of my co-workers, an Adult entertainer that quizzes him on whether or not she should stay with her boyfriend or run off with her girlfriend ? (no I’m not kidding)
Luckily traveling with any amount of frequency has provided me with status, so I can get onto the plane early with my rollerbag and pack into the overhead bins. Yes ! I’m one of “those” travelers. Trust me, you would be to if you had to 1) wait for luggage or 2) have to file a lost luggage claim and wonder if your jeans and shirt are acceptable forms of clothing to go into the office on Monday.
Where was I… oh ya, talking about my work week. Its still Sunday and I still haven’t arrived at my hotel yet. Its getting close to midnight, or if the flight has been delayed its now after midnight. If its after, you know Monday is going to be a tough day. Depending on if I have a connecting flight, then I’m going off to catch that. Throw in the wonderful experience clearing customs, and yes, I still haven’t reached the hotel yet. Do you think this is glamorous… wait, its getting better.
The flight arrives, I’m now either waiting for a shuttle to take me to my hotel, or I’m off to pick up a rental car to drive my now really tired ass to the hotel. I finally make it to the hotel. I check in, if the hotel key works, then I’m in my room. If not, then its another trip back to see the apologetic front desk. I have to unpack my things, hang up my clothes, get my toiletries out. Finally I haul my ass into bed.
Now comes the easy part of the week. Working 40 hours in the next 3.75 days. Why 3.75, Well come Thursday, I want to get home before it becomes Friday. That means that if I want to leave @ 4 or 5pm, I need to get 40 hours in before that point. So I’m up to be in the office by 7a, just so I can stay and work until about 7p. Repeat this for the Tuesday and Wednesday. Breakfast is usually whatever the hotel offers. Lunch is whatever you can grab that is close to the office and take back and eat at your desk, and dinner is whatever you can find that won’t take hours to get, or where you think it hasn’t been on a steam tray since 4.30.
I often get the question, “oh, you are going to X (insert name of city), they have great restaurants…” Trust me, I don’t get to them. For those of you who travel. I call it the “Commuting Corridor”. Airport to hotel, hotel to work site, work site to airport. Those are the only routes you know. If there is some food along that corridor, great. Otherwise, you likely won’t go out of your way to seek it out.
Thursday comes and you are tired, from putting in more hours in the week than the norm. And you are looking forward to sleeping in your own bed. You get out of the office after what would be for most people a regular day. But now you get to fly home. Repeat the same process as Sunday night (just in reverse). You hope there is no crash on the freeways/highways to make the journey to the airport hours instead of minutes. You hope that security is in a good mood and they don’t want to take everything out of your suitcase. Most importantly, you hope the inbound flight is on time, so you can get home at a decent hour. What is a decent hour anyway ? You get on the plane, and if you are like me… you fall asleep before they do the Safety demo, why? Because you are dog-ass tired from cramming all that in over the past 4 days or 96 hours.
Ok, I get Friday off… sometimes, not always. I try to get all the things done that I couldn’t do through the week (ie: Dentist, Doctor, Hair cuts, etc). You know all those things that aren’t usually open on Saturday or Sunday. Saturday I try to cram in as much all the other things, and guess what… we are back to Sunday.
So? Think that traveling for work is glamorous ? Give it a try for a few months, or even a year or two, Let me know how this works for you.