I am at the end of a really busy month of travel. As a result, I have found myself thinking quite a bit about the unglamorous side of traveling for work.
This month I only get to sleep at home for 5 nights. This is unusual for me, but it happens. Usually I get around 12 to 16 nights at home each month. But this month not only did I take an amazing trip for fun, I had to stay in town where I work for a special event and to complete a remodeling project at my office. And finally, this week I am gone 4 nights to Orlando for a work convention.
All of these things have been lots of fun in their own ways, but in the end I still only get to sleep at home 5 nights this month! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m having a great time, but traveling for work can also be decidedly unglamorous with lots of drawbacks!
#1 – Forgetting where you are
I really do wake up in the middle of the night sometimes and have to think for a minute where I am. Or yesterday when I got home and went to the grocery store I bought a couple of things I planned to cook this weekend. But when I got home I realized that I had forgotten we are remodeling our kitchen at home and the new stove hasn’t been installed. I put my groceries in my refrigerator (that is currently sitting in the middle of my living room) and went out to dinner. I’ll have to cook those meals some other time . . . if I remember next time I’m home that I already bought the ingredients.
#2 – Missing out on things
I often miss out on special events and even ordinary things I enjoy because I’m not around. Luckily I have lots of friends in the town where I work, but a lot of the special events I would like to go to are on the weekends when I would really like to be home. I also miss out on the ordinary, spontaneous moments that happen daily when I’m not around. Gatherings at a winery . . . stops at the coffee shop . . . relaxing by the pool . . . seeing family. I’ve missed out on all of these things this month. The same is true of events in Kansas City with friends and family. It seems a lot of the time I’m not in town when things are happening. (To my friends and family . . . please know I wish I could be around more!)
#3 – Eating well on the road
Traveling and eating well doesn’t usually go together. It definitely takes some planning to make this happen. I try to shop a week in advance so when I show up back at my office I already have food to cook. I do have to only buy things that can either be frozen or will not go bad if I buy it on a Wednesday, but don’t get to cook it until the following Tuesday. Like I said, it just takes a little planning.
I don’t mean to complain about the challenges. I just wanted to share a bit of the unglamorous side of traveling for work. There are also lots of positive things that come from the life I live. But I’ll save that for another time. For now I’ll just try to keep track of where I am, what I’m supposed to be doing and try not to starve during all that!