I’ve had a number of questions about my return to traveling. Usually, they fall into the camp of “What are you thinking?”. I promise I was!
- “But you will never be home”. I get to choose when and how much travel I do. If I don’t want to fly, I should find local clients. If I don’t want to fly somewhere that takes a day to get there, I can choose not to. Currently, I’m flying out Monday and back Thursday twice a month to LA…super easy.
- “But you have little kids”. Yes, I do. When I’m home day in and day out, I’m out of the house before they get up (either working out or working). I’m usually the one to do pick up between 4-5 depending on work and/or traffic. So this means that I typically spend time with my kids between 4/5 to 8 (with bedtime routine starting around 7:15). So realistically, two hours an evening. Now factor in homework time, kids wanting to be outside time, mommy wanting a drink time, etc…that 2 hours is really not two hours. So if I’m traveling just 4 days, that’s a total of 8 hours I don’t see my kids that I could have. Now when I am home, I’m home. The time is quality. My husband is the one that I worry about at times as he has to manage the house and tasks during the week, which can be quite chaotic.
- “But you will miss events”. Some yes. But again I have flexibility to choose my weeks that I’m traveling. So far, every weekend visitor or event that I want to attend, I’ve made happen. I did have to choose between one of my son’s football games and visitors coming the weekend before (chose to fly Tues – Fri to give myself a day recovery after visitors). Teachers have been willing to reschedule conference days if they happen to fall on travel days. It’s really not been an issue thus far.
- “But traveling takes so much time”. I’ve commuted in Chicago. I’ve done the 40 min commute in Denver. Trust me, traveling by plane to LA has been overall a time saver for me! Cause the days I’m not traveling, I’m home. Seriously, I have a hybrid but have filled my tank of gas once in two months.
Yes it can be tiring and timezones can mess with a person, but I get a ton of benefits too:
- Opportunity to visit places and people. I spend time with my cousin in LA. I make a point to reach out to people to connect for dinner. I explore the city.
- Miles/Upgrades: I get to save some money on vacations and trips for the family with the miles and points I accumulate.
- Perspective: I get me time. I’m sorry if that’s not the “right” thing to say but it’s true. I enjoy going back to a hotel room and not spending two hours focused about homework, dinner, etc. I can relax and when I do get home, I appreciate and enjoy my family even more. Again, I just try to make sure my husband gets time too!
- Motivation: I don’t have to settle. I can do exactly what I love to do and where I want. I walk away from a week tired but happy. That’s worth it!
But to be fair, here are my biggest struggles:
- When I get home, I want to be home. I just ate out for 4 days. My family wants to go out. This can be tough.
- When I get home, I do have to spend a couple of hours catching up (mail, expenses, etc). Admin tasks are boring!
- Making sure there is balance for my husband…he’s now taking a weekend trip soon.
- Wanting to take my taser with me on trips, I am finding myself more afraid as a female solo traveler. I don’t take it…yet.
- Packing and unpacking, although I’m getting really good at this! I now have a list and some things that just never get unpacked
So I’m not claiming traveling is always wonderful and perfect. Yet, I’ve been able to create a situation where the perks definitely outweigh the negatives.
If you travel, what are your benefits/challenges?