I’m off to Vancouver for a conference this evening … which made me think that perhaps travel was a good subject to blog about!
When I was younger I would look at people who travelled for their job and without a better understanding of what business travel is like, it caused a number of thoughts …
- It seemed glamorous
- They were lucky to go to all of these exotic places
- I wondered what affect it had on their personal lives
Many years later, and after many years where business travel has become just a part of the job, I probably look at it differently.
It is not glamorous at all … typically you stay in a place where the bed is not as comfortable as your own, you are away from your family missing out on kid’s hockey games and family dinners, you work more because there is nothing to do and you spend long hours on planes, in taxis and generally becoming grubbier by the hour!
The exotic locations can sound good, but the reality is that you go from the airport to a hotel, to an office, to a conference room to a taxi to the airport. Hotel rooms look pretty much the same in Las Vegas as they do in Winnipeg. A business trip is a business trip and it was the very rare occasion that I could afford to take some extra time to enjoy a particular place.
Business travel takes its toll on home life … so you have to compensate, in order to maintain balance in the “emotional bank” (Steven Covey). You miss events, are not there to help in crises and miss out on some child bonding. It takes effort to get off a plane after a tough trip and go play soccer with the kids or take your wife for dinner. Its often tough to just switch off the work and focus on the family … but that’s what you need to do.
Business travel is a fact of life, a part of many rewarding jobs … but not the exciting, glamorous thing that people sometimes think. So … gotta run, have some packing to do!