Sure!…at first. But after a couple months it stops feeling that way, and I’m not sure it ever really comes back. When I first started traveling for work I felt like a “baller”. I was so surprised that a company would actually pay for my flights and my hotel and all of my food. Surely I was something amazing to warrant such luxuries. Even my non-traveling friends and the random people I would meet validated that feeling with comments like “Wow!…what a cool job!” or “That sounds amazing!” or “I would love to travel for work!”. So for the first few months I was pretty excited about my glamorous, prestigious new career in consulting.
It Doesn’t Last:
It usually goes from being exciting, to being boring, to being straight up disgusting. When the trill of traveling is gone, all that’s left is annoyance. It did take a few months…maybe 6 or so, before I really started getting tired of it, but the money was good and it looked impressive…and really, I wasn’t sure what else I would do. My friends thought it was impressive, I think the girls I met thought it was impressive but in the end it really sucked up my life.
Let’s Put It Into Perspective:
I was on two flights every week for about 3 years. Over half of every week was spent in a Marriott. I drive a 2009 Volkswagen with only 55,000 miles on it…and I bought it 4 years ago with only 50,000 miles. The point is that I never drive my own car. I eat out almost every meal, because even when Im home I can’t buy groceries because they will spoil by the time I get home the following weekend. My girlfriend sits at home alone and bored while I try to cram 40 hours into 3.5 days because travel time doesn’t count as client time.
Glamorous?…sure, from the outside. But when you’re the one doing it you realize that spending every night on the edge of a Marriott bed, eating Chipotle and watching basic cable is not as sweet as people think. The free food and the happy hours are only exciting until you realize that all those late-night bar conversations were only about work problems and how “Janice” sent you that Excel file only partially completed! How dare she!
Can you tell I’m jaded?!
In a way I feel that my life has been put on hold by traveling so much for work. I feel that it can prevent you from moving forward. When you’re always on the road its hard to invest in your “real” life and push it forward. Instead you stay in this limbo state of travel, work, bar and repeat where you never have a moment to wake up and evaluate.
The Brighter Side:
After all the bitching and moaning, I still wouldn’t trade in my experience. The consulting life has offered me the opportunity to see the world in a way that few get to. Ive been able to work (and kind of live) all over the country and meet an extremely wide variety of people. Even though its been frustrating at times, I don’t think I would change anything.
However you can’t do the same thing forever, else you get stagnant. And I think my time on the road is coming to an end. Its been a total of 6 years traveling for work now and I think its time to stay local and move on to “industry”. In a way, you can consider this my resignation post.