As I embark on third week of a business trip away from home and family with what can feel like endless conferences and speaking engagements or training sessions, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on life as a road warrior. I never thought I would really use that term, but I think anyone who has known me for the past few years would say I am. I think the first thing to point out is that I have probably the most understanding and supportive wife on the planet.
Many of my friends now tend to travel in some shape or form, many of my closest friends in IT spend more time on the road than at home. It seems glamorous to many when you say I have to spend a week here and a week there, but what many don’t realize is that you spend them in conference rooms and hotels. Don’t get me wrong there are pluses and I am very fortunate to occasionally be able to mix a little pleasure in on these trips. So if you are thinking you are about to take a job where travel is a big part of it, maybe these pros and cons will help you.

Pros:
– See places you never knew you would end up
-Exotic Countries
– Museums and monuments that mean so much to so many
– Taking Vacations is sometimes easier since you do build frequent flyer miles
– Networking in your industry is never as easy as it is when having face to face meetings
– Speaking at conferences and attending sessions is a great way to build your own brand

Cons:
– See places you never knew you would end up
– Small town in the middle of no where to do an install
– All the finest conference rooms and airports and some of the worst hotels
– You never want to take vacations since you just want to stay home when you get a chance. This really requires a supportive family since the time you are home, is probably when they are off and would like to get away, plus sometimes you do get upgrades 🙂
– Relationships take nurturing whether at home or professionally so you have to spend free time maintaining both. Sometimes you miss big events, friends graduations, new job celebrations, birthday events…
– If you build your brand make sure your company also gets built. But don’t lock in your brand to one company. Have a personality of your own, this is not always easy, and don’t be surprised if you become a go to speaker for your company.. which may mean more travel.

These are just a few of the pluses and minuses of traveling. I would tell everyone it is not for everyone, but if there is a reason and you have the support of family, and friends it can be very rewarding.. just always remember the travel also impacts those you have at home and not just you while you are on the road….