Is Work Travel Really Travel?

Is Work Travel Really Travel?


‘ll answer this one quickly—HELLLLLLL NAH. These photos you see, they were taken in the thirty minutes I had of free time while I was in Destin, FL for work. We were there four days. I saw the beach for almost none of them, and when I did dip my toes in that beautiful aqua water, I was too exhausted to know what I was doing.

The whole trip was painfully full of work—more work than I do at home, and to pour salt water in my wound, the beach kept messin’ with me. It was relentless in its taunting—splashing and licking the shores outside the hotel that held me hostage. It was barely bearable.

Then, I had a chat that confirmed my ill feelings toward my situation. One of the guys at this National Meeting said he travels all the time for work, and unfortunately, he never gets to do anything wherever he goes. It’s just work, work, triple work, with a shot of free time. This is coupled with the reality that all the traveling he does kills the urge for him to use his vacation time for travel. When he has time off, he sits on the couch in his home, a place that has become excruciatingly foreign to him. His work travel has ruined his vacation travel. GROSS.

And although his story was horrifying, it made me smile. I liked hearing it, because there was a time when I was young, fresh, and bouncy in the chest about wanting a job that would keep me traveling all the time. I had just finished college, and I couldn’t think of anything better than being on a plane most days of the week. I even looked for a job that would keep me regularly jumpin’ states, but I never got one—thank God.

Now, I know better. It’s just like anything else. Too much of a good thing makes it bad. Sugar. Sleep. I thought I wouldn’t dare say sex, but I suppose if you were gettin’ busy three times a day, things could get ugly.

So yeah, be careful what you wish for, and if you like travel or have a dream of travel, don’t let the sexy job description of “frequent travel” fool you. They should call it “frequent work—extra heavy work—away from home.” Work travel is not travel. It is the evil twin of real travel, and it could kill your urge to explore—so be careful. Don’t get worked by work travel.

Check out Shelby’s book, Good Globe, for stories of her adventures and a glimpse at what we can discover when we find courage within ourselves.