The OLSET team travels quite a bit. We estimate that between our small team of engineers and the other frequent “carryon only’ers” in the OLSET fam, that we’ve logged nearly 4.5 million miles collectively. So if you’re like us, you’ve caught the travel bug more than a few times in your life. Have you been known to drop everything and escape for a while? The OLSET family (currently 7 people) has been to nearly 200 countries and counting!
Sometimes you need to just get away, but what about the people who travel ALL the time? The real road warriors out there can all attest that there’s as many major positive of frequent travel as there are negatives. Even those who travel just for leisure can agree that sometimes you have such an amazing vacation that you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. Sometimes you travel so much for work you can’t even enjoy a vacation! We hope that doesn’t happen to you but if it has, check OLSET’s list of the top ten best parts about frequent travel…and our 10 worst parts too! Yea sure travel can be grueling, but what else can it be?
OLSET’s Top 8 best parts about traveling frequently:
-Meeting people from all over: Nothing beats meeting good people. Expanding your horizons from D.C to Denver and back is one of the best things you can do for yourself, both personally and professionally and there’s no way to kickstart that initiative more than traveling. While you travel next time, try to make it a point to learn each person’s name that you encounter….ask them where they’re from and say something nice about that city. If you don’t know anything, look it up and discuss what you learned with them. You’ll be surprised how much this will brighten their day, and yours.
-The energy of a life lived mobile: What’s that line they used to say? “Variety is the spice of life”? Yea that. A rolling stone has yet to ever gather moss and if you’re always moving, life rarely ever gets boring. As stressful as your frequent travel may be, you know you wouldn’t want it any other way because you thrive on, and often brag about how insane your travel schedule is. The energy of a life lived mobile is infection and inspiring. You never know how many lives you inspire when you follow your own path and enjoy a life well traveled.
-Trying new foods: Everyone reading this loves some travel food program on television. Whether it’s Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives or Anthony Bourdain’s newest foodie foray the idea is the same. Traveling gives us the unique opportunity to explore the world around us in ways that was impossible only a few generations ago, and one easy way to do this is with your fork and mouth. Eat everything new you can. Try it all at least once.
-Building a network: LinkedIn is one thing, but a real physical social network is another. There’s nothing like making a comment on Facebook and getting responses from people from all over the country, or world even. Traveling, whether it be for work or for pleasure is an opportunity to explore. Even if you only get 12hrs free outside of meetings and events, make it count and try and meet someone local. It’s nice to have people to visit when you return isn’t it?
-Getting to know airport staff: One tip for travel is to always greet people at the airports really organically, and with sincerity. Take a second to look at their name-tag (when they don’t notice if possible) and then call them by their name a few moments later. This can honestly, make someone’s day and will no doubt leave an impression upon them. Next time you travel through there, you may just remember that persons name…and eventually you’ll feel at home walking through a cold, boring airport. It works. Trust us.
-Instagram gold: Now you don’t brag all the time do you? We try not to either, but when you’re treating yourself to a round of golf after a long few days of meetings and the weather is just perfect, or a nice glass of wine before take-off at the airport, you just got to let everybody know about it! Travel gives us the best opportunities to share amazing images with our networks. Some travel just for the pics!
-Beats a desk job: There’s nothing wrong with a fulfilling life spent at a desk job, but at OLSET we stand for those who are constantly in a state of flux and movement. If you’re like us and always going somewhere then we know, you’d never have it any other way.
-Becoming a layover master: The best part about traveling frequently is becoming the Zen Master of airport layovers. If you know how to have fun in Amsterdam with only a 3 hour layover, and how to find the best glass of wine and good conversation at DFW then you are one of us!
And now the 7 worst parts about traveling frequently:
-Missing loved ones: Nobody likes being away from loved ones. Well, maybe some people, but we call those people “crazies”. For the rest of us, being away from the people we enjoy most is a very tough aspect of this “road warrior” lifestyle that we lead. Note: This also makes coming home one of the best parts of frequent travel!
-Losing sleep: If you read this and go “I never lose sleep” then you are at the highest level of jedi-travel masters and you probably already knew that. For the rest of us, bouncing between different timezones and bed comfort-ability levels can take its toll on our sleep schedule and make a normal life seem like something out of a fiction novel.
-Jet-lag: Jet lag is not the same as the reason above, jet lag is what happens even after you wake up from your poor night’s sleep and realize that you felt better before you even went to bed? Jet lag, can sneak up on you, and be a fierce opponent to productivity. Nothing more depressing than being awake at 4am and knowing you have meetings from 8:30-5pm. One of the worse parts of frequent travel by far.
-Airport food: Now we are well aware that some people may get a their undies in a bunch over this one but let’s all be honest, airport and food for the most part is trash. You wouldn’t eat it over your grandma/wife/husband/best friend’s home cooking would you? That’s what we thought. One of our least favorite parts
-Always being in a rush: We debated on this one for at least a full minute before half the team stuck their noses back into their macbooks. Some people could put this into the best parts about travel, the “joie de vivre” energy, the excitement of being in a new place all the time. Well we disagree, we like to be able to sit down and ponder and work fast and diligently and always being in a rush and traveling is tough.
-Hard to stay healthy: From what we’ve read, healthy life and staying fit is all about keeping a set routine and being in a constant state of travel makes that darn near impossible. Now again, some of you travel experts out there are going to read this and think “nahhh not me” but for the common-folk like all us here in the OLSET HQ traveling makes us fat. Period.
-The cost! Even if you travel on a big fat per-diem, being “outta town” can get costly. Whether it’s all the magazines you buy, the occasional shopping spree when you see something you just “have to have” or something else. It adds up right?
Do you agree? Disagree? What are you favorite and worst parts of being a frequent traveler? Let us know in the comments!