On Being a Road Warrior.

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Being a road warrior isn’t all it’s knocked up to be.

I used to be a road warrior – traveling upwards of 40% of the time on business.  And here’s how awesome it was.

  • I could define myself by my mileage status – Executive Brilliant Platinum with Diamonds (and a glass of champagne on top).
  • I sulked when upgrades didn’t go through
  • Driving myself to the airport?? You have to be kidding me??? Please send a car.
  • That bottle of water costs $6.?  Sounds great, I’ll have 2 since I’m on business.
  • Please re-book me on a different flight.  I can’t sit in a middle seat for 6 hours.
  • Yep, I’m a road warrior.  Traveling all over the place.  It’s so fun and I’m so important.

{Hardly}

Certainly there were real perks – seeing cities you had never been to – even if just via taxi, subway, train or car – seeing distant friends, dining out at some of the most famous restaurants on a business account, meeting new people along the way and of course frequent flyer miles that I put to good use traveling around the globe.

Yet being on the road, there was a lot missing in my life. I had developed an unhealthy relationship with the washing machine and the dryer – coming home from a trip to re-pack for the next trip and discovering that they were in use by someone else could break me – or the bank when I sent it out for Fluff ‘n Fold.  Hello – SO expensive!!  I missed out on many fun/social/interesting and entertaining things with my friends because I was forever on the road.  I worked unhealthy hours late into the night in my hotel rooms,  slept little, ate and drank indulgently at business dinners and I lost all sense of my routines – healthy eating, early to bed, early to rise and morning workouts. Something my mind and body so desperately craved.

Over the last 4 years, my job has required very little travel and my life has become grounded again – pun intended.  I realized that A) frequent flyer status means jack sh*t B) sitting in a middle seat isn’t so terribly tragic  – in fact, when I’m on a personal trip I often choose a middle seat so I can sit next to the Mr. and C) I just plain sucked and had a snotty and elitist attitude about travel.  I think that I did this all because it was my own defense mechanism for missing out on life – I had to create my own joys, my own wins and my own pleasures given the situation.

As you know, this past week I was in NYC for a long and harried week of business travel.   I sat in a middle seat flying from LAX to JFK.  {Yes, I survived}. I have NO status on airlines anymore and paying for an upgrade was out of the question {I’m perfectly fine sitting in coach} and my hotel wasn’t my first or second pick {but the only thing that mattered – the bed – was comfortable}.

I still worked far too late each night and had very little time for visits with friends/family, but I did make the best of it. I managed to sneak in 2 short runs in Central Park and a hilly treadmill course while it was raining.  I walked the city as much as possible – taking it all in, I managed to eat a few meals at Whole Foods – making nutrition a priority, and last night, I got to spend time with Family.

My Brother and my Barbie-in-Law who live in CT met me in the city for the most delicious taco and margarita dinner at Cascabel on the Upper East Side.  We had a feast of tacos delivered to the table including:

Pescado – Crispy Yellowfin Tuna Belly / Hearts of Palm / Green Olives / Onion

Camaron – Roasted Shrimp / Fresh Oregano / Garlic / Chili Oil / Black Bean

Carne Asada – Grilled Yucatan Achiote Hanger Steak / Oyster Mushroom / House Cream / Crispy Onion

Carnitas – Slow Roasted Berkshire Pork Butt (yes, butt) / Picked Red Onion / Roasted Chili del Arbol / Crispy Rice

Beyond the benefit to my soul stomach of T ‘n T , seeing family was a blessing and reminded me how lucky I was to be able to take advantage of being nearby to squeeze in something familiar and routine like a family dinner.  We laughed, we shared and got a chance to unwind together at the end of a long day {and week} for all of us.

Despite being 3000 miles apart – we’ve seen one another almost every month since last August – including the Barbie-in-Law’s bachelorette, the Wedding, a wedding they had in LA, our Winter Adventures in Colorado, NBA All Star, Boston Marathon and now last night!

Talk about a Road Warrior Perk.

It was a long and harried week, but it was a great week.  We accomplished a lot and had a lot of success being here. I’m beyond exhausted and can’t quite seem to figure out the model on how to travel for business and come back refreshed, but I’m smiling – because in a few short hours I get to {get out of this middle seat} see the Mr. and the Homies and start the weekend off early with zero plans. Sounds a bit too perfect at this point.

Do you travel for Work? Love it? Hate it?  What routines do you keep? What gets thrown to the wind?

{MF Dre}

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7 thoughts on “On Being a Road Warrior.

  1. I was just having this same conversation with Jason last night. He used to have status and now has none, so glad I met him after that! BUT, i did enjoy having a friend w status on our Thailand trip 🙂

  2. I wouldn’t mind traveling for work once in a while, but that much? No thanks, I’m a creature of habit, that would break my brain.

    It’s nice that you got to see family while traveling though, that always makes things seem better doesn’t it?

    P.S. I love that you call your dogs “the Homies” – it cracks me up every time I read it. 🙂

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