Jet setting around Europe, a different country every week, nice hotels, exploring new cities, living the dream … it all sounds so glamorous. But is it really?
Growing up, the idea of travelling all over the place for work sounded like a perfect life. And if I give a brief rundown of my past and upcoming travels to someone, it still sounds too good to be true. Three / four trips a month, sometimes a different country each week. Visiting countries that I have never been to before (and never even thought of visiting).
Breakfast at the airport lounge, dinner in a nice city somewhere in Europe, with a glass of wine and some decent sunshine.
And some trips really are like this: I spent lovely evenings in Vienna, had a chance to see a concert in the newly opened Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, visited Christmas markets in various cities, managed to catch up with friends that live around Europe, took a boat tour on Lake Geneva and every now and then I even manage to book myself into a proper posh 5 star hotel.
When I share my location or some photos on Facebook, it looks and sounds great. But sometimes this is all smoke and screen.
There is another side to this that most people don’t see… having to get up at 4am (and still being wide awake at 1.30), getting a cab to the airport for a really early flight. Flight delays that mess up your carefully planned itinerary for the day. 15-hour days. Going without food from early morning until late at night because your meeting schedule somehow didn’t include a lunch break. Being stuck in a horrible hotel next to the motorway just because it was so convenient for the person picking you up the next morning. Endless dinners on your own, pretending to work on your laptop, so you don’t feel too awkward. Nights and nights away from home and from your loved one. Hotel reservations being cancelled without your knowledge or because you forgot to confirm a late check in (believe me, trying to find a hotel room in a fully booked town at 10pm isn’t much fun).
But even though travelling is hard work and not always the glamour we all would love to think, I do prefer it to sitting in the office five days a week. After all, it is a balancing act. If I do too many trips in a row, I get sick and tired of it… if (on rare occasions) I get stuck in the office for a couple of weeks, I long for my next trip. So my quest is to get the best of both worlds… which most of the time works well.
How about you? More of a 9 to 5 person? Or a ‘Jet Setter’ ?