To say this summer blew by would be a complete understatement. I found myself saying in April how great it is that most of July and August was open and then somehow, as it always does, the calendar filled up with some exciting work trips and a few leisure trips along the way.
I learned a lot. After being on the road for a consecutive six weeks, I quickly learned first handedly what it actually means to travel full time. The lessons of travel reminded my need for constant support from my loved ones.
If there were a few lessons that stood out from being on the road for six weeks, these are definitely them....
Airports are a great place to get work done.... I found that being at an airport can be soothing. It's actually a place where I can get most of my work done like emails and a bit of writing as I have almost no distractions. Sometimes when I am flying out, I will arrive to the airport anywhere from 3-4 hours before hand just so I can work.
Strangers should be your friends... I love meeting new people (often told I am my father's daughter — he has a knack for making friends everywhere.) These new people help make a place special, they turn into friends, and it makes travel that much more meaningful. It's so easy to tune out and not partake with the people who you are around, but if the past six weeks have taught me anything, it's that I need these people, it's what keeps me going while on the road.
Health has to be a priority, and I have to choose it first.... This summer I took a lovely trip to the ER which turned out to be a case of severe acid reflux. The doctor suggested I took off travel, though I had about 7 more trips in the pipeline before I could "take time off." I switched my diet, making daily decisions to be healthy, and haven't looked back since. The stress of travel has had it's wear and tear on me, and I learned a valuable lesson on being realistic with what I can handle on the road and at home.
Packing is the only constant... I force myself to do two things every time I travel. Perhaps, it's the only thing that keeps me sane. I always unpack immediately when I come home, even if it's only a 15 hour turn around. Everything goes away, the suitcase, the makeup bags, and I try to be where I am. The second, whenever I get to a hotel, even if for a night, I unpack everything into the drawers and closet to make the place feel like home.
Patience is everything... I've said it before: not everything in travel is as glamorous as it is filtered. Delayed flights, broken luggage, sickness, and long waits can create frustration if you let it soak in. I found that patience is key to having smooth travel and taking things with stride. It can be so easy to get bogged down by the amount of frustrations that come through, though it is better to push through.
Keeping relationships on the road takes work... Being gone often means missing special occasions for loved ones. Six weeks gone reminded that making an extra effort is what is required when on the road. Friends and family have supported me from the beginning. One of my favorite things to do is Facetime my close friends and family while I'm on the road. One day, when I arrived to Petra to the incredible Treasury, I decided to Facetime my husband (though I totally forgot it was like 4 in the morning his time) to show him what I see. Though he couldn't be there with me, I was still able to connect where I was and share that special memory with him. Technology is fabulous for connecting people.
Travel is a blessing and so many lessons learned while on the road have shaped me today. Thankful for your support on this crazy ride and love being able to share them with you!
Thanks for indulging me on this journey.