What work travel is really like
About five years ago, I decided that I wanted to get paid to travel. I didn’t care how I did it. I just wanted to do it.
Today, I am a business travel and events editor so hey, the plan worked.
This means I go to lots of conferences and on work trips called ‘famils’ (familiarisations).
Initially, I was SUPER EXCITED. I mean, hello?! TRAVELLING FOR WORK.
Now, I am like … arggggh. Please god, not another hotel room, not another conference, not another long haul flight and multi-day trip where I am jetlagged to buggery and spend the whole time looking at meeting spaces.
These trips seem really glamorous and the food is always beyond ridiculous but that’s because they’re bribing you. They need you to look at their thing and listen to their thing, whatever that thing is. In order to get you to marginally enjoy this process, they feed you. And feed you. And feed you.
You end up hungover, waddling and super-charged on caffeine because they also need you to be awake for all of this.
You spend the whole time with strangers, except when you’re in your hotel room. And then you’re incredibly lonely and you can’t sleep because in Australia, it’s 3pm in the afternoon or something like that. So you use the hotel WiFi to message people, look at Instagram, buy things on eBay and generally BE YOUR BEST FRIEND. Because you have no friends. They’re all on the other side of the planet, doing things like going to trivia nights, cooking BBQs and watching TV with their boyfriends, all of which seem kind of mundane, until you’re longing for those very things.
Suddenly room service is not so exciting. Suddenly the sound of an aircraft engine is the sound of distance between you and your life. Suddenly you think that travelling for work is just that: work.