I’m about halfway through my intense “travel season” for work, and it’s been so much fun. There was definitely a learning curve at first, and that first trip was all kinds of new and scary, but overall it has been so much fun to get to travel around to different places. I truly believe that you learn something new every day, but this past month I really have learned so much. Here are just a few of those lessons.
Creating routine for yourself is key. I’ve figured out that I’m a much happier human being when I can stay in my similar routine of getting up early, getting on the treadmill for a little while, eating peanut butter toast for breakfast, eating lunch around the same time each day, having a soy chai latte every day, and coming back to my hotel and sitting on my bed to work on emails after the day is done. Having that little bit of routine really helps me mentally and although it doesn’t happen every day (not even close), trying to keep some semblance of a routine while in unfamiliar surrounding has made me content.
Self-care comes above all. Be gentle with yourself. There are days when things go wrong, or I don’t want to get up early to get on the treadmill, or I want to have cinnamon toast crunch for breakfast, or I want to get to the hotel and watch Friends instead of working on email. And that’s okay. I’ve found that I need to do what makes me happy and what works in the moment, and it allows me to recharge so that I can get things done for the rest of the day. Sometimes a half hour of Friends is all you need to fuel back up to respond to emails! And the best part of working on the road is that emails and the other work I need to do can be done from anywhere – like sitting in bed wearing sweatpants with the TV on.
Being friendly makes you even more friendly. So part (really all) of my job is easier if I am in a good mood, and thus I treat everyone I meet with as much kindness and respect as possible. But I’ve discovered this has made me see every person around me as someone new to have a conversation with, someone with a new story. I’m much more apt to just start talking to that random person in line than I used to be. You’d think that since I spend my days talking to people I’d want to not talk to anyone else, but I’ve actually become the opposite – I crave interaction. The more people I talk to, the more I want to talk to. It’s really cool! And I’ve also noticed that the friendlier I become, the more open people are to being friendly to me. I’m sure there’s some reason behind that but I don’t know what it is.
Hoarding food is not necessary. Seriously, Kim, it’s not. I’m all for keeping a granola bar or two around at all times, but I’ve gotten a little out of control with this. I’ve gotten in a habit of holding onto as much extra food as I can in case I need a snack and then one day when I was cleaning out my rental car to turn it in I found something wrapped up in a napkin and you know what it was? It was a two-day-old piece of bread from Panera that I’d forgotten I had and didn’t eat. What a tragedy! And so unnecessary.
Always say yes to water. This is the one thing I will always accept because I talk all day so I definitely need it. And because you never know when you’re going to get something amazing like hornet fuel!
Today starts month 2 of travel, and I can’t see what adventures await!