Trips for introverted professionals who travel
I just got back from an extremely long work trip. I am talking 13 long days of traveling. And what have I learned? Well, I learned that I can never do that ever again. NEVER. Traveling for that longs makes me loath my job and wipes me out completely. To top that off, I tried to leave PA right before a huge winter storm. (Thankfully I did make it out before it really hit, but I got stuck in Chicago for the night and thus was delayed getting home by a day). My travel anxiety has had enough of airports and logistics. I want nothing but to sit on my couch with my boyfriend and my cat and (ironically) wish that we were getting a blizzard here so none of us have to leave for several days.
Oh well. At least I get to sit on the couch with my boyfriend and my cat and "watch" football, regardless of today's weather.
I don't think I was ever so happy to be back on Kansas soil as I was yesterday morning when my flight landed back in Wichita.
The longer I stay in my current job, the more travel tips and tricks I've learned.
Don't get me wrong, I still do an incredibly large amount of dumb things - like being gone for 13 days. (This entire trip was kind of a disaster. For whatever reason, I did not follow the self-care things I know I need to do when I am traveling. When I go to Akron for meetings, I especially find it extremely challenging to take care of myself, even doing basic things like exercising for 10 minutes and showering. It does not stack up very well by day 13.
But let me back up to these travel tips and spell them out a little bit more. I cannot stress the importance of knowing that I need to take care of myself.
As an introvert in a extrovert dominated field (fundraising), I have learned that I cannot do things exactly like my fellow extrovert coworkers. And that's totally fine (and honestly, once you know that, embrace it and don't let guilt tell you otherwise).
Here are the things that help me the most.
1. When I am using my brain, I try not to be gone more than 3 days (or 4 days max including travel time. Not 13. What was I thinking?) That's pretty much all I can handle without serious home time.
2. Secondly, if I can avoid it, I do not schedule things in the evenings.
3. This time in the evening alone gives me the time I need to recharge. It also learned that I need to do at least 10 minutes of exercise (such as yoga) most of the days that I am gone. Being out of my daily schedule is actually stressful for me. Having a piece of my exercise routine is good for my mental health.
4. Finally, I try to only eat french friends and cheeseburgers one time per trip (or not at all). In the early days of me traveling for work, I used to seek out cool, local places to eat. I've since learned that I don't really enjoy that by myself and it takes a lot of extra energy and time to seek them out. It is better for my energy level to just eat somewhere close by. Thus it can be so easy to default to french fries. So wherever I am at, I try really really hard to pick a healthier option. Let's be real, that's extremely challenging and I don't often succeed, but at least I try every time. So that, I think, counts for something.
As I've noted several times, I did not really do any of these things during my recent PA trip. I did fairly okay with the exercise thing due mostly to the necessity of needing to do my stretches for physical therapy. But over all, not awesome, especially in light of my New Years hope of trying harder to have a happier mental state of being.
*face palm emoji*
Oh well, I will pick myself up and dust myself off (in the form of major introvert activities this week) and hopefully take better care of myself the next I travel for work.
Did I mention how psyched I am to be home?