We have all had to travel for work at some point in our lives, but it seems that a select few of us have to do it day in, day out. If you’re someone who has unwittingly found yourself crisscrossing the globe to pay your bills it can be a tough pill to swallow. What started off as the adventure of a lifetime has now really started to drag, but it really doesn’t have to be like that. Let’s take a look at 8 ways you can keep your health, and your sanity, when you’re living life on the road.
Embrace Boredom Whenever You Can
Boredom used to be something we were all accustomed to. Waiting to check in at the hotel, queuing at the airport, and trying to attract the eye of a waiter in a restaurant were all part and parcel of the working day. Now they’re not chances to just sit and be present in the moment, they’re an excuse to check your email, post on Facebook, and share a couple of YouTube videos. Embracing boredom is all about leaving your phone in your pocket and just waiting patiently. It might feel alien at first, it probably will be boring, but over time it’ll give your brain some much-needed rest from the constant stimulation it’s subjected to.
Have Someone else Take Care of the Transportation
Booking transport is never top of your list of priorities when you’re travelling at the last minute, but it still needs to be done. Landing somewhere you don’t speak the language and then having to try and get a taxi on the fly can be stressful, to say the least. If you want to be able to enjoy smooth sailing from take-off until you get to your room, have someone else book your travel for you. It’ll be a weight off your shoulders, and will give you more time and energy to get in the right state of mind for your trip.
Leave Your Phone in Your Room when You Go to Dinner
We spend more time on our phones than ever before, and it’s not necessarily a good thing when you think about it. Just because the technology is there doesn’t mean we should use it. Leaving your phone in your room is a simple way to enjoy your evening, sample the menu, and take in the atmosphere. Like with our first tip, you’re probably going to feel a little bored the first few times you do it. But do it often enough and you’ll start to feel the pace of life slow down, and your energy levels return. It’s so important if you want to be at your best when it matters.
Stick to the Same Morning Routine, no Matter where You Are
Routines really do matter, because they take the stress out of trying to figure out what to do each day. Many of us will spend far longer thinking about when and what to do than it would actually take to do the tasks in the first place. Most of the time there’s no one ideal way to do things, so just pick something that works for you and let it evolve naturally over time. There’s a lot to be said for starting your day on autopilot, and if it gives you more energy to enjoy yourself after work, why not?
Avoid Staying Up Late Watching Movies in Your Room
It’s all too tempting to make the most of the quiet time in your hotel room to do some serious binge watching, but tiredness and fatigue will soon catch up with you. By all means, find a series to get into over the course of your trip, but don’t watch it at the cost of a good night’s sleep. When you’re working away it’s virtually impossible to catch up on your sleep, so make getting enough your number one goal every evening. It’s not the most exciting way to spend your time, but it will allow you to make better decisions, get more out of the day, and generally just feel better about yourself.
Embrace the Local Culture and Make the Most of It
Travelling for work shouldn’t be all doom and gloom — if it is, you’re probably in need of a career change. One of the great things about being paid to go to different parts of the world is that you get to experience cultures and traditions you probably wouldn’t see on holiday. Embracing everything you come into contact with along the way is the best way to go, even if you don’t really feel like doing it at the time. You’ll be able to look back in years to come, when memories of that stressful presentation are long gone, and be glad that you sampled as many of the local delicacies as you did.
Stay Present, and Don’t Wish the Trip Away
We all long to get home, and that’s perfectly natural. The secret is to make sure it doesn’t consume your every waking moment. There’s nothing to be gained from wishing your trip away, so make sure you take the time to appreciate the experience. It’s all about staying present, immersing yourself in the here and now, and breaking the sole focus on what comes next. You only have one life, and you can get a surprising amount out of the most seemingly boring situations just by deciding to embrace them.
Have Something to Look Forward to Every Day
Last but not least, you need something to look forward to at the end of the day. It’s not enough to simply cross off the days until your flight home, all that will do is make you a lot more homesick. The best thing to do is to have a restaurant and a movie in mind for the evening. You can then do your best to replicate that happy feeling of walking through the door and seeing your family. Stick at it and you’ll be able to see a whole new side of work travel.
Rebecca blogs for Dunn Transportation, and has herself spent more hours at airports than she would care to count. Her pro tip is to always have something to busy yourself with, and take every new day as a gift.