18 August Friday 11:30 am,
My friends who travel understand that business travel is different than personal travel. My friends who don’t travel, when pressed, seem to understand this concept as well. These days, almost all my trips are business trips with personal days attached.
It seems so ungrateful to complain about travelling, to feel so utterly awful about it. Especially when the North American trip was 90% holidays, and 10% work. And who gets the chance to travel as much as I do? First of all, I travel about a third of the year for work. Second, I live in Australia, a land where most people get four weeks a holiday a year, somewhat like the Europeans, and not at all like the North Americans who are pressed to get two weeks of holidays, unless they work for the government, are schoolteachers, or have some other sort of professional luck. Thirdly, in
But here’s the bonus: I work for in the HIV/AIDS sector. Years ago, before the advent of antiretroviral medicines which keep most people living with AIDS alive for years, our organization decided that employees would either burn out from the emotional pressures of working with a fatal illness, or they would die before working for ten years for our organisation. So we get half-time long service leave – 6 weeks at five years. Sweet, huh? Six weeks on top of my four weeks of holidays equals ten weeks this year.
So, this year I’ve been using that leave and adding on personal travel to the business trips. And I’m exhausted!
The things I love about travel are obvious. New sights and sounds. Food! All types of different food. Seeing friends. Meeting new people (though less so these days – I tend to prefer catching up with people I know, or spending time alone with my thoughts). Most of all: time to think, or not think, and have that time illuminate both the life I’m living in
The things I hate: all those hours in the airports; uncomfortable seats in airplanes, getting sick, sleeping problems, exhaustion, expensive cabs or really long public transit rides to airports. Having my friends in
I’m writing this now in