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I’ve been traveling for work for years under a diverse set of circumstances with a very unreliable degree of normalcy – for the past year, I settled into a comfortable pattern of moving every three months and living comfortably off of writing, tutoring English and other work.

I’ll draw from my personal experiences to provide some of the benefits and drawbacks of traveling for work, but that doesn’t mean these conclusions are limited to those who write and tutor. For example, if you went to for a medical position in a city on the far side of the country from your hometown, you can still relate to the following breakdown of benefits and drawbacks of traveling for work:

Benefit: You’ve Got to be Proactive

In a normal lifestyle, it’s easy to settle into a rut and grow complacent – to go to the same places and talk to the same people, day in and week out. Frequently relocating forces you to break these habits. You’re sure to become a better conversationalist and a more interesting, rounded, worldly person as a result. Some people never leave their hometown and they’re never challenged – you’ll be confronted with different cultural bubbles, different experiences, and you’ll grow not only in your skills but as a person.

Drawback: You Can’t Let Yourself Get Comfortable

Comfort zones are maligned more than they deserve – a sense of comfort and belonging is important to people, and there’s undoubtedly a relief when you can enjoy the luxury of familiar faces and ideas. Many people aren’t so self-aware as to admit it, but we all enjoy routine, predictability, and agreeability in those around us.

Benefit: You’re Always Discovering New Things

When I arrived in Dallas, Texas, I found an amazing Pho place that I ate at weekly. The best sushi I’ve ever had was at a local joint in Istanbul, of all places. One pizzeria in Lviv, Ukraine’s most beautiful city, sells the most delicious pizza I’ve ever had. A small city called Maribor, Slovenia has the most peaceful riverside, and I’d go down there in the mornings to play my harmonica. Living on the road means you’re constantly discovering places that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. What’s more, what you find might be far from what you expected.

Drawback: You’re Always Leaving Something Behind

The flipside of the previous point is that you’ll never get to keep a certain comfort permanently – you’ll find a place that’ll feel like home, and when you leave, there’s a certain sting that it was only a station on your way. You won’t be able to find a place that serves pizza as good as that last place you loved, and yogurt won’t be fifty cents a liter anymore. Your new accommodations will lack something you’d grown to enjoy about the last one. When you get right down to it, you’re leaving a place that had grown familiar and you’ll be arriving in a strange city, at least for a while. Those things you’d begun to take for granted will be replaced, but not for a week or two at least; every few months, you’ll play this song and dance of uprooting and resettling.

Benefit: The Memories

Among the many other benefits of traveling for work is that you’re making stories to impress friends and to pass on to your kids, you’re learning things and meeting people that you never would have otherwise. You’re winning a certain type of respect reserved for the worldly and well traveled.

I’ve cherished my experiences living how I have, but it’s not for everyone and I appreciate that. I hope that the insight I’ve provided to the benefits and drawbacks of always traveling will help you make informed decisions in your life.


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1) Change your life
2) Travel the world
3) Get paid to travel
4) Create a positive influence on others
5) Be free of offices and ‘real world’ rubbish

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