a man biting his nails

I Haven’t Been on a Plane in 24 Days and I’m Losing My Mind

Please be gentle with me in the comments dear readers…

You don’t have to be a genius to know that humans are creatures of habit. Ok, you might be thinking “Tell us something we don’t know”. (I see AND hear those eyes rolling…) Well, Aristotle put it best: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” So, when you average flying twice a week for 18 months, what happens when you all of a sudden stop?

From Rat Race…

The last two years or so have been insane. It was in April of this year (when I only spent 5 nights in my own bed) that I realized I needed to slow my roll. Ok, maybe it was also the non stop heartburn and extra 15 lbs. that magically appeared. Coworking is growing at such an insane pace that for a while I thought that I could keep up. The rat race of flying to clients all over the world, while trying to grow Coworkaholic after joining BoardingArea should have been enough.

Of course, I’m a glutton for punishment. So I figured – hell, on top of that why not produce, not one but three travel podcasts? (If you aren’t listening to Miles to Go, NowBoarding or Award Travel 101…what are you waiting for?!)

Leading up to June 1st I was straight up giddy at the thought of what I’d do with all this time on the ground. Without constantly running to catch a flight or checking in and out of hotels, I couldn’t wait to spend time this summer to work on projects requiring long term focus and in person collaboration with the team. Because, hello – #coworking! 🙂

a man with white hair and a grey sweater

Madison, WI is beautiful this time of year. Cultured enough to not be boring but with slow enough of a nightlife to not be tempting. With two newly hired employees, my business partner and I couldn’t wait to get ready for what looks to be a busy fall. Personally I dreamed of what it would be like to actually shop for groceries, meal prep and – gasp – go to the gym.

…To Stir Crazy

Today marks 24 days since I was last on a plane. This is my longest stretch of being on the ground since 2016. I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t crawling up the walls, checking for last minute award availability or super cheap flights. Where to? Who cares! The siren’s call is tempting enough without friends inviting me to Barcelona , Thailand or Berlin . Worse yet? All those fabulous travel photos posted on social media not only by my travel blogging peers but from friends on actual vacations! (What’s that?!?!)

Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful for the fact that I get to explore the world. Especially considering I’m getting paid for it (most of the time). So many friends and family often greet me with “Oh, it’s the frequent flyer/world traveler/jet setter…”. To which I always reply: “It’s fun for the first few months but there’s only so many room service club sandwiches you can have before it gets old”.

The irony is not lost on me.

So why is it now that I’m itching to get back in the skies? Especially since I’ve gotten the break that (I thought) I so desperately wanted? Well, turns out habits (whether learning or trying break them) are a funny thing.

The Grass Is Always Greener

The average person needs 66 days (just over two months!) before a new behavior becomes automatic. Depending on the habit, some say it can take up to 254 days! Even if I am average, I’ll be getting into the swing of things just as I get ready to hit the road. I’ll be swapping out meal prepping for swapping out suit cases and repacking travel kits in no time – for joy!

Even having flown 168,894 miles last year, I’m well aware that those numbers pale in comparison to a lot of other folks out there. I know I’m not the only one looking for a cure for restlessness. Struggling with ignoring the airport appeal while embracing the ability to go.

Thus lies the fascinating juxtaposition between those who are always wanting to go vs. those who are always on the go. Perhaps that’s why I so admire and strive to achieve a true “location independent life”. Digital Nomads aren’t all as crazy as I am, running from client to client. They more often than not balance travel and adventure with manageable habits of a regular work routine and schedule.

a white picket fence next to a green grass lawn

So what? Ah, yes…time to get to my point. Whoever you are. However you travel. Whether it’s flying business class every week or a road trip once a year, it’s a privilege to do so in any case, no matter the destination. 

Less time comparing our travel plans to what we see on Instagram or our point balances with strangers in Facebook groups. More time enjoying who we’re with and where we are.

I think that’s a habit worth striving for, no matter how long it takes to learn.

The post I Haven’t Been on a Plane in 24 Days and I’m Losing My Mind was first published by Coworkaholic.

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