Every frequent flyer has experienced turbulence many times. Sometimes its a few minutes of bumps in an otherwise smooth flight, reminding you that the metal tube you are in is still 35,000 feet above the earth. Occasionally it’s a rough ride for a significant duration that has you making a mental checklist to kiss your loved ones that night and make sure your life insurance is updated. And once in a while, turbulence just hits out of the blue sending glasses flying about the cabin.
For many regular travelers, that kind of turbulence happens on the ground too. Whether it’s juggling the responsibilities of owning property, navigating relationships with coworkers who don’t travel regularly, or just staying on top of laundry, bills, and daily living, most of us will encounter turbulence of all varieties while earning our miles.
I should know – I’ve lived through it. A frequent traveler for fifteen-plus years, I seem to have that routine down pat. I’ve flown between 150,000 and 250,000 miles each year during that duration, typically spending over 200 days a year on the road, but rarely two nights in a row in the same hotel bed. My travel schedule is unpredictable in that I can sometimes be on the road for several days but in a different city each night. Other times I may do very short day trips or week long trips to a single destination. And occasionally I am home for stretches ranging from two to four weeks with no travel at all. When traveling, at times I’m so much like George Clooney in “Up in the Air” that CNN even featured me as the “real-life” version after the movie aired.
But even as I put my best road warrior face on for the cameras, the air in my own life had become a bit choppy and I was struggling to marry it back to a regular life on the ground. My refrigerator was full of expired condiments, my oven might as well have held shoes (a la Carrie Bradshaw), and my garden was full of weeds. I was neglecting things around the house and my relationships weren’t doing much better. I even suffered with my own health declining as I tried to figure out how to escape the bumps. I often found it easier to be on the road, away from the homestead, than trying to manage a dual life.
But I had to figure out a way to have the best of both worlds – to manage being a traveling bon vivant AND build a comfortable home nest. And when I couldn’t find a ready resource for travel/life balance wisdom, I cobbled together things from other places and used trial and error to figure out what might work for me.
As I did, friends began asking me for advice on how to travel smarter while noshing on my homemade cookies (and asking for that recipe too). I established a new normal for myself – one that was equal parts luxury award travel and downhome local. That balanced fine dining on the road with an occasional casserole at home – and that figured out how to get the bills paid, the laundry done, and all the adventures still completed.
And so the Jetsetter’s Homestead was born. I hope for it to be a place to share strategies, tools, and resources for managing life at home. With my time here, I plan to share an arsenal of hints for achieving travel/life balance, making travel easier, and simplifying routines. And most of all, I dream it will be a place to share the best of both of the worlds… The Jetsetter enjoying the most comfortable travel life possible and coming back to rest and recharge at the Homestead.
Why might my experiences be interesting? Well…. fifteen years (and counting) of business travel as a management consultant along with a couple of side entrepreneurial projects has led me through travels to 47.5 states and over 50 countries across the last two decades. I’m a longtime Executive Platinum with American Airlines although I’ve also held elite status with various airlines (United, US Airways, Delta, TWA, and Legend) in tandem with that. My hotel loyalties are split with top tier status at both Hyatt and Starwood for a number of years. I presently also maintain statuses with Hilton and Marriott. My car loyalties are with National (Emerald Executive, although Hertz helps me out in a pinch). And I have recently picked up a cruise ship habit, earning Silver club status with Seabourn in my first year of sailing. Gathering status seems to be compulsive for me!
Home is Fort Worth Texas, so DFW is my airport base. Back at the home, I am extremely lucky to have a wonderful Home Team (which is what I call that incredible group of friends, family, and professionals who support me through my travels and help keep things running smoothly when I’m away) and you’ll be seeing them around Jetsetters Homestead too as they share some of their own wisdom about travel/home balance.
So welcome to the mix and please join in the mix by reading some of my recent posts and commenting. Like American Airlines, we’re glad you’re here. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight!