When you’ve been traveling all year, you can linger on the edge between being happy with your job and feeling like you’re missing out on important life events with your family and friends. On one hand, you have an awesome, fulfilling career where you can see new places and help new people. Nothing is ever boring, but it does mean that you might miss a birthday party, brunch with your friends, family dinner night, or yes... even Thanksgiving.
There’s a trade-off to being a traveler, because it's such a rewarding and challenging career path. This time of year, we’re reminded to be thankful for what we have, and to appreciate the memories we make while out traveling professionally.
Thankful for goal-reaching.
Nothing really grows you as a person like travel does. You’re achieving personal and professional goals, while discovering new things about yourself. There’s something about travel that’s energizing. It gives you more fuel on your fire, and a little extra drive to accomplish the things on your bucket list. The great thing about traveling for work is that you can combine your personal and professional goals. So, you’ve always wanted to learn to surf, plus get licensed in California? That’s just the motivation you need to pair these two goals together. You’ll come out of travel life a more self-aware person, and probably happier for it.
Thanksgiving idea #1:
Spend your holiday making a list of all the personal and professional goals you have yet to accomplish. Rank them in order of importance, and set attainable times for achieving them. Post the piece of paper in an area where you'll see it each day, giving yourself renewed motivation.
Thankful for new places.
Vacations are nice, but you have such limited time when you’re on vacation that you don’t get to fully immerse yourself in the culture of your current city. It's like you're trying to cram a lifetime of experiences in a short 3-5 days or within a week. When you spend extra time working and adventuring in your new assignment location, you have extra time to see the sights, go at your own pace, and even get in on what the locals are up to. Go ahead—spend that full day at a cool museum, drive up the coast for a weekend getaway, or plan a 3-day hiking trip—time is on your side!
Thanksgiving idea #2:
Spend your holiday taking a drive to a new place you haven't explored. Visit a new park, or plan a solo Thanksgiving weekend getaway to a nearby town. Take plenty of pictures and create a "Thanksgiving Exploration" album for friends and family to look at later.
Thankful for friends, old and new.
While you have family and friends you’re missing back home, you’re also in the unique position to meet colleagues and like-minded people to discover new places and hobbies with. We should always be thankful for our friendships and the shared camaraderie we create as travelers. Plus, these relationships can make it that much more fun to go back for a visit after your assignment is up. Look at you go, social butterfly!
Thanksgiving idea #3:
Spend your holiday with new friends or coworkers. Chances are, you're all in the same boat, spending Thanksgiving away from family and old friends. Make it a feast! Host the whole meal, or invite everyone over for a potluck and turn new friends into lifelong friends.
Thankful for the life you’re living.
You’re living life on your own terms. In a standard 8-to-5 job, you don’t always get the flexibility to work in the city you want, to vacation when and where you want, or to take time off in a family emergency. One of the benefits of traveling is that you can create your assignments around your best, most ideal life, taking jobs where you need and taking time off in between assignments to be around for the important things. And nothing is more special than that.
Thanksgiving idea #4:
Spend your holiday on a staycation. Take time off for YOU. Relax and catch up on your favorite TV series, or make your own solo Thanksgiving feast. If taking time off doesn't appeal to you, pick up some Thanksgiving shifts on your assignment, and give coworkers a chance to relax or visit their families.
Thankful to come home.
What’s that quote about absence? It makes the heart grow fonder? Traveling is a wonderful experience, but at the end of the day (or, travel assignment) you're happy to go home. Coming home and reuniting with loved ones feels just that much better when you’ve been out and about. Being thankful for travel when you come home gives you stories to share, new reasons to appreciate your family, and moments to hug them just a little bit harder.
Thanksgiving idea #5:
You can always head home for the holiday. Surprise your family and celebrate the season with good food, good stories and lots of love.
Whatever your Thanksgiving plans, be sure to give yourself lots of love, relaxation, good food, and good times. Remember, there are people out there (including us!) that are thankful for you and everything you do.
Are you thinking about traveling more? Should you travel for your career? I mean, we don't know how you live your life... but there are signs the universe is saying YES!