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Why the Jetsetter’s Homestead?
We all have a home – and presumably if you’re here, you are also traveling (or planning to travel or dreaming about travel). Those two worlds are not always synchronized but should be harmonious. If they aren’t, things can get out of whack very quickly with family, friends, work, finances, and personal balance. Sometimes it can feel a lot like leading dual lives – one that only your fellow travelers understand and one that doesn’t understand your travels.
Jennifer: I’ve seen a lot of road warriors burn out – travel ceases to be fun, priorities change, or the scales tip too much in one direction. I’ve been traveling at a pretty steady (and frequent) pace for over 15 years and have often found myself at the point that I’m thinking a lot about travel when I’m at home but thinking a lot about home when I’m traveling. I’m on a constant (and ever-evolving) quest to merge the two together. For me, that means looking at both through a different lens. Living fully in the moment in both spheres but also taking steps to keep them both in balance. Some days that might mean trying to cook more of my own meals (whether at home or in a hotel with a kitchenette). Others it might be planning new wardrobe purchases that work for both lives. I share bits and pieces of both parts of my life and experiences comingling the two.
What does the Jetsetter part of your life look like?
Jennifer: My jetsetter life is ever evolving but in the past few years it’s been 175-225 days a year on the road. For my work life, my travel is entirely domestic and I’m not a weekly warrior so my destinations can vary from week to week. Some weeks I may do one or two separate overnight or same day trips, other weeks I may have a multi-city itinerary of several one night stops. Occasionally I go out to do client site work or to a conference where I may stay in the same place for several nights. I also travel for my volunteer work with YMCA Youth & Government and a leadership position with Gamma Phi Beta International Sorority, so that may find me staying in a guest room in campus housing or in a hotel full of teenagers. When I travel for leisure, I like to stay put in one place for several nights and love to fly to far off locales when my schedule and budget allow. I love cruising because I can unpack once and still see many places. I also love being able to meet up with friends I’ve made across my travels.
What does the Homestead part of your life look like?
Jennifer: The homestead is a 1924 Craftsman bungalow in my hometown. I moved back there when I was several years into my frequent travel life as I craved the connections and stability that roots provided me. It’s great to be back home near family and childhood friends although not all of them understand my travel obsession. When I’m home, I love to create things in the kitchen and I even attempt to keep herb and vegetable gardens going while I travel. I also have a love of all things creative – one entire bedroom at my house is a craft studio space where I can often be found sewing or playing with home décor. I recently picked up needlepoint as a hobby again – I love that it’s portable enough to take with me in my travel tote! I’d love to have a dog but my travel life makes that an unfair proposition. I am always on the hunt for new restaurants of all types, great cocktail bars and wineries, and interesting places to shop for funky fashion (I love vintage and bohemian styles) and home décor.
How do I get the most miles possible – what promos and strategies do you recommend?
Jennifer: Ha! This is the wrong blog for that information – I’m just trying survive my 200-ish days a year on the road and still have a life! Many of my blogger colleagues at Boarding Area have great advice for how to maximize your mileage earning and I from time-to-time link to ideas that they have. And I may once in a while actually take a mileage run for fun – just because it reminds me of what it was like to be in my 20s and just discovering the world of miles, status, and frequent flying!
Do you ever get tired of traveling?
Jennifer: No. In the career side of travel, I’ve always said that frequent travel has a finite window for many people. Often early careerists view travel as an adventure and ones 20s are a great time to have a travel-intensive job and do as much travel as possible both for work and pleasure. I’ve watched many frequent travelers burn out after two to five years of career travel (or regular mileage running) as other life priorities – houses, relationships, families – come into forefront. For many of us who in the second decade (or beyond) of traveling, a travel-life balance eventually emerges where one has to find a way to juggle both. In essence, that’s what the Jetsetter’s Homestead evolves from. I will always be excited for the next adventure and live for my vacations and weekend trips. But the mundane day-to-day business travel is now as much a part of my routine as a week in the office and I now treat it as such to maintain some sanity and balance in my life.
Have a question about the Jetsetter’s Homestead? Or something you’d like to see featured in a future post?