Year 1, part 5

Welcome to the Year One -blog! A series of posts where I, a fresh graduate, break down prejudices a youngster might have when entering the work-life rat race. My name is Martin, and as a young engineer, I try to write about work stuff that’s relevant for all ages, but with a young person’s perspective. Are the prejudices young people have about work true? Or are we just naive? In an attempt to find out, I will return to certain topics after a while and analyze what I have written.

Martin Ekman

The dark side of business travel

It’s Sunday evening. I’m sitting on the train, starting a week-long business trip. The whole week has gone by in a flash, spending what felt like every waking minute either cleaning, driving or carrying furniture to and from the car and trailer. My girlfriend and I are in the middle of moving to a new apartment, 70km away. At the moment, we have managed to empty and clean the old apartment, but the new place is still in a state of utter chaos. 

All I would like to do is spend time with my girlfriend and organize the abomination that is our new place. In reality, I’m sitting in a sterile train compartment, listening to the noise from the tracks, while fantasizing about how we’re gonna decorate our new home. That will have to be put on hold for a week. 

Many young people dream about traveling the world, even if it’s just for business. Seeing exotic places, eating different foods, and getting paid to do that! You get to meet a lot of different people and go to places where a travel brochure would never take you. Sounds like a dream, right? One must remember though, there are two sides to every coin. I’ll illustrate this with a quote (even if somewhat old-fashioned, women travel for work too, duh!);

A husband is a man who wishes he had as much fun when he goes on business trips as his wife thinks he does” – Ann Landers

During the last couple of months, I’ve gotten the opportunity to travel quite a bit inside of Finland. To be honest, some parts of it have been amazing, at least from a learning perspective. I’ve learned so much and gotten to be part of some exciting projects. But on the other hand, I’m starting to understand what some people say about the dark side of business travel. In a way, it feels like you have to put your whole life on hold for a couple of weeks when you go.

And I’ve only gotten a glimpse of it. I can only imagine what it must feel like for people who spend most of their time on the road or abroad, with families and small children at home. As the world begins to open up, I need to learn to cope with this feeling. The feeling of anxiousness, where you know you have responsibilities or things to do elsewhere, but you can’t do anything about it until you get back.

This is definitely a topic I will be returning to after getting some more experience in the field. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear more from You, the reader:

Do you travel for work? How do you cope with it?

Thanks for reading!


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