I've realized that traveling for work sucks. When I first took this job I thought it sounded like an adventure but the novelty has worn off. I primarily travel for conferences and each time has been with a different set of colleagues.
I went to quite a few conferences in graduate school and my experiences always equaled a really good time. It was an opportunity to learn new stuff, present my work, get some time away from the office and hang out with people I really liked. This is the complete opposite of my work travel experience.
- Although some of the conferences I have learned a lot, it's not as intellectually interesting to me as the ones I went to in grad school and this last conference was not all that informative for me.
- I always feel the pressure to both attend sessions and do some actual work (unfortunately the work does not go away while I'm away and there really is not anyone else to do my work while I'm gone). So I end up conferencing from 8am-7-8pm and then going back to my hotel room to work for a few hours and when I'm on the West coast, that is just a disaster for me.
- I am very fortunate to have great colleagues... but they're not my friends. I have a good time with them sharing meals and having someone to hang out with during breaks but it still feels very lonely.
- I've been a co-author on a few of the presentations that we've given but I it's not as rewards as presenting my own work. I've mentioned previously here, here and here about the crazy restrictions I deal with at work which takes away a lot of the joy of sharing what we do.