I am a kind of gunslinger, traveling for work to where I am needed. I work busy ED’s so the usual length of a “contract” is about a year. This one here in Evansville has been most unusual in that I have been working here for about 4 years, way longer than locums stints go.
I generally work 3-4 days in a row, then go home for a “rest”. Sometimes it amounts to merely washing dirty clothes and repacking by bag with clean stuff, getting to play ball with the dog a bit, and a dinner or two with my wife. Now that I am an official “old guy” I try to only work about 10 shifts per month. That usually translates into about 13-14 days away from home, and often means much of a week off at some time in the month.
This month, however, they were short people, so I am pitching in over my usual number. As a result I will be away from home about 18 nights. I don’t get more than a 4 day stretch home at any one time.
Learning to live on the road is a trait that takes time to develop. I believe I learned the basics back in the Marine Corps, and subsequently in the Guard, where on a drill weekend I often spent the whole time out of town in some flea-bag motel. The service doesn’t spend much on the people. Some of the places I stayed probably should have been condemned. Still, it was life from a suitcase. The result is that I manage to deal with this coming-and-going better than many. My son travels for work, but his trips are rarely more than a couple days at most gone, and he already isn’t wild about that. Never had to live from a knapsack. That teaches you a lot about what you NEED – and how much you like “your stuff”.
The end result of all this is that I have a fair amount of “my stuff” at home. I resist all attempts of my wife to “organize”, “clean up”, “rearrange”, or otherwise intrude into my things. BDB mentioned reorganizing his man cave. I would dread having to do that – unless I got about twice the space I currently have. Which is highly unlikely, of course. I guess not having my stuff all the time makes it more precious for the times I am able to be home. Kind of like a king surveying his strong room.
?So how do the rest of you travel. ?In a well-stocked caravan, or stripped to the bare necessities. ?How long can you tolerate being away from home.