You live among them. Some live in your neighborhood. Some might be friends. Some you come across at the market when they are in town and some you do business with.
In normal life, we act just like you. We raise our kids in the suburbs. We try our best to be present at softball practice and PTA meetings. We feel bad when we can’t be there. We take vacations (being mindful of quarterly business meetings and trade shows). We try to create as normal of a life as possible when we are not on the road.
When we are on the road, we come together. We are a posse at the gate; we are a wolf pack at the bar. We share our war stories of flight delays due to de-icing of planes and crazy connections when we had to run through the terminal only to find out that the door has been closed.
Our unity is strengthened with each year that passes. When you are seasoned road warrior, you make friends very easy. You swap life stories over a pint of lager and cardboard-tasting nachos. Most times, you laugh, sometimes you commiserate about the length of time you have been traveling “this time” and how excited you are to get home- to be with your kids and your spouse, to feel the cold (or feel the warmth). To take that bike ride on Saturday or spin class you have missed for the past week. You admit that you drink every night, mostly due to boredom and that you stopped bringing your workout gear because what is the point when you are so tired due to time changes.
Road warriors are a part of a culture, but one without any causes or clubs. We typically don’t meet outside of airports or trade shows and we don’t have any wardrobe which defines us. We find comfort in our brief conversations because we understand what being a road warrior means and what sacrifices we make. We know it all sounds sexy and fun to those who don’t wear our hidden badge. We also know the truth of how hard it can be.
I am a road warrior. I am a wife. I am a mom. I am a daughter and a friend. I wear a lot of hats. Some I love more than others but the warrior I am defines me in part and, like any other role I have, I focus upon the gifts it brings me.