Each year, we go on a 3 week trip with about 25 of our founders. We take them all around the US - New York, Boston, and San Francisco. The calendar is filled back to back with meetings, and we are constantly travelling.
What I learnt from the past three trips is how you travel smoothly, stay alive, and still get work done:
Try to reduce your luggage to a minimum. This doesn’t only increase movability, it also makes dressing much faster.
- Planning laundry in my calendar so I can take clothes for only one week (8 days to be exact)
- Taking clothes that match each other so I can combine anything with anything
- Have a large enough suitcase/bag so I can simply throw stuff together when I am running late or need to leave fast
- I use this duffle bag (90 litres), my super cool backpack, and I take a small shoulder bag as an alternative for days in meetings
- I pack items I can use for different things - running shoes that are decently stylish to wear during the day, items I can layer in the different climates
One of the obvious problems, especially when having an established workout or fitness routine at home, is sports and diet. Since I started to take this more seriously at home, I have put an effort into keeping it up on the road.
- Get plenty of sleep. It’s the key to staying fit.
- Use the jet lag to your advantage: I get up early and go to the hotel gym or do exercises in my room.
- Go running or walking where you can. Take the stairs, not the elevators.
- Avoid junk food like the plague. Anyone who knows me is aware this is my Kryptonite.
- Eat lots of green food, and make sure you stay fuelled during the day with nuts and fruit - no candy.
Being in the action for three weeks is a lot of fun. However, just like at home, you need to make sure to unwind a little to start the next week on the road with the same energy as before.
- Meet friends. I have amazing friends in all of the places we go to - the US trip is actually a great opportunity for me to see them.
- Stay with friends. This is even better, especially over the weekends. Spending your waking hours with people you care about makes being away from home much easier.
- Talk about something other than startups and tech. Give your mind a break.
Stay in touch with home
Being in a long distance relation ship from Berlin to London is terrible enough. Adding 6-9 hour of time difference to that is hard. I usually talk to Isa at least in the morning and evening, and we stay in touch during the day as well. I can deal with two weeks without seeing her that way, but 3 weeks on the road without her just make me miserable. This is the hardest part.
- Having a smartphone and sending pictures and messages is gold.
- I added an international voice package to my US phone. Best decision ever.
Basically, travelling and being on the road makes you vulnerable and amplifies every experience - for good and bad. In the last two weeks I have found the above to be helpful for me. I know I will be travelling more than ever this year, so I hope I can keep this up.