Something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is how much work-related travel I feel okay with, and this has me wondering about the work-related travel of Dynamic Ecology’s readers. This is surely influenced by lots of factors, including career stage, family responsibilities, and enjoyment of travel.
For me, I traveled fairly little as a grad student. I went to one meeting per year, for the most part (sometimes two). I went on the job market as a postdoc, and so did a lot more traveling then. As a new faculty member (before I had kids), I still went to 1-2 meetings per year, and then usually did a couple of seminar trips on top of that. Over time, the number of seminar/talk invitations has increased, and I generally say yes, because I find it enjoyable to visit other departments, meet with people, etc. And, to be honest, sometimes I say yes even if I feel a little overwhelmed with travel, because I’m pre-tenure. But my tenure dossier goes in this summer and I now have two kids, so I know that I need to cut back some on travel. I’ve agreed to three work-related trips for the summer and two for the fall already. That’s a lot!
Right now, I’m trying to decide what is the right level of travel for me at this career and life stage, and I’m wondering what others do. Currently, I think I might start aiming for one trip per semester (including summer), which would mean 3 trips per year.
So, my questions for you:
1. How much work-related travel do you do?
2. What is your career stage?
3. Do you have children or other major family responsibilities (e.g., care of a parent or sibling)?
4. If you answered “yes” to 3, has that influenced how much you travel?
5. What do you think is your ideal level of travel?
Please answer in the comments!