Frequent Travel or Hyper-mobility May Be Killing You
A new study has been released and it paints a dark picture of our “hobby”. While flying around the world for a weekend and sharing photos of exotic destinations is all the rage these days, this type of culture can lead to long term physical, emotional and psychological problems according to the study.
We all know the typical health problems posed by flying a lot. There is of course jet lag and deep vein thrombosis, but how about increased radiation? Apparently flying more than 85,000 miles per year puts you, “Beyond the regulatory limit for public exposure to radiation facilities.”
The study also tackles the portrayal of a frequent flyer lifestyle. We have all seen the ads with a businessman sitting in a plush seat working on the plane. He is being served by a friendly flight attendant and the entire thing looks so darn cool. Of course, business travel is among the most stressful things in the world, but that isn’t reflected anywhere.
Frequent travel or Hypermobility as the study calls it, also has other effects. Constantly arriving in foreign places can lead to exhaustion and loneliness. I know that I have run into this when on a whirlwind trip. As much as I enjoy the travel, after a long tiring day and a bunch of flights, I can start daydreaming of my nice warm bed at home.
I really think the entire study is a great read and something that a lot of you will find fascinating. Fox News also has a very good synopsis if you aren’t interested in all of the details. Here is a quick summary of what I took away from this:
- The positives of this lifestyle are often spoken about, but the negatives are glossed over.
- This type of travel can cause emotional disconnection and other issues.
- Radiation exposure is an issue for those who fly too often.
- Jetsetters suffer from a variety of physical, emotional and psychological conditions created by the frequent travel. These issues effect every aspect of their life.
I found this study very interesting, particularly with the amount of exposure our “Hobby” has received lately in the media. It is true that travel is glamorized in our society. I run into that often when people are simply awe struck at the amount of travel I have done. They only see the destinations and not the struggles to get there.
With that said, I am still an advocate of long term and frequent travel. I personally have received significant benefits from it, but would be lying if I said it doesn’t take a toll. The article talks about “frequent traveler exhaustion”. I have personally experienced this and it is a real thing. Towards the end of our 18 months on the road a few years ago, I often started the day at about 65-70%. Then there was my around the world trip last year. It took me weeks to recover when I returned home.
I love reading articles/studies like this. Of course it tackles a subject that is near and dear to my heart, but it also provides a fascinating perspective. The basic conclusion that we need to study the effects of the hypermobility lifestyle seems like a rational one. Since we are constantly bombarded with all of the pluses of travel, it really is probably important to look at the “dark side” as the study calls it.