Do you know how to navigate O’Hare like a native Chicagoan? Have you spent hours on the road each week making client visits across your region? Does the average hotel room seem more like home than your actual place of residence?
If so, you are not alone. Despite the recent economic slump, U.S. companies spent more than $200 billion on travel in 2008 and U.S. residents logged 432 million person-trips (one person on a day or overnight trip more than 50 miles away from home) for business purposes in 2009.
As single Catholics, you may already be a frequent flier or willing to accept a job with a high-percentage of travel. For those who are not parents, without a family to leave at home, you may be more inclined to rack up the additional airline miles and travel the globe for your job.
Jet lag, multi-course dinners and living out of a suitcase can take a toll, however, on your spiritual health. Here are some tips for maintaining a strong faith life on the road:
1. Read His word
All travelers face delays, long flights or hours of downtime while traveling for business. Invest in a pocket Bible and read a few chapters of Scripture during these breaks. Let God’s word focus your thoughts and remind you what is really important amidst the stress and commotion of business travel.
2. Find a spiritual place
Just because you’re not traveling to Rome for a work event doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to connect spiritually on your trip. If time allows, attend daily Mass at a nearby church or search in advance for tours of historic spiritual sites in the area. Not only will you be able to fully experience the city you are visiting, but you will also be able to connect to God in a new way.
3. Maintain your body to maintain your spirituality
It can be difficult to maintain a regular exercise regiment if you are routinely on the road, but it is essential to stay strong physically in order to stay strong spiritually. Spend 30 minutes at the hotel gym or practice your sun salutations through a yoga DVD you can pop into your laptop. Center yourself by the choices you make for your body, and you will surely strengthen your spiritual fitness.
4. Know who you belong to
Your career is important and a piece of who you are, but your relationship with God comes first. Make mindful choices while you’re traveling for business, choices that enhance and don’t detract from your spiritual life. Always act in accordance with your values and what you know is right, despite any outside pressures from co-workers or clients. Stay true to who you are: a son or daughter of Christ.
Traveling is a perfect chance to foster a deeper relationship with God beyond your home church. Let your love for Christ shine through your travels so that all people you meet across the globe come to know His love.