The Frequent Flyer vs Quality of Life Tradeoff
This is the business travel frequent flyer lifecycle graphed, illistrating the tradeoff between miles flown versus your overall quality of life.
You start off in your first business travel with the excitement of flying to a new country, but after yet another long flight followed by a long day of meetings in a confusing city, the joy of business travel starts to fade, decreasing rapidly as you squeeze yet again into a no-frills economy seat.
Then you reach a top tier in your preferred frequent flyer program (100k on United for example) and get complimentary upgrades to business class, complete with free booze and food. Life is very good, with the basic luxuries tempering the fact you are stuck in a metal tube for days on end.
If you are smart, you stay in the sweet spot, flying 100,001 miles per year, often with your family. You get the freebies, sooth the wanderlust, and see your family.
Caution not to be lured into going on that one business trip more.
Then you start down the slippery slope of flying too much. You forget your friends and family. You are confused by the word “home” and then your spouse decides you are never there long enough to still call it that. You now learn about divorce.
For a brief time afterwards, free from even the pretense of domestication, you have a euphoric travel high, but then its short lived as you fly more, and you become alone, friends only with strangers. Don’t go there. That is not a happy place.